Finding Aids

African American Studies

Abraham, Alton. Collection of Sun Ra

Alton Abraham (1927-1999), entrepreneur and hospital technician, was a longtime friend and business associate of Sun Ra (1914-1993), the influential jazz composer and musician. Alton Abraham collected manuscripts, business records, printed ephemera, artifacts, photographs, audio and video recordings, and other documents of his work with Sun Ra. The collection contains textual, graphic, and audio-visual records of the work of Sun Ra and his collaborators, as well as professional and personal papers of Alton Abraham. The collection spans 1822-2008, with material concentrated in the late 1950s-1980s.

American Civil Liberties Union. Illinois Division. Records

Documents the activities of the Illinois Division of the American Civil Liberties Union from its founding through 2014. Includes case files, finances and fundraising information, individual and institutional correspondence, minutes, newsletters and publications, film, audio cassettes, and photographs.

Arnett, Trevor. Papers

University and college administrator and trustee. A.B., University of Chicago, 1898. Personal auditor to the President, University of Chicago, 1896-1899; chief accountant, 1899-1901; auditor, 1901-1922; trustee, 1916-1922, 1926-1928, 1937-1941; vice-president and business manager, 1924-1926. Secretary, General Education Board, 1920-1924; president, 1928-1936. President, International Education Board, 1928-1936. Correspondence, drafts and copies of speeches and writings, account of a trip to Scandinavia and Russia (1917), and two autobiographical memoirs of George Noble Carman, director of the Lewis Institute of Chicago. Some correspondence deals with the General Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Spelman College. Correspondents include Frederick Taylor Gates, Thomas W. Goodspeed, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Booker T. Washington, a number of college presidents, and members of the University of Chicago administration

Ascoli, Peter. Papers

The Peter Ascoli Papers make available the materials that Ascoli collected during the preparation of his 2006 book about his grandfather, Julius Rosenwald. An early chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Co., Rosenwald was pioneering figure in not just business but also philanthropy. He founded the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and established a foundation that build over 5,000 schools for Black children across the American South. The Ascoli Papers gather together both photocopies of material that is held in other archives that have Rosenwald collections but also documents that were previously held privately by members of the Rosenwald family. The Ascoli collection contains correspondence, early 20th century newspaper clippings, oral history interviews, financial ledgers, and scholarly articles. The collection complements the Julius Rosenwald Papers that are also available in Special Collections at the University of Chicago Library.

Barrash, Annette Medow. Collection

Annette Medow Barrash (b. December 21, 1923, d. July 26, 2019) was a teacher and community activist with a focus on public education and school desegregation in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and mathematics and became involved with the Citizens Schools Committee. As Vice President of the Committee, Medow Barrash participated in efforts to strengthen public schools in Chicago in coordination with the City’s Board of Education and contributed to numerous initiatives and programs. The collection documents Annette Medow Barrash’s contributions to education in Chicago, the history and organization of the Citizens Schools Committee, and the history of public education in Chicago, including the process of desegregation and efforts for decentralization.

Bowman, James Edward. Papers

A medical geneticist and bioethicist, James Edward Bowman (1923-2011) was a professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Chicago. He gained national recognition as a leader in raising awareness about the ethical and social consequences of large-scale genetic testing programs. He was equally concerned by the ways in which public health policy and the organization of medical care disadvantaged poor and minority communities. The Bowman Papers cover the years 1955-2010 (bulk 1992-2001) and include typescripts of lectures, reprints of most of his research articles, planning for various research projects, and multiple drafts of an unpublished book project.

Burgess, Ernest Watson. Papers

Ernest Burgess(1886-1966), Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago, 1916-1952. Contains correspondence; manuscripts; minutes; reports; memoranda; research material that includes proposals, case studies, questionnaires, tables, and interviews; teaching and course materials, class record books; letters of recommendation; bibliographies; student papers; offprints; and maps and charts. Includes material relating to professional organizations with which Burgess was associated. Topics reflect Burgess' interest in urban sociology, family and marriage, crime and delinquency, parole, census work, and gerontology as well as research methods such as statistical predictors, factor analysis, case studies, and the use of personal documents. Also contains research projects on the Protestant church and the effects of radio on the development of children. Papers by students and colleagues include writings by Saul Alinsky, Nels Anderson, Leonard Cottrell, Paul Cressey, John Landesco, Walter Reckless, Clifford Shaw, Paul Siu, Frederick Thrasher, and others. Supplemented by the separately described

Burgess, Ernest Watson. Papers. Addenda

Ernest W. Burgess (1886-1966), sociologist. The Burgess Papers Addenda documents Burgess' career as a Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago as well as his involvement in a variety of community, social, governmental and research organizations. The collection includes surveys, questionnaires, maps, diagrams, note cards, punch cards, recordings, microfilm, manuscripts, notes, offprints, articles, photographs, student records and administrative material, correspondence, advertisements, catalogues, magazines, newspaper clippings, and reports. It supplements the material contained in the main body of

Carnegie Council On Children. Records

The Carnegie Council on Children was an independent study commission established in 1972 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Council undertook a comprehensive examination of the position and needs of children in American society and formulated a series of recommendations for new directions in public policy towards children and families. Conclusions reached by Council members and associates were published in several background studies and summarized in the Council's final report, All Our Children: The American Family Under Pressure (1977). The records of the Carnegie Council on Children include correspondence, minutes, working papers, book manuscripts, press releases, press clippings, tape recordings, and photographs.

Carter, Henry Kendall. Papers

The Henry Kendall Carter Papers (1823-1880, bulk 1840-1870) are made up of business documents, primarily concerning Carter's time in New Orleans (circa 1842-1874), personal and business correspondence, and personal memo books and diaries (1850-1878). Together, these items shed light on business life in Antebellum New Orleans, and on the realities of personal and business life in a divided country during the Civil War.

Commission on Race and Housing. Records

The Commission on Race and Housing Papers contains the reports of the Commission, which was an independent, citizens' group formed in 1955 for the purpose of inquiring into problems of residence and housing involving racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States.

Danner, Margaret. Papers

Margaret Esse Danner, poet, editorial assistant, and community activist. The Margaret Danner Papers contain drafts, manuscripts, publications, unpublished poems, poetry journals, ephemera, biographical material, correspondence, newspaper articles, cassette tapes, course materials, and interviews. The papers document Danner’s literary career.

Davis, Allison. Papers

Allison Davis (1902-1983), Professor of Education. The papers contain reprints, manuscripts, and annotated drafts, field notes and various interview data from key projects, correspondence and enclosures, research notes, and associated works by colleagues.

English, William H. Collection

William H. English (1822-1896) combined active careers in politics and business with an avid interest in the history of his native state of Indiana. An influential member of the Democratic Party, he was a member of the House of Representatives from 1852 to 1860 and was a candidate for the vice-presidency in 1880. English aspired to write a history of his state and to this end amassed a variety of original sources and transcripts. Before his death in 1896, he had written The Conquest of the Northwest & the Life of George R. Clark (Indianapolis: Bowen-Merrill Co., 1896, 2 vols.) and his unpublished manuscript, now in this collection, which traces the history of Indiana down to approximately the year 1800. Contains English's unpublished manuscript on the history of Indiana, original and transcribed manuscripts, secondary material relating to English's research on the people and history of Indiana, and newspaper clippings. Includes personal and political correspondence, legal and judicial records, and photographs that document the early settlement and establishment of government in the territory and state of Indiana. Includes correspondence of Jonathan Jennings, the first governor of Indiana, and various official records of Indiana governors. Also includes letters of William Henry Harrison and Thomas Jefferson. Some material relates to slavery, Native Americans, the capture of Kaskaskia during the Revolution, and military activities in the War of 1812.

Gosnell, Harold F. Papers

Harold Foote Gosnell (1896-1997) was a political scientist at the University of Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s. He also worked for the federal government and spent the latter part of his academic career at American and Howard Universities. He was renowned for his work on voter behavior, particularly with reference to African-American politics and Chicago politics. The Harold F. Gosnell Papers contain correspondence, teaching materials, writings, and research files spanning 1886-1997.

Hauser, Philip M.. Papers

Philip M. Hauser, sociologist, demographer, writer. The Philip M. Hauser papers include correspondence, class notes, published and unpublished writings of Hauser, minutes of the Social Science Research Committee (1947-1951), and photographs. The materials document Hauser's career as a sociologist. The materials document Hauser's career as a sociologist, demographer, government statistician, administrator, professor, speaker, writer, and editor, from his college years through his retirement. Subjects covered in the papers include the development of sociological and demographic research and training, collection and interpretation of census and vital statistics, and population studies and problems on local, national and international levels.

Hughes, Everett Cherrington. Papers

The papers of Everett Cherrington Hughes comprise 73.5 linear feet of professional material. The papers document his career as a sociologist and educator, as well as his research in occupations, race relations, and education. The collection consists of a large body of correspondence; course materials from McGill University, the University of Chicago, Brandeis University and Boston College, and lectures, articles, book reviews, and translations. The collection also includes research material, travel diaries, and memoranda by Hughes; studies on occupations done for Canada's Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and his studies on undergraduate and medical education carried out at the University of Kansas. Some material by Helen MacGill Hughes on the American Sociological Association's Ad-Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession can also be found in this collection.

Hyde Park, Kenwood, and Woodlawn Neighborhoods. Collection

The Hyde Park-Kenwood and Woodlawn Records contain articles, journals, small publications, brochures, correspondence, neighborhood directories, flyers, newsletters, advertisements, neighborhood guides, pamphlets, proposals, reports, and newspapers concerning the history of Hyde Park and its surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the urban renewal movement.

Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Records

The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference was formed in 1949 to "to build and maintain a stable interracial community of high standards." The collection contains correspondence, memoranda, meeting agendas and minutes, budgets and fundraising material, by-laws, directories, reports; press releases, surveys, newsletters, brochures, clippings, photographs, an audio reel, maps, posters, flyers, pamphlets, booklets, and other documents representing the activities of the Conference. Materials date between 1895 and 2011, with the bulk of the material dating from 1949 to 2000. The records primarily document the administrative functions of the Conference and its program activities related to urban renewal.

Jones, Jenkin Lloyd. Papers

Jenkin Lloyd Jones, minister, social reformer. The Jenkin Lloyd Jones papers contain correspondence, diaries, lecture notes, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and photographs. Papers relate to All Souls Church and the Abraham Lincoln Centre. Other topics include the Unitarian Church, the Henry Ford Peace Expedition, the Western Unitarian Conference, the weekly publication Unity, the World's Parliament of Religion, Tower Hill Summer Camp in Wisconsin, and other aspects of Jones' ministry. Correspondents include William C. Gannett, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Francis W. Parker, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Booker T. Washington. Also contains papers of Edith Lackersteen Lloyd Jones, Jones's second wife; her daughter, Mary Lackersteen; and the Lackersteen family.

Lewis, Eva Overton and Julian Herman Lewis, MD, PhD Collection

Julian Herman Lewis (1891-1989) was a pathologist, educator, and author of The Biology of the Negro (1942), a groundbreaking investigation of contemporary scientific data and literature on African-American physiology and pathology that resisted and rebuked scientific notions of racial inferiority. His wife, Eva Overton Lewis (1893-1945), was the daughter of entrepreneur Anthony Overton and a graduate of the University of Chicago. The collection includes personal ephemera, correspondence, photographs and negatives, one DVD, newspapers, textiles, and memorabilia. Materials date between circa 1887 and 2015, with the bulk of the material dating between the 1890s and the 1940s. The collection is primarily a family collection, documenting the personal lives of Eva Overton Lewis, Julian Herman Lewis, their parents, and their children. It is a record of middle and upper-class African-American life in Chicago and Cairo, Illinois in the first half of the 20th century.

Lewis, Fielding. Papers

Fielding Lewis, plantation owner. Papers contain business records, legal documents, tax receipts and other records that document the management of an ante-bellum plantation on the James River. The collection also includes receipts for purchase of slaves as well as daily expenses.

Merriam, Charles E. Papers

Charles E. Merriam, professor of Political Science and politician. Candidate for mayor of Chicago, 1911 and 1919. Founder, Social Science Research Council, 1924. Contains personal and professional correspondence; manuscripts; class notes Merriam took as a student; memoranda; election campaign material; minutes; reports; scholarly and political speeches; articles; diaries; book reviews; degrees; and scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, photographs, and memorabilia. Materials record Merriam's influence as academic and politician and his vision of national policy-making and social reform, the first fifty years of the University of Chicago, and early twentieth-century Chicago politics.

Merriam, Robert E. Papers

Robert E. Merriam (1918-1988), historian and politician. Papers include personal and professional correspondence, notes, manuscripts, and offprints of published and unpublished historical and political writings, and speech transcripts. The papers span Merriam's career and document his World War II combat experience, his Chicago political career and federal government service, as well as his connections with the national political and Illinois business community. Because of his reform-minded approach to Chicago city government and his nine-year chairmanship of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Merriam's papers constitute an important source of information on both Chicago politics leading up to the Daley regime and the changes in federalism during the 1970s.

Michigan Governor's Committee to Investigate the Detroit Race Riot. Records

The Detroit riot of June 21 and 22, 1943 was one of the most violent racial upheavals to occur in the United States. The clash between white and African American residents, the worst since the Chicago riots of 1919, was finally quelled with the help of federal troops, but left 34 dead and 670 injured. Consists of a report prepared by a committee directed by Michigan governor, Harry F. Kelly, to investigate the riot that took place in Detroit on June 21, 1943. Committee members included Herbert J. Rushton, William E. Dowling, Oscar Olander, and John H. Witherspoon.

Native American Educational Services. Tax, Sol. Papers

Sol Tax (1907-1996) was a prominent cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago who was instrumental to the foundation of the Native American Educational Services (NAES) as an offshoot of his work with Native Americans in Chicago and throughout the Americas. This collection consists of 24 linear feet of materials related to Tax's research on American Indians, especially those in and around Chicago, as well as his work with various social issues including race and poverty. The bulk of this collection is made up of publications and papers collected for research, as well as newsletters and newspapers written by or about American Indians. The rest of the collection contains correspondence and administrative materials from organizations with which Dr. Tax was involved.

O'Hara, James E. Papers

James E. O'Hara (1844-1905), Lawyer and Republican Congressman, 1883-1887. Contains letters from family and constituents, photographs, a biographical sketch (1970) written by O'Hara's granddaughter, Vera Jean O'Hara Rivers, and memorabilia.

Park, Robert Ezra. Collection

Robert Ezra Park (1864-1944), sociologist. Includes personal and professional correspondence, manuscripts, notes, articles, course material, speeches, interviews, life histories, notebooks, diaries, bibliographies, outlines, student papers, newspaper clippings, offprints and typescripts, and scrapbooks. Contains information relating to the Tuskegee Institute, Congo Reform Association, Pacific Coast Survey, African-Americans and race relations, Asian Americans, and social psycology. The collection also contains material collected by Winifred Raushenbush for a biography of Park.

Pickering, George. Papers

George W. Pickering (1938 – May 11, 2002) was a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy, teaching social ethics, Christian social thought, American Religion and theories and issues of justice, religion, and science. His research and teaching focused on questions of ethics and civil rights in American society. Along with Alan B. Anderson, he co-authored Confronting the Color Line: The Broken Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, which received the Myers Award from the University of Arkansas’ Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights. At the time of his death, he was working on an intellectual biography of James Luther Adams, a Unitarian Universalist theologian. This collection contains essays and notes from Pickering’s undergraduate and graduate studies; journal entries; lecture notes and syllabi from his teaching career; materials and manuscripts from his major published and unpublished book projects; published articles and essay drafts; handwritten and typescript research notes; speeches and sermons; annotated essays and articles by other academics used in Pickering’s research; and photographs.

Pitcher, W. Alvin. Papers

W. Alvin Pitcher (1913-1996), professor, minister, community and social justice activist. The Pitcher Papers include manuscripts, correspondence, press clippings, and extensive records from numerous political and civic organizations. The papers document Pitcher's scholarly career at Denison University and the University of Chicago, his ministerial work, and his participation in the civil rights movement and in various community organizations.

Reid, Margaret G. Papers

Margaret Gilpin Reid (1896-1991) was a Professor of Home Economics and Economics at the University of Chicago between 1951 and 1961. Reid was one of the first economists to theorize the economic contributions of non-market activities such as housework. Her work during the 1930s, which argued the household was a site of production as well as consumption, has been cited as an important forerunner to the "New Home Economics" of the 1960s. This collection contains Reid's research data and drafts of her books and papers. It also contains cards, clippings, professional and personal correspondence, and writings by other scholars. Material spans 1904-1990, concentrated in the 1930s through the early 1980s.

Rosenwald, Julius. Papers

Julius Rosenwald, businessman and philanthropist. The papers of Julius Rosenwald contain correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and a 1963 Rosenwald family tree. The collection documents Rosenwald's deep sense of social responsibility and commitment to philanthropic and civic endeavors, in particular his support of rural schools for African Americans, higher education, Jewish charities, and medical care. The collection also includes reports and minutes of the Julius Rosenwald Fund (1928-1933) and sixteen scrapbooks containing correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia that reflect Rosenwald's progressive reform activities, including support for the Tuskegee Institute, Howard University, World War I relief efforts in Illinois, and early development of the NAACP.

Slavery in North America Collection

The collection is comprised of various documents and letters from many sources which document slavery and the treatment of enslaved persons in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century, primarily in the United States. Documents include several bills of sale, a memorandum describing the slave trade in Havana (1783), estate inventories, public notices, letters, deeds, a will, and an indemnity bond. A few of the documents are facsimiles. Although acquired by the University Library from diverse sources they have been gathered into a collection as a matter of convenience.

Spike, Robert W. Papers

The Reverend Doctor Robert Warren Spike (1923-1966) was a minister, theologian, and activist who served as the first Executive Director of the Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council of Churches and Professor of Ministry and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. A leader in mobilizing church involvement in the civil rights movement, Spike was murdered less than a year after assuming his post in Chicago.

Starr, Frederick. Liberian Research Collection

Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, Frederick Starr, maintained these research materials for his book, Liberia: Description, History, Problems.

Starr, Frederick. Papers

Frederick Starr (1858-1933) Assistant professor of anthropology, University of Chicago, 1892-95; associate professor, 1895-1923. Curator of the anthropological section, Walker Museum, University of Chicago, 1895-1923 Contains professional and personal correspondence; research material; field notebooks; diaries; class lecture notes; memorabilia; photographs; bibliographies; and scrapbooks. Correspondents include Frank Boas, W.E.B. Du Bois, Federico Gamboa, William Rainey Harper, John Haynes Holmes, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Julius Rosenwald, and Albion Small. Topics relate to Starr's interests and involvement in the former Belgian Congo, Liberia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Mexico, Central America, and the World's Columbian Exposition.

Steiner, John. Collection

John Steiner, jazz collector, record producer, chemist. The John Steiner Collection contains sheet music, articles, photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, interviews, ephemera, and publications. The collection spans 140 years and documents Chicago jazz and blues, musicians, clubs, printed music, recording companies, and recording technology.

Tax, Sol. Papers

Sol Tax (1907-1995), Anthropologist. Papers include personal and professional correspondence, ethnographic field notes, published and unpublished articles, papers, and manuscripts, lecture notes and transcripts, student papers, audiotapes, photographs, and memorabilia. Documentation begins with Tax's youth in Milwaukee, continuing through his student years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and at the University of Chicago, his field research and writing on Middle American and North American Indians (1932-), teaching and administrative roles at the University of Chicago (1940-), and a wide range of professional activities.

University of Chicago. Committee on Education, Training, and Research in Race Relations. Records

The University of Chicago Committee on Education, Training, and Research in Race Relations Records cover the period 1944 to 1962 and also include the records of two cooperative organizations: American Council on Race Relations; and National Organization of Intergroup Relations Officials. The collection contains correspondence, financial and personnel records, published materials, research project and proposal data, reports and studies, seminar files and committee papers, student recommendations, minutes, charters and by-laws, photographs, and newsletters. It also includes files relating to the Parent Teacher Association, the Sigmund Livingston Fellowship, the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, and the Chicago Community Inventory.

Vogel, Virgil J. Collection

Virgil J. Vogel (1918-1994) was an historian, political organizer, activist, educator and University of Chicago alumnus. The Virgil J. Vogel Collection spans 1903-1980 and represents the political activities of Vogel and his associate, the Socialist Party organizer Benjamin Williger. Included are records of a wide variety of leftist political organizations, particularly the the Socialist Party and the Young People's Socialist League; materials on political activity at the University of Chicago; leftist periodicals; and subject files on political and social topics. The collection also contains personal papers of Virgil Vogel.

Walden, John Morgan. Papers

John Morgan Walden, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church and editor of the Quindaro Chindowan (Kansas Territory). Contains correspondence, a diary, manuscripts, sermons, clippings, speeches, articles, and biographical material. Some material relates to Walden's experiences as a newspaperman in the Kansas Territory and his involvement with the Methodist Episcopal Church, its polity, missions, and attempts at federation.

Wells, Ida B. Papers

Ida B. Wells, (1862-1931) teacher, journalist and anti-lynching activist. Paper contain correspondence, manuscript of Crusade for Justice: the Autobiography of Ida B. Wells, diaries, copies of articles and speeches by Wells, articles and accounts about Wells, newspapers clippings, and photographs. Also contains Alfreda M. Duster's (Wells' daughter) working copies of the autobiography which Duster edited. Correspondents include Frederick Douglass and Albion Tourgee. Includes photocopies of correspondence of Wells' husband Ferdinand Barnett and a scrapbook of newspapers articles written by him.

Willis, Alfred. Collection of African-American Popular Fiction

A collection of over 1300 paperback volumes of African-American popular fiction, chiefly romance novels. The collection was formed by Alfred Willis, a 1986 graduate of the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago.

Wirth, Louis. Papers

Sociologist. The collection contains correspondence, reports, minutes, manuscripts, lecture notes, reprints, manuscripts by others, reprints, reviews, and newspaper clippings. Includes a 1918 term paper on social pathology Wirth wrote as a student for Ernest Burgess. Correspondents include Horace Clayton, Karl Mannheim, Charles Merriam, Gunnar Myrdal, Melchior Palyi, Robert Park, Robert Redfield, Hans Speier, Leopold von Wiese, and others. Contains outline and manuscript chapters of incomplete work, The City. Also includes teaching materials, committee records, and administrative files from the Division of Social Sciences and Department of Sociology while Wirth was at the University of Chicago. Organizations highlighted include the American Sociological Society, the International Sociological Association, the Social Science Research Council, and the Chicago Crime Commission. Topics covered relate to city planning, urban problems, racial discrimination, housing, and education.

Yoffee, William M. Collection

The William M. Yoffee Collection consists of print publications, audio and video recordings, and figurines, most of which are directly related to black culture in the United States and United Kingdom. Many of these items, including children’s books, comics, and figurines, reflect racist stereotypes perpetuated against black people in these countries throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Other parts of the collection reflect the achievements of African-American cultural production, including musical records, narrative storytelling in audio format, and print publications.