University of Chicago.

Alternative names
Active 1953
Active 1961

History notes:

Most of the records in the collection pertain to the $400,000 raised by the American Baptist Education Society in 1889-1890 in order to obtain a 600,000 grant from John D. Rockefeller for the creation of an endowment for the University of Chicago. The first volume in the inventory, Record of Pledges for the University of Chicago, contains an alphabetical numbered listing of subscribers, amounts pledged, and payments made through 1906. The subscription forms and letters (1:4-13) are numbered to correspond to this list, and also include outright gifts that were not recorded in the book. The second Volume (1:1) contains a listing similar to that in the Record of Pledges, but records payments only to 1891; the third volume (1:2) lists actual payments made on pledges, by date. Also contained in the Record of Pledges are lists of subscribers to later fund drives, including funds raised to match subsequent gifts by Rockefeller and Martin A. Ryerson, and for special purposes such as the Woman's Building and oratorical prizes.

From the description of University of Chicago subscriptions for contributions records 1889-1906 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 621073468

Formal planning for the seventy-fifth anniversary began in 1963 with the appointment of fifteen faculty members to the Committee on the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the University. The Committee organized a series of commemorative events that extended from January, 1966 to June, 1967 and included lectures and conferences, the publication of books, the mounting of special exhibits, and the groundbreaking or dedication of several major University buildings. The year of festivities culminated in the Seventy-fifth Anniversary Convocation held on May 5, 1967, at which twenty-six honorary degrees were awarded.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Seventy-fifth Anniversary. Records, 1960-1967, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

"Cityspace: The Past of Urban Renewal and the Future of Community Development" was a conference hosted by the University of Chicago on April 9 and 10, 2004. The conference was designed to "combine perspective of both scholars and community activists and practitioners to uncover new and exciting ways of tackling the persistent challenges of racial and economic integration, access to knowledge, affordable housing and community revitalization." The conference was organized under the direction of the University of Chicago Dean of the Humanities Division Danielle Allen and included lectures, panel discussions, and workshops. Featured speakers and participants included University of Chicago President Don Randel, alderman Toni Preckwinkle, former alderman Leon Despres, and sociologist Mary Pattillo.

From the description of University of Chicago, Cityspace : The Past of Urban Renewal and The Future of Community Development records 2004 (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 608278644

International House at the University of Chicago was constructed in 1932 at 1414 East 59th Street through the support of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. His hope was

From the guide to the University of Chicago. International House Council. Records, 1959-1984, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Held on April 9 and 10, 2004 at the University of Chicago, the Citypace: The Past of Urban Renewal and the Future of Community Development Conference was designed to encourage "a conversation about the aims of today's community development projects. The conference was organized under the direction of the University of Chicago Dean of the Humanities Division Danielle Allen included lectures, panel discussions, and workshops. Featured speakers and participants included University of Chicago President Don Randel, alderman Toni Preckwinkle, former alderman Leon Despres, and sociologist Mary Pattillo.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Cityspace: The Past of Urban Renewal and the Future of Community Development. Records, 2004, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

John Manfred Rise (1899-1970) was a student at the College University of Chicago from 1918 to 1920.

From the guide to the Rise, John Manfred. Papers, 1919-1921, (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

In 1902 the University of Chicago saw the need to construct a permanent central library. Plans for the new library were underway when the university’s first President, William Rainey Harper, passed away in 1906. To honor his service to the university, it was decided that the new library would be dedicated to his memory. Construction began in 1910 when the first cornerstone was laid. The building was completed in June of 1912, when the first dedication ceremony took place. Harper Memorial Library served as the main library for the university until the Regestein Library opened in September of 1970. At this time, Harper Library and Wiebolt Hall (originally constructed in 1928) were renovated to preserve their unique architecture and make them better able to meet the university’s growing needs. The rededication ceremony in 1973 marked the completion of these renovations and the transformation of the Harper Memorial Library from the university’s main library to the new College Center, designed to be the distinctive home for the undergraduate College.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Harper College Center Rededication Records, 1912-1973, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

The Alumni Foundation was established in 1941 by University of Chicago alumni dedicated to raising money for undergraduate education.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Alumni Foundation. Records, 1941-1965, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

The Recorder's Office Discipline Record Book consists of two volumes relating investigations of student misconduct and disciplinary action taken against students between 1908 and 1933.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Recorder's Office. Discipline Record Book, 1908-1933, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

The Burton-Judson Courts ("B-J") Residence Hall opened in 1931 and was named after the second and third Presidents of the University of Chicago, Harry Pratt Judson (1906-1923), and Ernest DeWitt Burton (1923-1925). From its initial concept, presented in 1924 by President Burton, the residential hall has had a core aim to create a community within the larger University. The neo-Gothic building south of the Midway is comprised of six houses: Dodd-Mead, Chamberlin, Vincent, Coulter, Linn-Mathews, and Salisbury.

Jonathan Fanton was Resident Master of Burton-Judson Courts from 1978 to 1982. Under Fanton's efforts, the Faculty Fellows program of the residence hall took form. Fanton invited faculty members to become involved in the social events of the residence hall, attend special dinners in their honor with small groups of students, and provide personalized mentorship to incoming freshman residents. Fanton also led the organization of a momentous fiftieth anniversary celebration of the residence hall in November 1981.

Harold and Marlene Richman led Burton-Judson Courts from 1982 to 1992 as Resident Masters. They inherited Fanton's burgeoning Faculty Fellows program and built its ongoing, yearly success. Under the Richmans, a wide variety of resident activities and quarterly events flourished, including Cabaret Nights, the B-J Olympics, and the B-J Players' yearly musical theater productions. The B-J newsletter, Courtside, was started in 1984 and sent to the Faculty Fellows, among others, to keep them informed of the many events occurring in their adoptive residence hall.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Burton-Judson Courts. Records, 1929-2007, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

One of the five original divisions of the University, the Extension was created, much like its British counterparts, "to bring as far as possible its [the University's] many advantages for culture and instruction to people who are prevented by circumstances from going to the University itself." President William Rainey Harper, veteran of the Chautauqua Movement and professor of Semitic languages, first defined the Extension's purposes and scope; under Harper's direction, adult education in the early University became a secular embodiment of his personal evangelical vision.

t the beginning the Extension Division was organized into six departments, each administered by a secretary who reported to the division's Director. Lecture-Study Department speakers went on tours throughout the Midwest to present evening and weekend courses. The Class-Study Department provided off-campus instruction in the city, offering courses similar to those available on campus; in the early years of the twentieth century, Class-Study began giving courses in subject areas requested by specific groups of people. Basic and remedial courses by mail came under the jurisdiction of Correspondence-Study. By 1897 the other three units-Examination, Library, and Training-had been absorbed by the first three; a department devoted to Bible study had been dropped even more quickly. Not until 1905, when the American Institute of Sacred Literature merged with the Extension, was Bible study restored.

In 1900 the Extension faculty lost its separate and statutory existence. The Board of University Extension assumed governing responsibility until 1916, when the Extension's administration and governance reverted to its Director.

Especially during the first quarter-century of its existence, the Extension served teachers and aspiring teachers. In 1898, aided by a grant from Mrs. Emmons Blaine, the University organized the downtown College of Teachers. Two years later it merged with the Class-Study Department under the name University College. University College was conceived as "an arrangement for selecting and conducting courses of study at a place and time convenient for those who cannot attend ordinary courses at the Quadrangles." By 1911 the Lecture-Study Department had also been incorporated into University College, and its circuit riding program was discontinued. The Correspondence-Study Department remained part of the Extension and in April 1924 was renamed the Home-Study Department.

Beginning in the 1920s, but particularly during the 1930s and 1940s, University College developed educational programs in cooperation with specific professional groups, among them the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Meat Packers. Other specialized courses included those for mechanical and electrical engineers as well as for members of the printing and lithographic industries. During this same period University College expanded its services by tailoring courses to the needs of businessmen, civic leaders, and government administrators. Innovative offerings in the liberal arts, particularly the Great Books series and the Basic Program in Liberal Education for Adults, proved to be extremely popular. Capitalizing on the success Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler had with the Great Books courses, the Basic Program was a four-year liberal arts training program designed around group discussions and lectures on classical and modern literature. Other programs, such as the Institute of Statistics and the Institute of Public Service, survived only briefly in wartime conditions.

By the 1960s, University Extension enrollment had declined precipitously from the two previous decades. After 1963-64 the Home-Study Department ceased to exist, and the Downtown Center closed in 1974. By 1982 the University Extension had become part of the Center for Continuing Education. Though Its programs and course offerings have been reduced from earlier years, this entity continues to offer adult educational services, most of them non-credit, in the following areas: liberal education, including the Basic Program; business and professional courses, particularly in publishing, communications, and marketing; and higher education, including faculty symposia and seminars.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. University Extension. Records, 1892-1979, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Primavera was a feminist literary magazine founded at the University of Chicago in 1975. It was conceived of by Janet Ruth Heller, Celia Josephson, and Deborah Gordon Fisher, and was proposed at the first meeting of the University of Chicago Feminist Organization. The intention was to give women an outlet for their creative work and also to counterbalance another campus publication, Wild Onions, which at the time published work mainly by men. The magazine had several unique attributes from its inception, particularly the invitation extended to all contributing authors and artists to sit on its editorial board, and the commitment to providing feedback for manuscripts that were not selected for publication. These practices could not be sustained for the life of the magazine, however, and by Issue 8 it was operating with a 6-person editorial board. In the mid-1980s the policy of returning all manuscripts with feedback was modified and authors given the option to request comments on their work.

Initially a student organization, the magazine received funding from the University, though that had to be supplemented by grants and loans to cover printing costs. In the 1980s Primavera began to have difficulty in continuing to secure University funding due to their women-only acceptance policy, though it remained affiliated with the University of Chicago until 1990. When the magazine went its own way, a nonprofit corporation was established (Moveable Type, Inc.), under whose auspices operations continued. It was around this time that Primavera began accepting submissions from men, though the focus remained on the lives and experiences of women.

Primavera came into being among many similar publications, among them Black Maria, Calyx, and Sing, Heavenly Muse! While these were all in some sense women's literary journals, they varied in focus. Primavera is notable for its lack of political content; very few essays were published, and the editorial focus was on the artistic merit of the pieces selected. The magazine was more concerned with reflecting the experiences of women than with encouraging activism or overt political messaging. The women reflected in its pages were often older than the demographic reflected by many feminist magazines, were more likely to come from the Midwest (or other areas besides the Northeast and West Coast, which were well represented in the mainstream feminist movement and its associated publications), and there was less of an emphasis on lesbian issues or experiences in Primavera than in some journals.

Issues for the feminist movement at large were also issues for Primavera. That Primavera was a Midwestern magazine placed it somewhat outside the (largely coastal) mainstream of the feminist movement. There was some initial difficulty in getting the magazine reviewed in Ms., which the editors may have felt had to do with the differing values, experiences, and needs of women in large coastal cities and women in the Midwest and south.

The magazine was the recipient of multiple Illinois Arts Council grants and literary awards, awards from Chicago Women in Publishing, and a Puffin Foundation grant used to translate poems by women from around the world. Notable authors who appeared in its pages include Louise Erdrich, 1997 Pulitzer Prize winner Lisel Mueller, Pamela Gemin, Michael Lee West, Diane Seuss, Lori Ostlund, and Chitra Divakaruni.

Members of Primavera's editorial board undertook other publishing-related work as well. In 1986 designer Lisa Grayson and editor Ruth Young worked on a side project preparing and publishing a booklet of early poems by Margaret Pearce Rummel, entitled The Other Side of the Hill. Grayson also work as a designer for other periodicals.

From the guide to the Primavera. Records, 1975-2006, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

After the initial money-raising effort for $400,000 to complement John D. Rockefeller's gift of $600,000 (which was to establish "a new institution of higher learning in the West" under the auspices of the American Baptist Education Society), public solicitation of funds played a very small part in building up the endowment of the young University of Chicago. Wealthy subscribers, headed by Mr. Rockefeller, provided the major share of necessary funds. Prior to 1924, the only fund-drive involving mass contributions from alumni and friends was the Harper Memorial Library Fund (begun 1908) when $250,000 was raised to complement the sum of $750,000 pledged by Mr. Rockefeller [see President's Papers 1889-1925.

In 1924 when the University announced a public campaign to double its endowment, many people including alumni were genuinely surprised that this University, which had by President Harper's wishes opened its doors in 1892 as if long established, should have pressing financial needs. The public assumed that the University was under the perpetual patronage of the Rockefellers and various wealthy Chicagoans. In fact, the University itself had not made any significant attempt to cultivate giving among its alumni--who were, after all, not yet strong in numbers. The 1924-26 Development Campaign was thus the first major public as well as private fund drive.

In 1941, with the experience of the 1924-26 campaign behind it, the University initiated another major development campaign to coincide with its Fiftieth Anniversary celebration. This too was a new departure since previous anniversary celebrations (or celebrations of "Founder's Day" as they were first called) had not been explicitly connected with development. As originally conceived, the Fiftieth Anniversary Committee on Development was a group of trustees appointed to oversee the Anniversary plans. It was, however, the Executive Committee of the Committee on Development under the direction of the Executive Chairman (a trustee) which provided the coordinating core for the 1941 events; the other members of this committee included the President of the University, the Executive Director the directors of the Alumni Foundation, the Anniversary Celebration, Foundations, Publicity, the Citizen's Committee, and various other administrative and staff personnel.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Development Campaigns and Anniversaries. Records, 1896-1941, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

The University of Chicago administers competitions that are sponsored both by the university itself and by outside groups or private endowments. The competitions represented in this collection are mostly privately-endowed prizes, awarded by the university to University of Chicago students. A brief account of some of the more notable prizes follows.

The Academy of American Poets Prize was established in 1955 by the academy for students at colleges and universities across the country. Participating schools can set certain standards for the competition, though no restrictions on poetic format/form are allowed. The prize is still in existence, but the University of Chicago no longer participates.

The Chicago Folklore Prize originally honored any contribution to folklore studies – essay, monograph, collection of material etc. It was established in 1904 by the American Folklore Society. The prize is still awarded, now for book-length works.

The David Blair McLaughlin Prize is an internal University of Chicago prize. It honors critical or scholarly essays in English prose in a range of subjects. The prize is named in memory of David Blair McLaughlin, 1895-1914, a University of Chicago student who died tragically in a diving accident. His parents established the prize in 1914; the first competition took place in 1916, and the award was $50.

Beginning in 1895, a handful of prizes were offered annually for essays in economics, adjudicated by a committee of professors from various universities including the University of Chicago. The prizes were sponsored by three Chicagoans and the competition was open to undergraduates and others throughout the country.

The Fiske Poetry Prize was established in 1920 by Horace Spencer Fiske, in memory of his father John Billings Fiske. Open to University of Chicago students, it was judged annually by the chair of the English Department, a prominent American poet, and an American literary critic. The prize is no longer offered.

The Florence James Adams Prize, first awarded in 1912, was for excellence in artistic reading, generally of poetry.

The Gellhorn Prize in Neurophysiology was established in 1963 by Ernest Gellhorn, a neurophysiologist at the University of Minnesota. It was administered by the University of Chicago's Physiology Department.

The Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize was established in 1949 in accordance with the 1946 will of Olga Menn. Four yearly prizes were offered originally, for short stories, novels, or plays, to University students between the ages of 20 and 26. The first prizes were awarded in 1950. By 1956 musical compositions were also accepted. Currently, one prized is awarded annually, for plays only.

Another early prize was offered by the New England Free Trade League, for an essay on the topic of trade protectionism. Prizes were offered at five colleges, and awarded in 1899.

The Political Institutions Prize began in 1918 as the Civil Government Prize, but was renamed in 1944. It was awarded annually to an undergraduate on the basis of an essay on a political topic. It appears that the award later became the Goettler Political Institutions Prize, and that it is no longer awarded.

The Ronald S. Crane prize in criticism was named for the founder of the Chicago School of Literary Criticism.

The Sergel Drama Prize is awarded by the University, but open to playwrights of any age, from anywhere in the world. The prize is awarded biennially. It was established in 1934 by the widow of Charles H. Sergel, a publisher and politician with a particular interest in drama. Awards are presented to plays of different specified sorts in different years. Winning plays are produced at the University. Judges of the competition have included Thornton Wilder and Frank O'Hara.

The Snowday Prize, named for Ronald H. Snowday, is also for criticism.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Awards and Prizes. Collection, 1898-1980, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

From 1917 to 1919, the University of Chicago was extensively involved in wartime activities. Throughout World War I, the University offered the United States government use of its laboratories and many members of the of the Board of Trustees and the faculty engaged in a variety of war work outside the University.

Prior to the United State's official declaration of war, a Reserve Officer Training Corp was established and the Committee on Plans and Organization of Military Resources was created to prepare the University for wartime. The Committee was active during the onset of World War I, but as the war progressed, more specialized committees were created to fulfill the needs of the University. In time, ten committees were formed: Intelligence; Military Training; Medical Work and Training; Quartermaster and Ordinance Service Training; Publicity; Relief and Social Work; Woman's War Aid; and Women Student Activities.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. World War I Ephemera. Collection, 1917-1922, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Jean Friedberg Block, a lifelong Hyde Park resident, was born in 1912. She received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1963 and was awarded the Alumni Association Public Service Citation in 1981. A founding member of the Hyde Park Historical Society, Block also served on the boards of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the Chicago Architecture Foundation and International House.

Block was a renowned expert on the architecture of the University and its surrounding neighborhood. Her 1978 book, Hyde Park Houses: An Informal History, 1856-1910, describes the neighborhood’s sociological and architectural transformation from bucolic suburb to urban neighborhood through photographs and text. Block next turned her attention to the aesthetics of the university itself. In 1983, the University of Chicago published her second book, Writing in The Uses of Gothic: Planning and Building the Campus of the University of Chicago 1892–1932. Block was a lead author and coordinator of The Uses of Gothic, a 1985 exhibit in the Special Collections Research Center. At the time of her death, Mrs. Block was writing a history of apartment houses and their effect on Chicago neighborhoods from 1910 to 1950.

Block died in 1988 at the age of 76. She was survived by two children and five grandchildren. The sunken viewing garden directly north of the Joseph Regenstein Library was named the Jean F. Block Memorial Garden after her death.

From the guide to the Block, Jean F. Papers, 1980’s, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

For the first years of the University of Chicago, there was considerable ambiguity as to its colors. In 1892, a committee of trustees recommended orange and grey as the university's colors, but only the color orange was officially adopted. However, this decision was far from final. Not only did the use of orange upset Syracuse University, it clashed with University of Chicago students' tradition of using gold as the university color. Complicating this was the use of many different shades of orange and gold in different combination at student events. At different points during the early 1890s, gold, yellow, Etruscan gold and orange were used as the colors of the University of Chicago.

Due to the ambiguity and controversy surrounding the color of the University of Chicago, two meetings were held to determine a new color for the University of Chicago. In the first meeting, scarlet was voted by a large margin as the university color, but in a smaller second meeting maroon was selected. Despite controversy over the choice of maroon and the meeting in which maroon was selected, Marion Talbot, chair of the council tasked with recommending the new color to the trustees, recommended the color maroon to the board of trustees and in 1894 maroon became the color of the University of Chicago.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. School Color History. Collection, 1894-1911, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

The University of Chicago band started in 1898 as the University of Chicago Military Band. It received the hearty support of President William Rainey Harper, himself a cornet player in the band. The first director was physics professor Glenn Moody Hobbs, and the band's first performance was in concert in Kent Hall on December 16, 1898. The band operated initially under the auspices of the athletics department, and members (all men) were paid a modest amount for their service. They performed in uniforms of maroon sweaters, white shirts with maroon ties, white wool pants, and, in inclement weather, overcoats and sailor caps.

In 1922 C. D. Greenleaf, university and band alumnus and president of the Conn musical instrument company, donated 100 instruments to the band. This donation included Big Bertha, the 8 ½-foot bass drum that became a sort of band mascot. Photocopies of articles and photographs of Big Bertha remain in the University's General Archival File.

In the late 1920s efforts picked up to make the band a year-round organization, offering concerts outside of football season. In 1935, administrative and financial oversight and support of the band was transferred from the athletic department to the music department. That same year, accomplished bandleader and music educator Harold Bachman was hired as director. As reflected in some of his correspondence, he was also a consultant to the Educational Music Bureau, a Chicago organization devoted to school music. Despite Bachman's leadership, advocacy, and reputation, the band occasionally had a difficult time justifying its musical bona fides (and therefore its existence) to the department. Bachman's tenure at the university ended in 1942 when he was called to active duty in WWII.

The history of the band is spotty from WWII onwards. After Bachman's departure, the band program largely died out, re-emerging from time to time as a pep band, performing in the stands at athletic events but not performing field shows. The concert band gave occasional performances as well, before the creation of the University Wind Ensemble.

Big Bertha was sold to a Texas oilman in 1955, who had her refurbished. She is now in the possession of the University of Texas Longhorn Band.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Band. Records, 1898-1969, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Indians of Central America--Languages
  • Cultural pluralism--Congresses
  • Educational fund raising--History--Sources
  • College students--History--20th century
  • Civil society--Congresses
  • Anthropology--Research--United States
  • Urban renewal--Congresses
  • Theater--Miscellanea
  • Educational fund raising
  • Intergroup relations--Congresses
  • Women college students
  • Indians of Central America--Social life and customs
  • Community development--Congresses
  • Football--College
  • Cosmic rays--Congresses
  • Universities and colleges--Finance
  • Universities and colleges
  • Concerts--Miscellanea
  • Physics--Study and teaching
  • Trust--Congresses
  • Congresses and conventions--History--Sources
  • Political participation--Congresses
  • Nuclear reactions
  • Indians of Mexico--Languages
  • Indians of Mexico--Social life and customs
  • Atomic bomb--History
  • Smithsonian Exchange


not available for this record


  • Physicists


  • United States (as recorded)
  • Chicago (Ill.) (as recorded)
  • United States--Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • Chicago (Ill.) (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • Chicago (Ill.) (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)