Category Archives: Special Collections

Washingtonian Health Care Foundation Records Now Open

In 1863 the Washingtonian Home for the Cure of Inebriates opened at 547 State Street, Chicago, Illinois. On January 14, 1864 the Washingtonian Home Association was organized and its first constitution adopted.

In January of 1865 the Washingtonian Home issued an annual report stating that during its first year twenty-three men were residents of the home, including two clergymen, a cabinetmaker, an editor, two lawyers, and a surgeon. In response to the need for larger facilities the home relocated to  West Madison Street in 1865. Renovations completed in 1875 enabled the home to serve 100 male patients at a time.

In the late 1800s the association bought 10 acres of land at Irving Park and Western. In 1882 the association established at that location the Martha Washington Home for Women. For the next 100 years the institution, which evolved into the Martha Washington Hospital, continued to serve the Lakeview, Ravenswood, and other Chicago neighborhoods. The hospital continued in operation until 1992.

Since then the Washingtonian Health Care Foundation assembled and organized the historical archive, including minutes from the Board of Trustees and other meetings of the Washingtonian Home of Chicago, the Martha Washington Hospital, the Washington Health Care Corporation, and MarTech Enterprises, Inc., 1934-1990. The presentation of the archive to the UIC Library was made by Lewis F. Matuszewich, Chair, and Vicent Saverino, Secretary of the Board of the Washingtonian Health Care Foundation.

The records are available for use in the reading room of the Special Collections and University Archives Department at the Richard J. Daley Library. Finding aid is available at

Special Collections upgrades begin March 3, 2014

During the week of March 3 – 8, 2014, certain areas of the Daley Library Special Collections stacks will be inaccessible.  Staff will be unable to page some materials and strongly recommend that researchers make an appointment at least two weeks in advance.

Phone Special Collections (312-996-2742) for the latest news and to schedule your visit.

There are several facilities projects taking place in the Daley Library beginning March 3, 2014 and continuing through the fall 2014 semester.  These include installation of a fire protection (sprinkler) system throughout the building, upgrade of the fire alarm system, and renovation of the northeast section of the first floor (Reserve Reading Room) for the Circle Reading Room.  Information about changes in hours, services, and access to collections will be posted on the Library website.

Special Collections at the Daley Library Holiday Hours 2013

The Special Collections and University Archives Department at the Richard J. Daley Library announces the following adjustments to our regularly scheduled public hours:

  • Closed Thursday, November 28-Sunday, December 1.
  • Suspension of Saturday hours effective December 14. Saturday hours will resume January 18, 2014.
  • Closed December 21-January 1, 2014.

Please call 312-996-2742 for questions or to schedule an appointment.

Shine a Light on Me: Researchers in Special Collections

In honor of Archives Month this October welcome to our first installment of “Shine a Light on Me: Research in Special Collections.” In this space, we will feature a researcher who has used our Special Collections at the University of Illinois at Chicago libraries. Would you like to be featured next?  If so, email Gretchen Neidhardt.

For our last Archives Month post this year, we’re interviewing Andrew Baer, from Northwestern University. Continue reading

Meet Your Staff! An Interview with Dan Harper, Research Assistant

In addition to interviewing patrons about their research, we also want to let you know all about our fabulous employees in Special Collections! If you’d like to know more about anything in these posts or have other questions you would like to have answered, email Gretchen! This week we interview Dan Harper, who has held many different positions in the department. Continue reading

Celebrate Illinois Archives Month and Women’s Suffrage!

Sheet Music Collection, Box 9

Sheet Music Collection, Box 9


Did you know that Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi to grant women the right to vote in 1913? Archives Month in Illinois is celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage! Here we want to showcase some items from UIC’s Special Collections that showcase this struggle.






Sheet Music Collection, Box 9



This first piece is the song “They’ll Have to Give the Girls a Vote” from our Sheet Music Collection. This collection consists of over 10,000 pieces of sheet music that the library has amassed over the years. Right now we are in the process of digitizing these so that they can be contributed to the Sheet Music Consortium, hosted by UCLA. This piece is from 1911 and demanding the vote for women.  The whole song can be found on the CARLI website, which houses digital materials from many universities in Illinois.


"Some of the Reasons Against Suffrage" cover, Francis Parkman

Women’s Suffrage Collection, Box 1, Folder





This second item is from our Women’s Suffrage Collection, which highlights some key moments in the struggle for votes.  This pamphlet actually argues against votes for women – here you can see both the front cover and the contents.

"Some of the Reasons Against Suffrage" contents, Francis Parkman





Other related collections at UIC Special Collections include our extensive records for different branches of the League of Women Voters, including Illinois, Cook County, Chicago and Oak Park.  The national League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago on February 14, 1920, immediately after the ratification of the 19th Amendment.  Another suffrage collection is the Lucy Tilden Stewart Suffrage Collection.  You can view these and many more manuscript collections on our website.  Searching for suffrage in the keyword search box brings up over 20 collections!  Some of these are about other suffrage issues – such as when the voting age was lowered to 18 instead of 21 by the 26th Amendment in 1971.


Make sure to check out some of the other events happening across the state for Illinois Archives Month!

Shine a Light on Me: Research in Special Collections

In honor of Archives Month this October welcome to our first installment of “Shine a Light on Me: Research in Special Collections.” In this space, we will feature a researcher who has used our Special Collections at the University of Illinois at Chicago libraries. Would you like to be featured next?  If so, email Gretchen Neidhardt

Our first researcher is Natalie Zelt, from the University of Texas at Austin. Continue reading

Finding Library materials online is easier

Find information in print and online in the UIC Library collection as well as the collections of our partner libraries, by using the new and improved “Books, Articles & More” tab on the Library’s home page.

Various products — known in the library world as “discovery tools” — are available to enable researchers to search online for books, journal articles, archival materials, newspaper articles, sound recordings, and videos.  Last spring, UIC faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates tested an array of options to determine which discovery tool was easiest to use and the most powerful in terms of returning the most and most useful citations; and their preference was for Summon, a one-stop search engine.

Effective fall semester 2013, Summon is the default search behind the tab “Books, Articles & More,” on the Library’s Web site.

There are now three search tabs on the Library home page:  “Books, Articles & More” (the search by Summon); “E-journals” (which limits results to e-journal titles accessible to UIC-affiliated users); and “WorldCat Local” (another discovery tool that will be discontinued after December 31. 2013 with the expiration of our license, although access to WorldCat always will be available).  The classic library catalog will remain an option.

For help finding materials, Ask a Librarian via chat, email, telephone, or in person.

UIC Library Welcomes Paul Lovejoy

Paul Lovejoy, York University will deliver a lecture on one of the first autobiographical texts narrated by an enslaved African, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. His talk will focus on the self-fashioning of Olaudah Equiano/ Gustavus Vassa (b. 1745) in the context of slavery, the triangular trade, and plantation America. The talk will be based on a rare archival document in the Sierra Leone Collection in the UIC Library, currently on display in the exhibit “Commerce in Human Souls: The Legacy of the Atlantic Slave Trade.”
The lecture will take place Monday, April 22 at 6 PM in the East Terrace of Student Center East, 750 South Halsted. A reception will precede the lecture in the Richard J. Daley Library, Special Collections and University Archives Dept., 801 South Morgan, 4:30-5:45 PM.
This is free and open to the public.