Special Collections and Preservation Division
Neighborhood History Research Collection
Austin High School
2 linear ft., 17 photographs
Call number: Archives_AUHS
Austin High School has been the focal point of the Austin neighborhood's educational activities since the last quarter of the 19th century. Residents of Austin have always expressed pride in their high school.
Delos Buzzell was Austin High School's first principal from 1876 to 1879. During that time, the school occupied one room of the North School on Ohio Street. In the late 1870s, Austin High School's library consisted of some 700 books, which led to the hiring of the school's first librarian.
After Austin's annexation to the City of Chicago in 1889, Austin High School's student population began to grow dramatically. From 400 students in 1900, the school's population increased to 2,298 in 1920. A phenomenal 6,815 students were enrolled by 1931.
Austin High School, like the community it served, experienced a great deal of turmoil during the 1960s and 1970s. Racial tensions were brought to the surface by federally mandated desegregation attempts and demographic changes in Austin's population. In addition to reporting other activities and achievements associated with Austin High School, newspaper clippings in this collection document this critical time in Austin's history.
AUHS consists of an initial accession and one supplementary accession. Photographs are listed following the Box and Folder Inventory of non-photographic material.
Initial accession (Boxes 1-2)
The initial accession is divided into 6 series. Each series is arranged alphabetically or chronologically depending upon the nature of the materials.
Series I: General Records, 1895-1950s
This series consists of bulletins, newspaper clippings, programs, and school correspondence, documenting Austin High School's activities and students over a period of some 55 years. The documents in this series are arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Series II: Historical Essays and Sketches, 1879-1931
This small series contains written histories of Austin High School, its teachers and students. A history of the high school's Parent-Teacher Association is also included. This collection, consisting primarily of original typescripts, is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Series III: Newspaper Clippings, 1900-1970s
Newspaper clippings from local newspapers provide invaluable insights to the activities and people associated with Austin High School. This clipping series is divided chronologically into three folders: 1900-1929, 1930-1949 and 1950-1970.
Series IV: Parent/Teacher Association, 1909-1969
Since the early part of the 20th century, the Austin PTA has been active in the affairs of Austin High School. The PTA's activities are chronicled by bulletins, fliers, newspaper clippings, and programs. The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Series V: Programs, 1916-1965
Numerous Austin High School activities are documented in this series, including class and commencement exercises, Austin High's Diamond Jubilee, field day, programs from recitals, and music announcements. The material is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Series VI: Publications, 1888-1959 (predominately
This series contains student newspapers and yearbooks. The materials are arranged alphabetically by title and chronologically within each publication run.
Supplement 1 (Boxes 3-4)
Supplement 1 include a number of class and other photographs documenting school activities. The materials also expand the original collection's programs, yearbooks, and newspaper clippings.
Materials in the Austin High School Records were collected over a period of 30 years by various Austin historical organizations. The records were kept at the Austin Branch of the Chicago Public Library until November 1984, when under the auspices of a Dr. Scholl Foundation Grant, the Special Collections and Preservation Division processed the papers according to archival standards. They are housed in Special Collections in conservationally-sound storage.
Additions (Supplement 1) to the Austin High School Collection (AUHS)
were originally part of the collections of the West Side Historical
Society, an organization that was started in 1930 at the Legler Branch
of the Chicago Public Library to promote and collect the history of
Chicago's West Side. Upon the dissolution of the historical society
in the late 1950s, its records and materials remained at the Legler
Branch where they suffered from poor bibliographic control, inadequate
storage facilities and unsupervised use. To ensure the historical integrity
of the remaining materials, a 1976 arrangement gave the University of
Illinois at Chicago temporary custody of the collection. Under the arrangement,
the materials were transferred to the Chicago Public Library’s
Special Collections Division and Preservation Division 10 years later,
where they were divided up by community area, processed under the auspices
of the 1986 Dr. Scholl Foundation Grant, and placed in the Neighborhood
History Research Collections.
AUHS is available to the public for research in the Special Collections
and Preservation Division Reading Room on the 9th floor of the Chicago
Public Library's Harold Washington Library Center, 400 South State Street,
Chicago, Illinois, 60605. The collection does not circulate, although
photocopy and photoreproduction services are available depending upon
the condition of the original materials. First time patrons to Special
Collections must present photo identification and complete a Reader
Registration Form. Telephone inquiries on this collection and other
Special Collections holdings can be directed to 312-747-4875.
Duplicate materials and selected photocopies from AUHS have been returned to the Austin Branch Library's historical collection.
Series I: General Records
1. Bulletins and postings, 1950
2. Class song (typescript), 1916
3. Dean of Girls, Elva Weston Deaton: Newspaper clipping, n.d.
4. Ephemera: Daily program card, n.d.; school letters, n.d.
5. Football Team: Newspaper clipping, 1895
6. Graduating students: Newspaper clipping, 1916
7. Poem: "Golden Jubilee" (typescript), by Mrs. Stanley E. Young, 1965
Series II: Historical Essays and Sketches
8. Austin High School (typescript), 1931
9. Austin High School PTA History (typescript), 1906-1915
10. Community Background: Austin High School, 1950
11. Chronology: Principals and Assistant Principals, former students and faculty, (typescript), 1879-1965
Series III: Newspaper clippings
12. Newspaper clippings, 1900-1929
13. Newspaper clippings, 1930-1949
14. Newspaper clippings, 1950-1970s
Series IV: Parent-Teacher Association
15. Bulletins and fliers, 1950s
16. Newspaper clippings, 1911-1956
17. Program announcements, 1909, 1955, 1956
18. Program yearbooks, 1954-1957, 1964-1969
Series V: Programs
19. Class Night Exercises, 1916-1924
20. Commencement Exercises, 1917-1924
21. Diamond Jubilee, 1965: List of former students; program script.
22. Field Day, 1916, 1917
23. General announcements, 1913-1925
24. Recitals and music announcements, 1916-1934; 1954
Series VI: Publications
Austin Times (bimonthly)
25. vol. LXVII, nos. 4-5, 8, 1955
26. vol. LXVIII, nos. 1-2, 1956
27. vol. LXXIV, no. 8, 1959
Maroon and White (monthly)
28. vol. X, nos. 1-2, 1915
29. vol. XI, nos. 2-4, 1915
30. vol. XII, nos. 1, 3, 1916
31. vol. XIII, nos. 1, 3-4, 1916
32. vol. XIV, no. 2, 1917
33. vol. XVI, nos. 3-4, 1918
34. vol. XVIII, no. 4, 1919
35. vol. XX, 3-4, 1920
36. February, September-December, 1920
37. vol. XV (volume change), nos. 6-9, 1921
1. vol. XVI, nos. 1-4, 1921
2. April, June, 1922
3. vol. III (new format), no. 7, November 1923
The Pigmy Boomerang
4. vol. II, no. 5, 1888 Yearbooks
Series I: General Records
1. Class list: Identification of students in an 1890 class
2. Newspaper clippings, 1931-1953
3. Programs: Commencement, 1883, 1890, 1938, 1944, 1945
Series VI: Publications
The High School Voice (newspaper)
4. March 1898. Maroon and White
5. April, June, 1919
6. 1920 Jan.
7. 1921 Jan.
8. June 1921 [See also below, 4:9.]
10. December 1922
11. [...], 1922
12. June 1923
13. June 1924
1. January 1925
2. June 1925
3. 1926 Jan.
4. 1938 June
5. 1944 June
6. 1945 June
Series IV: Parent-Teacher Association
7. Handbook; 1938-39
8. Reunion of graduates; 1954
9. Maroon and White (semi-annual): 1921½ Jan. (vol. 16, no. 5)
Photographs with accession numbers 1.1-1.9 form the original accession.
They were collected by various Austin Historical organizations and
were housed at the Austin Branch of the Chicago Public Library.
Photos with accession numbers 2.1-2.8 were received as part of the West Side Historical Society transfer and comprise the photographic materials in AUHS
Supplement 1. Series: Schools
2.6 Austin High School, exterior, 1890s
2.3 Austin High School cadets at camp, Antioch, IL, 1890
2.4 Austin High School cadets, mess and cook tents, Antioch, IL, 1890
1.8 Baseball Team, 1894 (oversize)
2.8 Baseball Team, 1890s
2.5 Fred Bowes, Captain of the Austin High School Cadets
1.4 Calesthenics class, ca. 1920s
1.5 Class, ca. 1890
2.1 Class, 1881
2.2 Class, 1890 (2 copies)
2.7 Class, 1890s
1.6 Field Day, n.d. (oversize)
1.7 Rugby Team, 1894 (oversize)
1.9 Rugby Team, 1896 (oversize)
1.3 Staff of Austin High School, July 5, 1928