Helen Zatterberg Collection

Dates: circa late 1800s-2002
Size: 2 linear feet in 2 boxes and 5 oversize folders, including 121 photographs
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Sulzer Regional Library, Northside Neighborhood History Collection, 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625
Collection number: nnhc.00009
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Helen Zatterberg and by Beth Stafford on behalf of Margaret H. Stafford.
Conditions governing use: Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Conditions governing access: Materials are open without restrictions.
Preferred citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Helen Zatterberg Collection, [Box #, Folder #] or [Oversize Folder #], Northside Neighborhood History Collection, Chicago Public Library
Finding aid author: Allyson Smally, 2022.

Abstract

Helen Zatterberg (1902-2002) worked for Chicago Public Library from 1921 until her retirement in 1967. She founded the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association in 1935 and spent many years at Hild Regional Library before becoming Regional Librarian of the North Side in 1957. This collection contains personal papers; professional papers, mostly awards and honors; and photographs.

Biographical/Historical

Helen Zatterberg was born on July 1, 1902 to Martin and Pauline Zatterberg. She graduated from Chicago’s Lake View High School in 1920 and began working for Chicago Public Library in 1921. She spent her early years with the library at branches such as Rogers Park and Lake View before joining Hild Regional Library when it opened in 1931. In 1935, after a suggestion from library commissioner Carl Roden, Zatterberg founded the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association, and in the following years she played an important role in collecting and preserving local history. She became Branch Librarian at Hild in 1953. In 1955 she was promoted to Regional Librarian for the West Side, but she spent just two years in this position before returning to the North Side as Regional Librarian in 1957. Zatterberg retired from Chicago Public Library in 1967. After her retirement, she continued to live in Chicago and stayed involved with the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association. In 1995, the historical room at Sulzer Regional Library was named in her honor. Helen Zatterberg died in Chicago on September 12, 2002.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains awards and honors presented to Helen Zatterberg in recognition of her career at Chicago Public Library and work with the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association; a small amount of personal and family papers, including her memories of Lake View High School; clippings and obituaries; a few journal articles documenting Zatterberg’s work as a librarian; and a journal chronicling her local history reference and outreach efforts. It also contains photographs, including images of her early life and family and of celebrations held in her honor later in her life.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in 3 series:

Series 1: Personal and Family Papers, 1893-2002

Series 2: Professional Papers, 1933-2002

Series 3: Photographs, circa late 1800s-2002

Related Collections

Chicago Public Library Archives. Hild Regional Library Archives.

Subject headings

  • Public librarians
  • History—societies, etc – Illinois – Chicago
  • Ravenswood (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Lakeview (Chicago, Ill.)

Collection Inventory

Series 1: Personal and Family Papers, 1893-2002

Scope and Contents

This series contains a small amount of personal papers that document Helen Zatterberg’s family history, early years, and personal interests.

Arrangement

Alphabetically.

Box 1 Folder 1 Art by Helen Zatterberg undated
  Oversize Folder 1 Art by Helen Zatterberg 1983, undated
Box 1 Folder 2 Badges, Chicago Department of Public Works and Fire Department undated
Box 1 Folder 5 Business cards and calling card, Martin Zatterberg and Mrs. Martin Zatterberg undated
Box 1 Folder 3 Certificates for volunteer service; greeting card for birthday 1994-1998, undated
Box 1 Folder 4 Lake View High School memories for 1916-1920, handwritten circa 1990s
Box 1 Folder 5 Lake View High School scrapbook and yearbook pages 1920
Box 1 Folder 6 Marriage certificate, Martin Zatterberg and Pauline Wagener 1901
Box 1 Folder 7 Memorial booklet, Pauline C. Zatterberg 1942
Box 1 Folder 8 Memorial service program, in memoriam sign, obituaries, and press release for Helen Zatterberg’s death 2002 September
Box 1 Folder 9 World’s Columbian Exposition and Century of Progress souvenirs and ephemera 1893, 1933-1934

Series 2: Professional Papers, 1933-2002

Scope and Contents

This series contains awards and tributes given to Helen Zatterberg to celebrate her accomplishments with Chicago Public Library (CPL) and the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association (RLVHA). It also contains a few documents related to her work with CPL and RLVHA.

Arrangement

Alphabetically by document type and chronologically therein when necessary.

Box 1 Folder10 Articles: “Young Moderns,” from Chicago Public Library Staff News; “Young Moderns’ Alcove,” from Library Journal; and “Local History is Asset in Branch,” from Library Journal 1940, 1942, 1949
Box 1 Folder 11 Awards and honors – testimonial from Board of Directors and Library Administration on Helen Zatterberg’s retirement 1967
  Oversize Folder 3 Awards and honors – framed citation from Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association 1967
  Oversize Folder 4 Awards and honors – plaque, Conrad Sulzer Memorial Award 1982
  Oversize Folder 5 Awards and honors – resolution in honor of Helen Zatterberg from Chicago Public Library Board of Directors; framed with portrait of Helen Zatterberg and photograph of Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association officers 1937, 1949, 2002
Box 1 Folder 12 Awards and honors – 100th birthday celebration, program, invitation, clipping, publicity 2002 May-July
  Oversize Folder 2 Awards and honors – 100th birthday celebration, scrapbook with program, clipping, City of Chicago resolution, and letters acknowledging Helen Zatterberg’s 100th birthday. Includes letters from Alderman Mary Ann Smith, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Governor George Ryan, and President George W. Bush. 2002
Box 1 Folder 13 Awards and honors – “Miss Helen Zatterberg’s Century,” note and photographs 2002
Box 1 Folder 14 Booklet, “An Historical Sketch of Ravenswood and Lake View,” by Helen Zatterberg 1941
Box 1 Folder 15 Brochures, Chicago Public Library and local history 1985, 1995, undated
Box 1 Folder 16 Clippings and copies of photographs 1937, 1999, undated
Box 1 Folder 17 Commemorative library card and letter; sash with names of librarians 1974, undated
Box 1 Folder 18 Journal/diary chronicling local history reference and outreach 1933-1937
Box 1 Folder 19 Journal/diary chronicling local history reference and outreach [photocopies] 1933-1937
Box 1 Folder 20 Typescript on history of Ravenswood undated

Series 3: Photographs, circa late 1800s-2002

Scope and Contents

This series contains a small number of Helen Zatterberg’s family photographs, most of which are unlabeled and undated. It also includes photographs of various events held in Helen Zatterberg’s honor later in her life. There are also a few images of homes that appear to be from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. No addresses or dates were given for the images of homes.

Arrangement

Chronologically.

Box 2 Folder 1 Residences, including Spafford House, Parker House, Mayor Whittle House, J.H. Reese, Bowmanville Farm House, and unidentified circa late 1800s-early 1900s
Box 2 Folder 2 Family photographs – baby and man holding a baby circa early 1900s
Box 2 Folder 3 Family photographs, framed 1906, undated
Box 2 Folder 4 Family photographs – Helen Zatterberg at various ages, and others [1 of 2; removed from album] circa 1910s-1990s
Box 2 Folder 5 Family photographs – Helen Zatterberg at various ages, and others [2 of 2; removed from album] circa 1910s-1990s
Box 2 Folder 6 Portrait of Helen Zatterberg; photograph of two people sitting outside 1949, undated
Box 2 Folder 7 Portrait of Helen Zatterberg 1987
Box 2 Folder 8 Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association events, photographs and ephemera [removed from album] 1993-2002
Box 2 Folder 9 Historical room dedication program and photographs 1995 November
Box 2 Folder 10 Helen Zatterberg speaking at podium; events in Sulzer Library auditorium 1995, 1998
Box 2 Folder 11 Helen Zatterberg at her 97th birthday party 1999
Box 2 Folder 12 Lake View High School alumni group 2002
Box 2 Folder 13 Framed portrait photograph, unlabeled undated

 

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