Historical Society of Woodlawn Records

Dates: 1937-circa 1965
Size: 1 linear foot
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: Archives_HSW
Provenance: In 1983, the Special Collections Division of the Chicago Public Library received a grant from the Scholl Foundation to continue the acquisition and the processing of the Division’s Neighborhood History Collection. Due in part to the HSW’s thirty year effort in collecting neighborhood history, and because of the unique character and fragile condition of some of the materials, the Special Collections Division transferred the HSW collection to its office during the summer of 1984.
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Historical Society of Woodlawn Records [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.

Historical Note

Founded in 1937 and active until the mid 1960s, the Historical Society of Woodlawn (HSW) and CPL librarians took as their mission, the preservation of Woodlawn’s historical record. Staffed by volunteer community members, the HSW actively accessioned, cataloged and preserved Woodlawn’s neighborhood history. Over the years, HSW members have written numerous historical essays concerning Woodlawn’s development. In addition to collecting neighborhood history, the HSW sponsored annual dinners each May, guest lecturers throughout the year and held membership in both the Illinois Historical Society and the Associated Clubs of Woodlawn. The HSW disbanded sometime around 1965.

Scope and Content

The Records of the HSW consist of financial records, minutes of meetings, membership rosters, printed materials and newsclippings. The predominant years represented in the collection extend from the early 1940s to the late 1950s.

Series Descriptions:

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1939 - 1966

This series consists of the HSW’s administrative records: correspondence, certificates, constitution and by-laws, financial records and minutes of meetings. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder subject title.

Series 2: Historical Essays and Sketches, 1920

This series contains a narrative history of Woodlawn’s early years written by long time Woodlawn resident John C. Spray in 1920: The Book of Woodlawn.

Series 3: News clippings, 1935 - 1946

This series of news clippings documents some of the HSW’s activities for the years between 1935 and 1946. The news clippings also provide biographical information about some HSW officers and members. Clippings are arranged chronologically.

Series 4: Printed Material, 1929 - 1961

This series contains poems, programs and meeting announcements, and song books. Material in this series is arranged alphabetically by folder subject title.

Non-manuscript materials

Photographs are listed at the end of the Container List.

Separation Record:

The following materials have been removed to the locations given.

Rubber stamp by Progress Stamps Works, Chicago, reading “Historical Society of Woodlawn.” Special Collections Artifacts
Fifty-eight lantern slides of Chicago parks and Civil War images Frank W. Smith Glass Plate Slide Collection, Supplement 8. (Slides #987-1044)
Twenty-four lantern slides, New Salem, Illinois, 1920s Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site Petersburg, IL 62675
Two lantern slides, Bryant Cottage, Bement, Illinois (Lincoln-Douglas debates) Bryant Cottage State Historic Site, Bement, IL 61813

Container List

Series 1: Administrative Records

Box 1 Folder 1 Certificates, forms and stationery, undated
Box 1 Folder 2 Constitution and by-laws, circa 1939
Box 1 Folder 3 Correspondence, 1945-1967
Box 1 Folder 4 Directories, 1940-1941; 1943-1944; 1946-1947; 1948-1949; 1950-1951
Box 1 Folder 5 Financial Records, bank statements and canceled checks, 1952-1953
Box 1 Folder 6 Financial records, treasurer’s reports, 1948-1957
Box 1 Folder 7 Meeting announcements, 1938-1964
Box 1 Folder 8-9 Meeting attendance lists, 1938-1944, 1944-1957
Box 1 Folder 10 Minutes of meetings, 1950-1966

Series 2: Historical Essays and Sketches

Box 1 Folder 11 The Book of Woodlawn, by John C. Spray, 1920. (see also: Woodlawn Community Collection/Biographical Data ‒ Spray, John C. and HSW/Printed Materials, song)

Series 3: News Clippings

Box 1 Folder 12 News clippings, 1935-1938
Box 1 Folder 13 News clippings, 1935-1944
Box 1 Folder 14 News clippings, February 17, 1946

Series 4: Printed Materials

Box 1 Folder 15 Instruction booklets, 1964-1964
Box 1 Folder 16 Poem, “Historical,” by Minnie Moreland Dow, undated
Box 1 Folder 17 Program, Presentation by Richard B. Truitt, May 14, 1961
Box 1 Folder 18 Programs, song books and meeting announcements, 1954-1959
Box 1 Folder 19 Song, “Woodlawn, Dear Old Woodlawn,” by John C. Spray: 1929. (see also: Woodlawn Community Collection/Biographical Data ‒ Spray, John C. and HSW/Historical Essays and Sketches ‒ The Book of Woodlawn)

Photographs

Clubs and Organizations

Photograph 1.1 Historical Society of Woodlawn, board members, 1938-1939, 1940
Photograph 1.2 Historical Society of Woodlawn, historical costumes meeting, 1940
Photograph 1.3 Historical Society of Woodlawn, meeting at Illinois Bell, undated
Photograph 1.4 Historical Society of Woodlawn, meeting at Illinois Bell, undated
Photograph 1.5 Historical Society of Woodlawn, meeting at Illinois Bell, undated
Photograph 1.6 Historical Society of Woodlawn, meeting at Illinois Bell, undated
Photograph 1.7 Historical Society of Woodlawn, meeting, 1944
Photograph 1.8 Historical Society of Woodlawn, meeting, 1944
Photograph 1.9 Historical Society of Woodlawn, meeting, 1944
Photograph 1.10 Historical Society of Woodlawn, meeting, 1944
84 Lantern slides
Print