• Identification41/1
  • Title
    • Guide to the Northwestern University Settlement Association General Administrative Records
    • Northwestern University Settlement Association Records General Administrative Records
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Date1892-1995
  • OriginationNorthwestern University Settlement (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Physical Description108.00
  • RepositoryNorthwestern University Archives Deering Library, Room 110 1970 Campus Dr. Evanston, IL, 60208-2300 URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives Email: archives@northwestern.edu Phone: 847-491-3354
  • AbstractThe Northwestern University Settlement Association was founded in 1891 in a poor, primarily immigrant neighborhood on the near northwest side of Chicago to improve conditions and to help its residents through its clubs and classes, social events, camping programs, and relief and emergency services. The Northwestern University Settlement Association General Administration Records document the daily activities of the organization and the personal lives of various individuals who were part of the Settlement. Most of the folders contain correspondence to and from Settlement staff. Many folders also contain reports, meeting minutes, and memos pertaining to the operation of the Settlement.

The Northwestern University Settlement Association was founded in 1891 by Northwestern University president Henry Wade Rogers, his wife, Emma Winner Rogers, and Charles Zeublin, a Northwestern alumnus, class of 1887. Zeublin had returned to Chicago after having spent time at the first university settlement, Toynbee Hall, in London. He and the Rogers wanted to forge a tie between the settlement they were planning to establish in Chicago and Northwestern University. From the beginning, however, the Settlement’s link with the University was based on the support and involvement of individuals variously connected with Northwestern rather than through a formal association with the University.

The founders selected a poor, primarily immigrant neighborhood on the near northwest side of Chicago for the site of the Settlement. At the time, the area’s residents were primarily Polish and Catholic, although other groups were represented, including Russian and Polish Jews, Germans, and Scandinavians. The neighborhood remained primarily Polish until the 1950s when it became home mainly to residents of Puerto Rican origin and ancestry.

In early 1892, Northwestern University Settlement rented a six-room apartment over a feed store at 143 West Division. Another rented space, “Evanston Hall,” at 225 West Division, served as a reading room and club meeting hall. These spaces were quickly outgrown and the Settlement moved to 26 West Rice Street, and later to 252 West Chicago Avenue. In 1901 the Settlement moved into its own newly-constructed building on the northwest corner of Augusta Boulevard and Noble Street (1400 West Augusta), a building it still occupies. A playground was built on the roof of the building in 1911, and in the 1950s, the Settlement built its Allison Gymnasium on an adjoining lot. More recently a new “Evanston Hall” community center was added to the complex.

In accordance with the founding concept of the settlement movement, the Northwestern University Settlement was staffed by resident workers, most of whom volunteered their services. As many as twenty-two residents lived on the premises at one time, assisted by up to one hundred and fifty non-resident volunteer or paid workers. The number of residents declined after the Second World War, as residents who retired or left the Settlement were replaced by non-resident staff.

The Settlement is strongly identified with the personalities of two important, long-term Head Residents, Harriet E. Vittum and Michael Rachwalski. Harriet Vittum (1872-1953) joined the Settlement as a volunteer in 1904, became Head Resident in 1907, and served in this capacity until 1947. She was involved in many activities beyond the Settlement, including an unsuccessful bid for alderman in 1914, serving as chair of the Woman’s Campaign for Charles Evans Hughes in his 1916 Presidential race, forming the Roll Call of American Women (an isolationist group which later merged with America First) in 1940, and delivering numerous speeches promoting social service and political involvement.

Michael Rachwalski (1901-1987) grew up in the Settlement neighborhood, and participated in many of the Settlement’s activities. He returned from World War I military service to join the Settlement staff, serving as Director of the Men’s Department and then Assistant Head Resident. In 1943, Rachwalski married another resident, Helen Loth Blomgren (1900-1977). He succeeded Vitum as Head Resident in 1947 and held the post until his retirement in 1981. Rachwalski was the last Head Resident to reside at the Settlement. Executive Director Ron Mandershied succeeded Rachwalski in 1981.

To meet the needs of its constituency, the Settlement both undertook activities to improve the conditions of the neighborhood and worked to help residents through its clubs and classes, social events, camping programs, and relief and emergency services. The Settlement also has been affiliated with such social service agencies as the Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago and the Chicago and National Federations of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers.

Activities of the Settlement were organized into departments according to the group or function served, such as the Little Children’s Department, the Men’s Department and the Health Department. Staff taught classes in music, elocution, English, arts and crafts, domestic science, health and hygiene, dance, and athletics. A day nursery was established in 1897 to provide for neighborhood children with working mothers. The Settlement offered citizenship classes from its earliest years. It also offered programs subsidized by governmental agencies, such as the Works Progress Administration’s Emergency Education Program in the 1930s or the Model Cities’ Summer Youth Employment Program in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Settlement’s clubs served all ages and interest groups, and ranged from the Boy Scouts to the Teens’ Club, Fathers’ Club, and Golden Agers. The umbrella organization for the clubs was the Neighborhood Guild, organized in 1904, which included members from each Settlement club and department. In 1914 the Guild took over the publication of the Neighbor, a Settlement newsletter begun in 1899. The Settlement also served as a social center, furnishing game rooms, a library, meeting rooms and, for a short time, a bakery and coffee house, as well as sponsoring cultural and athletic events and hosting parties.

One of the longest-running programs offered by the Settlement has been its camping program. As early as 1897 the Settlement sponsored summer vacations for neighborhood children. By 1911, the Settlement Boy Scout troop had established a campsite outside the city, the House in the Wood, which was used by boys and girls until the 1920s. A second House in the Wood, located in a Cook County Forest Preserve, was replaced in 1952 when the Settlement acquired a large site on Lake Delavan in Wisconsin. Each summer groups of children and senior citizens attend this camp for a week or two at a time. Year-round programs have been offered since 1983 and in 1988 a conference center opened on the site.

Although the Settlement is not a charitable organization, its mission has always included furnishing emergency services to the residents in its neighborhood. During the Great Depression the Settlement provided both relief and employment assistance as well as vocational training workshops. The Settlement continues to distribute food baskets at Christmas, provide emergency supplies through its Food Pantry and used clothing repository, and offer emergency counseling and referrals to social service agencies. Settlement workers also made home visits, gave legal advice, and accompanied neighborhood residents to court.

The organizational structure of the Northwestern University Settlement Association has remained essentially the same over the years. The Board of Directors, originally called the Council, manages the Settlement’s funds and affairs, assisted by an advisory Executive Committee or Central Committee. These advisory boards include representatives from each of the auxiliary boards. The primary function of the auxiliary boards has been fund-raising. The oldest extant auxiliary board, the Evanston Woman’s Board, was formed in 1909. The North Shore Junior Board was organized in 1936 to help fund the camping activities at the House in the Wood.

Contributions from the Board of Directors and the auxiliary boards provided the largest source of funds for the Settlement until the 1980s when investment income became its financial mainstay. Even with the support of the boards, funding for the Settlement has always been an ongoing and time-consuming challenge. After 1934, the Settlement obtained between one-sixth and one-fourth of its funding from the Chicago Community Fund of the United Way. The Settlement continues to augment its funds with grants from local and federal governmental agencies.

In 1992, led by Executive Director Ron Manderschied and Board President Daniel Vittum, the Northwestern University Settlement Association (NUSA) celebrated its centennial anniversary of service to the West Town community. The Settlement continued to enhance the quality and scope of its operations. Through the fundraising activities of the various auxiliary boards, as well as grant funding, the Settlement was able to provide its West Town neighbors with new services and expansions to the Settlement building, including Evanston Hall and the Vittum Theater, which soon housed innovative arts programs.

A number of social services, such as the Northwestern Legal Aid Clinic, began operating through offices within the Settlement. West Town Tile, an entrepreneurial program, linked neighborhood women with jobs in the West Town Tile Center. NUSA embarked on a reduction of gang presence in the West Town/ Humboldt Park community by promoting a gang-free environment within the Settlement, and by working with the City of Chicago to transform the through street immediately outside the building into a cul-de-sac, which greatly reduced gang and drug activity.

The Settlement continually expanded its group activities and support services for all ages. Especially exciting for the Settlement was the Matadors Boxing Club, a sports club managed through the Settlement, which saw great success from 1990 to 1999. Two of the Matadors who trained through the Settlement went on to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia; one of them, Nate Jones, earned a bronze medal. Several other boxers also competed very successfully in national competitions, bringing national recognition to Coach Tom O’Shea and the Matadors Boxing Club.

Starting in 1998, government-funded Americorps employees began to join the Settlement staff to help strengthen programs and services. Also in 1998 the Settlement initiated plans for its own public charter school, the Noble Street Charter School. After approval from the Central Office of the Chicago Public Schools, Noble Street Charter School opened its doors in 1999.

For more information on the Northwestern University Settlement Association, see The Worn Doorstep, written by Mark Wukas (Chicago: Northwestern University Settlement Association, 1991) to mark the centennial of the Settlement. See also the Neighbor, filed with the University Archives serial publications collection.

  • Names
    • Community Fund of Chicago, inc.
    • National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers
    • Northwestern University Settlement (Chicago, Ill.)--Administration
    • Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago
    • Rachwalski, Michael M. (Michael Matthew), 1901-1987
    • Vittum, Harriet E. (Harriet Elizabeth), 1872-1953--Biography
  • Subject
    • Boys--Illinois--Chicago--Societies and clubs
    • Girls--Illinois--Chicago--Societies and clubs
    • Social service--Illinois--Chicago--Societies, etc.
    • Social settlements--Illinois--Chicago--Administration

The Northwestern University Settlement Association Records were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Executive Director Ron Manderschied and Doris Overboe on October 15, 1990 (Accession No. 90-160); February 1, 1991 (Accession No. 91-51); June 7, 1994 (Accession No. 94-70); January 1, 2003 (Accession No. 03-30).

Kaia L. Densch and Janet C. Olson, July 1996- July 1997.

Addition processed by Janet Olson and Chris Mitchell, August 1997.

Addition processed by Alison Kanosky, August 2006.

Several large, coherent categories of records were separated from the General Administrative Records, organized separately, and assigned their own series numbers.

Series 41/1: General Administrative Files, 1891-1995, 73 boxes

Series 41/2: Case Files, 1908-1976, 79 boxes

Series 41/3: Delinquent Boys Case Files, 1929-31, 1938-9, 5 boxes

Series 41/4: Financial Records, 1918-1971

Series 41/5:Clubs and Classes Attendance and Registration Cards, 1936-1953, 25 boxes

Series 41/6: Photographs, 1890-1991, 8 boxes

Series 41/7: Scrapbooks, 1892-1984, 20 boxes

Series 41/8: Evanston Woman's Board, 1911-1990, 7 boxes

Series 41/9: North Shore Junior Board, 1937-1992, 14 boxes

Series 41/10: Lenora E. Clark Diary, 1906-1910, 1 box

Series 41/11: Food Client Records, 1985-1986, 3 boxes

The Northwestern University Settlement Association General Administration Records fill seventy-three boxes and span the years 1892-1995, with the bulk of the materials between 1910 and 1985.

The basic organization of the records reflects their provenance; that is, they are arranged essentially in the same order as maintained by the Settlement. In several instances, however, records not originally part of the arrangement were inserted in appropriate locations within the filing scheme. These include the personal files of Harriet Vittum and Michael and Helen Rachwalski, as well as the histories and studies written about the Settlement.

The records document the daily activities of the organization as well as the personal lives of various individuals who were part of the Settlement. Most of the folders contain correspondence to and from Settlement staff. Many folders also contain reports, meeting minutes, and memos pertaining to the operation of the Settlement.

While most of the subject titles are self-explanatory, several categories warrant further description to make clear the content and context of the records.

Materials relating to the Annual Meetings of the Settlement Association Board of Directors span the years 1909 to 1985. The content varies yearly, but folders typically contain meeting invitations, pre- and post-meeting information, minutes or proceedings, reports from the auxiliary boards, and lists of member. The date of the Annual Meeting ranged between October and January.

The Annual / Quarterly / Monthly Reports of the Head Resident and Executive Director were written at intervals by the Head Resident (later called Executive Director) to report to the Board of Directors on the progress and needs of the Settlement. Reports from 1918 to 1985 are included in this series; these are detailed informative sources on the daily work of the Settlement and the roles that Settlement residents played in the community.

The Annual Reports (1934-1990) were intended to communicate the goals, successes and continued needs of the Settlement and usually concluded with a request for support. In general, these reports include information about the community served (demographics, number of clients served by Settlement programs and services) and the activities offered by the Settlement as well as brief statements from the presidents of the Board of Directors and the auxiliary boards and a financial statement.

Records of the Auxiliary Boards, which worked to raise money for the Settlement, date from 1925 to 1990. Members of the Auxiliary Boards were typically women from the northern and western suburbs of Chicago. The Boards raised funds through benefits, bazaars, and soliciting contributions from friends and neighbors. Included are records from nineteen auxiliary groups which supported the Settlement. Materials found here typically consist of rosters, correspondence, and material relating to the fund-raising efforts. (See also the records of the North Shore Junior Board [Series 41/9] and the Evanston Woman's Board [41/8]).

The Board of Directors / Central Committee / Executive Committee files usually include correspondence, rosters and monthly meeting information: i.e., agenda, attendance, minutes, and income and expense statements. Records are arranged chronologically within each folder. Meetings were attended by the officers of the Northwestern University Settlement Association and by members of the advisory board, which was variously called the Council, the Central Committee, or the Executive Committee, depending on the terms of the By-laws then in effect. For consistency, meetings between 1965 and 1991 have been labeled here “Board of Directors / Central Committee / Executive Committee Meetings.” Between 1915 and 1963, meetings are titled “Board of Directors Meetings.” Similar types of records can be found under the heading “Central Committee Meetings” (1933 to 1964), “Council Meetings” (1896-1922), “Executive Committee Meetings” (1911-1986) and “Executive Finance Committee Meetings” (1909-1939).

The Boys' Department files, spanning the years 1914 to 1977, include the reports of the Director and the records of various related programs and, in particular, the activities of the Settlement Boy Scout Troop 11. Boys' Department files also contain correspondence with the Boys Club Federation of America and records of events in which the Department participated, such as bicycle races and amateur athletic competitions.

Buildings and Structures files consist mainly of correspondence concerning repairs and improvements to the building at 1400 West Augusta, including the installation of the roof-top playground (1910-1912) and the construction of the adjacent Allison Gymnasium (1951-1953). Also included are architectural drawings for the Allison Gymnasium. See also the blueprints in the Camp (House in the Wood) files.

The records pertaining to the Settlement's camping program, Camp (House in the Wood), span the years 1908 to 1990. Records are arranged chronologically by date, and consist of correspondence concerning daily operations, announcements, forms for staff and campers, reports from counselors, and lists of campers. Separate files deal with such issues as insurance, staff and parent manuals, and applications for employment. Beginning in 1973, the Settlement participated in the Title IV-A Outdoor Education Camping Project, directed by the American Camping Association, which subsidized the fees of welfare recipients – both children and senior citizens – at resident summer camps. Records relating to the Camping Project consist of the forms required of the Settlement for participation in the program as well as forms required of the individual campers.

The Central Committee files, arranged chronologically by date, span the years 1933-1964 and typically contain meeting minutes and reports of the directors of the Settlement Association.

The Chicago Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records consist of meeting minutes, with some memoranda, correspondence, and reports from the organization, arranged chronologically and covering the years 1927 to 1983. See also files relating to the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers, 1929 to 1981, which consist of reports, studies, and newsletters issued by the National Federation (based in New York City). Harriet Vittum was one of the original directors of the National group, incorporated in 1929.

The Christmas Files span the years from 1936 to 1985 and consist of letters of thanks from the Settlement to contributors, thank-you letters from attendees of Settlement Christmas parties, lists of corporate and individual contributors, and lists of families in need of special assistance.

Beginning in 1934, the Northwestern University Settlement obtained a percentage of its funding from the Community Fund of Chicago, a clearing-house for philanthropic donations. Records relating to the Community Fund typically consist of correspondence, reports, memoranda, and manuals either directed specifically to the Settlement or sent to all participating social service agencies between 1934 and 1979. The Community Fund required exhaustive financial forms from the organizations it subsidized. The Annual Budget forms completed by the Northwestern University Settlement for the Community Fund span the years 1940 to 1978.

The Settlement's general Correspondence files cover the years 1909 to 1990. Between 1909 and 1969 correspondence is arranged chronologically. During the years 1970 to 1978, the Settlement organized its correspondence alphabetically: within annual groupings letters are filed by correspondent's surname. Both incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence are included. Related correspondence on a variety of topics may be found elsewhere in the series filed under topical headings; see especially the files of Helen Loth Blomgren Rachwalski, Michael Rachwalski, and Harriet Vittum.

The records of the Settlement's Day Nursery span the years 1953 to 1958 and consist of registration forms, medical forms, and doctors' permission slips for children to return to daycare after illnesses, and related items. The records are organized first by year and thereafter in alphabetical order according to children's surnames. Also found here are medical records for the Day Nursery staff, 1954-1957. Staff records are arranged alphabetically by surname within yearly groupings.

Classes, programs and some of the club activities which took place at the Settlement operated under the aegis of the various Departments that the Settlement had established. The records of these departments are filed alphabetically by the department name. Records span the years 1893 to 1957 and typically consist of monthly reports from the staff member heading the department, along with some program and attendance information. Departments included are: Boys', Children's, Domestic Science, Dramatics, Girls', Health Education, Health Education and Nutrition, Mens', Relief, Research and the Woman's / Women's Department.

The Financial Records of the Settlement include audits, financial statements, and general financial files. With a few gaps, audits conducted by the Settlement's accountants exist for the years 1922 to 1988. The financial statements, which cover the years between 1908 and 1990, are typically informal reports prepared for Board of Directors' meetings. These statements consist of income and expense reports, budget comparisons, estimates of future budgets, salary summaries, and, occasionally, reports of the Association Treasurer. The general financial files consist of memoranda and correspondence on financial matters between the Settlement and its accountants, federal and state government agencies, and other entities during the years 1922 to 1986, arranged chronologically. See also Series 41/4, the Northwestern University Settlement Association Financial Records, 1918-1971, which consists mostly of ledgers in which the day-to-day financial activities of the Settlement were recorded.

From the beginning, the Settlement devoted much time and effort to securing funding to augment the contributions of the Association members. Much of the effort was made by the Board of Directors and by the auxiliary boards. Fund Raising efforts included events held at the Settlement, benefits sponsored by the Association, and brochures and letters soliciting donations of funds. The Settlement's fund-raising activities, from lectures at the Settlement to days at the races, dinners, and theater and musical performances, are documented in files spanning the years 1893 to 1991. Administrative files contain correspondence relating to the behind-the-scenes organization of events and benefits. Individual benefits are filed alphabetically by the name of the benefit; these folders contain the correspondence, attendance lists, programs, and other paperwork relating to each occasion. Solicitations for funds include letters and brochures generated between 1893 and 1970.

See also the activities of individual auxiliary boards, especially the North Shore Junior Board's annual Antiques Show and the Winnetka Board's Fashion Shows.

The Settlement was the subject of many informal Histories and Studies, some written by Northwestern University students. They range from reports written by undergraduate sociology students to full-length master's theses and doctoral dissertations, and are arranged alphabetically by author's surname, or alphabetically by title when the author cannot be discerned. Also included are historical sketches, prepared by the Settlement, which were used for promotional purposes. The Settlement was the focus of one section of the 1917 Study of the Pre-Adolescent Girl conducted by the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers. Three folders contain general histories and studies of community organizations and the settlement movement.

The Memorial Fund files record donations to the Settlement on behalf of deceased Board members or other contributors to the Settlement during the years 1952 to 1985. For each donation, the Settlement sent a thank-you letter to the donor and a notification to the family of the deceased. The files are arranged chronologically by year; within each year, correspondence is filed alphabetically by the name of the person memorialized and then by the name of the donor.

Neighborhood Service Reports, spanning the years 1920 to 1966, record the ways in which the Settlement worked with clients outside the walls of the Settlement. The monthly reports list the number of cases reported to, accompanied to, or referred to other social service agencies or municipal authorities. Reports also show the number of home visits made and the number of interviews conducted. See also the Statistical Reports, 1913-1961, which give the numbers of participants in Settlement clubs and classes, as well as the number of neighborhood service calls. The Club and Class Attendance Records (Series 41/5) are another source for information on the level of participation in Settlement programs.

The Plays and Pageants files span the years 1924-1945 and consist of scripts for a variety of plays and skits performed by the Settlement staff and neighborhood community to mark patriotic and seasonal holidays. A few of the plays exist in several versions.

Rachwalski, Helen (Loth Blomgren), 1901-1977. Helen Loth Blomgren had been working at the Northwestern University Settlement for twenty years when she married Michael Rachwalski in 1943. Her correspondence files date from 1909 to 1966. They are arranged chronologically, and include letters from her first husband and from other suitors. The files also includes Loth family correspondence between 1865 and 1945.

Rachwalski, Michael (1900-1987). Since Rachwalski was associated with the Settlement from his youth, grew up in the neighborhood, and served as Head Resident for forty years, these files include both personal and Settlement materials. Records span the years 1919 to 1987 and include biographical materials, correspondence (including letters to and from Helen Rachwalski), awards and certificates.

The files pertaining to Helen and Michael Rachwalski date between 1943 and 1977 and include their appointment books, correspondence, and financial records.

Materials relating to the resident and non-resident Staff of the Settlement span the period 1917-1987 and are arranged chronologically. Employment applications, dating between 1920 and 1982, include application forms and correspondence of staff members employed as residents, non-resident workers, and camp counselors at the House in the Wood. Staff meeting minutes date from 1917 to 1985 and related memoranda cover the years 1977 to 1987.

Summer Programs files consists of schedules, announcements, and other materials detailing the activities offered at the Settlement during the summer months. The Summer Youth Employment Program files contain correspondence, memoranda, and employment forms pertaining to the young people hired by the Settlement as part of the Model Cities / Mayor's Youth Employment Program during the 1970s and 1980s.

Thank you / Rummage Donations. Between 1963 and 1981, many of the letters sent by the Settlement to donors of clothing, furniture, and other items, were filed separately from general correspondence. A portion of the materials donated were used by the Settlement itself, while some of the items were included in the frequent fund-raising Rummage Sales. Thank you letters are arranged chronologically by year and alphabetically by surname.

Vittum, Harriet (1872-1953). While the Settlement records do not include many of Vittum's personal papers, the series does document Vittum's years at the Settlement. Materials found here include biographical information, clippings (1911 to 1977), correspondence (1908 to 1949), and addresses, speeches and writings done on behalf of the Settlement and on other social and political issues. The annual, quarterly, and monthly reports of the Head Resident and many of the early fund-raising letters, also are expressive of Vittum's personality and view of the Settlement.

In addition, University Archives Series 41/6 and 41/7, Settlement scrapbooks and photographs, provide valuable information about Vittum's work. Of particular note are the scrapbooks documenting Vittum's involvement in the woman suffrage movement and in the campaign to elect Charles Evans Hughes (1916).

The Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago generated reports and statistics on welfare services and agencies in Chicago. The Settlement maintained chronological files of reports and memoranda issued by the Welfare Council. Files spanning the years 1950 to 1966 contain daily attendance records of Settlement classes kept by the Northwestern University Settlement and submitted to the Welfare Council

Description of the Addition, Boxes 74-76 (1947-1985)

This addition consists of correspondence files of the Head Resident/Executive Director, dating from 1947 to 1985, comprised primarily of copies of letters sent by Michael Rachwalski (Head Resident, 1947-1981) and Ron Manderschied (Executive Director, 1981- ). Many are “thank you” letters to donors for their contributions of goods and services to the Settlement; others are concerned with the daily operation of the Settlement. There are also a few letters received by Rachwalski and Manderschied, as well as occasional memos, reports, and other items.

The files have been maintained in their original order, with the correspondence arranged by year, and, within each year, in alphabetical order by surname or organizational name of the recipients.

For the bulk of Settlement correspondence, see the Chronological and Alphabetical Correspondence files (1909-1990), and the Rachwalski and Manderschied correspondence files, in Series 41/1.

Description of the Addition, Boxes 77-108 (1988-2000)

This addition to the Northwestern University Settlement Association General Administrative Records fills 31 boxes and spans the years 1988-2000, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1990 and 1999. Reflecting the original order of the records, the folders are arranged alphabetically by subject title, and records are arranged chronologically by date within the folders.

As in the original 76 boxes, many of the files relate to the work of the Board of Directors and to the various auxiliary boards; to the activities of the House in the Woods camp; and to the Settlement’s relations with funding agencies such as the United Way.

Folders related to the Board of Directors and their monthly meetings are filed by year under Board Meetings. These materials include minutes, agendas, reports, attendance, and correspondence, and records are arranged chronologically by month within each folder.

Folders titled by General Alphabet consist mostly of limited correspondence relating to donors, neighbors, or political figures. Folders titled with the name of an individual, company, or subject contain extensive correspondence, reports, notes and other materials relating to Settlement employees, board members, political figures, donors, and vendors.

Of particular interest in the addition are the records of the Noble Street Charter School, documenting the planning, organization and development of the Settlement’s public charter school. The school was granted funding and support from Chicago Public Schools and opened in 1999. Correspondence, minutes from planning meetings, construction plans and publicity materials are included in these folders. Records from administrative meetings regarding the school are organized by month under the title Noble Street Charter School Board Meeting. Additional planning information can be found in folders titled Board of Directors Meetings: 1998 and Ron Manderschied 1998.

Note: chronological runs of files are missing from this addition as follows: 1991--files A-L; 1992--files G-Z; 1998--files O-Z. No files exist for the year 1997.

The Northwestern University Settlement Association General Administration Records fill seventy-three boxes and span the years 1892-1995, with the bulk of the materials between 1910 and 1985.

The basic organization of the records reflects their provenance; that is, they are arranged essentially in the same order as maintained by the Settlement. In several instances, however, records not originally part of the arrangement were inserted in appropriate locations within the filing scheme. These include the personal files of Harriet Vittum and Michael and Helen Rachwalski, as well as the histories and studies written about the Settlement.

The records document the daily activities of the organization as well as the personal lives of various individuals who were part of the Settlement. Most of the folders contain correspondence to and from Settlement staff. Many folders also contain reports, meeting minutes, and memos pertaining to the operation of the Settlement.

While most of the subject titles are self-explanatory, several categories warrant further description to make clear the content and context of the records.

Materials relating to the Annual Meetings of the Settlement Association Board of Directors span the years 1909 to 1985. The content varies yearly, but folders typically contain meeting invitations, pre- and post-meeting information, minutes or proceedings, reports from the auxiliary boards, and lists of member. The date of the Annual Meeting ranged between October and January.

The Annual / Quarterly / Monthly Reports of the Head Resident and Executive Director were written at intervals by the Head Resident (later called Executive Director) to report to the Board of Directors on the progress and needs of the Settlement. Reports from 1918 to 1985 are included in this series; these are detailed informative sources on the daily work of the Settlement and the roles that Settlement residents played in the community.

The Annual Reports (1934-1990) were intended to communicate the goals, successes and continued needs of the Settlement and usually concluded with a request for support. In general, these reports include information about the community served (demographics, number of clients served by Settlement programs and services) and the activities offered by the Settlement as well as brief statements from the presidents of the Board of Directors and the auxiliary boards and a financial statement.

Records of the Auxiliary Boards, which worked to raise money for the Settlement, date from 1925 to 1990. Members of the Auxiliary Boards were typically women from the northern and western suburbs of Chicago. The Boards raised funds through benefits, bazaars, and soliciting contributions from friends and neighbors. Included are records from nineteen auxiliary groups which supported the Settlement. Materials found here typically consist of rosters, correspondence, and material relating to the fund-raising efforts. (See also the records of the North Shore Junior Board [Series 41/9] and the Evanston Woman's Board [41/8]).

The Board of Directors / Central Committee / Executive Committee files usually include correspondence, rosters and monthly meeting information: i.e., agenda, attendance, minutes, and income and expense statements. Records are arranged chronologically within each folder. Meetings were attended by the officers of the Northwestern University Settlement Association and by members of the advisory board, which was variously called the Council, the Central Committee, or the Executive Committee, depending on the terms of the By-laws then in effect. For consistency, meetings between 1965 and 1991 have been labeled here “Board of Directors / Central Committee / Executive Committee Meetings.” Between 1915 and 1963, meetings are titled “Board of Directors Meetings.” Similar types of records can be found under the heading “Central Committee Meetings” (1933 to 1964), “Council Meetings” (1896-1922), “Executive Committee Meetings” (1911-1986) and “Executive Finance Committee Meetings” (1909-1939).

The Boys' Department files, spanning the years 1914 to 1977, include the reports of the Director and the records of various related programs and, in particular, the activities of the Settlement Boy Scout Troop 11. Boys' Department files also contain correspondence with the Boys Club Federation of America and records of events in which the Department participated, such as bicycle races and amateur athletic competitions.

Buildings and Structures files consist mainly of correspondence concerning repairs and improvements to the building at 1400 West Augusta, including the installation of the roof-top playground (1910-1912) and the construction of the adjacent Allison Gymnasium (1951-1953). Also included are architectural drawings for the Allison Gymnasium. See also the blueprints in the Camp (House in the Wood) files.

The records pertaining to the Settlement's camping program, Camp (House in the Wood), span the years 1908 to 1990. Records are arranged chronologically by date, and consist of correspondence concerning daily operations, announcements, forms for staff and campers, reports from counselors, and lists of campers. Separate files deal with such issues as insurance, staff and parent manuals, and applications for employment. Beginning in 1973, the Settlement participated in the Title IV-A Outdoor Education Camping Project, directed by the American Camping Association, which subsidized the fees of welfare recipients – both children and senior citizens – at resident summer camps. Records relating to the Camping Project consist of the forms required of the Settlement for participation in the program as well as forms required of the individual campers.

The Central Committee files, arranged chronologically by date, span the years 1933-1964 and typically contain meeting minutes and reports of the directors of the Settlement Association.

The Chicago Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records consist of meeting minutes, with some memoranda, correspondence, and reports from the organization, arranged chronologically and covering the years 1927 to 1983. See also files relating to the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers, 1929 to 1981, which consist of reports, studies, and newsletters issued by the National Federation (based in New York City). Harriet Vittum was one of the original directors of the National group, incorporated in 1929.

The Christmas Files span the years from 1936 to 1985 and consist of letters of thanks from the Settlement to contributors, thank-you letters from attendees of Settlement Christmas parties, lists of corporate and individual contributors, and lists of families in need of special assistance.

Beginning in 1934, the Northwestern University Settlement obtained a percentage of its funding from the Community Fund of Chicago, a clearing-house for philanthropic donations. Records relating to the Community Fund typically consist of correspondence, reports, memoranda, and manuals either directed specifically to the Settlement or sent to all participating social service agencies between 1934 and 1979. The Community Fund required exhaustive financial forms from the organizations it subsidized. The Annual Budget forms completed by the Northwestern University Settlement for the Community Fund span the years 1940 to 1978.

The Settlement's general Correspondence files cover the years 1909 to 1990. Between 1909 and 1969 correspondence is arranged chronologically. During the years 1970 to 1978, the Settlement organized its correspondence alphabetically: within annual groupings letters are filed by correspondent's surname. Both incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence are included. Related correspondence on a variety of topics may be found elsewhere in the series filed under topical headings; see especially the files of Helen Loth Blomgren Rachwalski, Michael Rachwalski, and Harriet Vittum.

The records of the Settlement's Day Nursery span the years 1953 to 1958 and consist of registration forms, medical forms, and doctors' permission slips for children to return to daycare after illnesses, and related items. The records are organized first by year and thereafter in alphabetical order according to children's surnames. Also found here are medical records for the Day Nursery staff, 1954-1957. Staff records are arranged alphabetically by surname within yearly groupings.

Classes, programs and some of the club activities which took place at the Settlement operated under the aegis of the various Departments that the Settlement had established. The records of these departments are filed alphabetically by the department name. Records span the years 1893 to 1957 and typically consist of monthly reports from the staff member heading the department, along with some program and attendance information. Departments included are: Boys', Children's, Domestic Science, Dramatics, Girls', Health Education, Health Education and Nutrition, Mens', Relief, Research and the Woman's / Women's Department.

The Financial Records of the Settlement include audits, financial statements, and general financial files. With a few gaps, audits conducted by the Settlement's accountants exist for the years 1922 to 1988. The financial statements, which cover the years between 1908 and 1990, are typically informal reports prepared for Board of Directors' meetings. These statements consist of income and expense reports, budget comparisons, estimates of future budgets, salary summaries, and, occasionally, reports of the Association Treasurer. The general financial files consist of memoranda and correspondence on financial matters between the Settlement and its accountants, federal and state government agencies, and other entities during the years 1922 to 1986, arranged chronologically. See also Series 41/4, the Northwestern University Settlement Association Financial Records, 1918-1971, which consists mostly of ledgers in which the day-to-day financial activities of the Settlement were recorded.

From the beginning, the Settlement devoted much time and effort to securing funding to augment the contributions of the Association members. Much of the effort was made by the Board of Directors and by the auxiliary boards. Fund Raising efforts included events held at the Settlement, benefits sponsored by the Association, and brochures and letters soliciting donations of funds. The Settlement's fund-raising activities, from lectures at the Settlement to days at the races, dinners, and theater and musical performances, are documented in files spanning the years 1893 to 1991. Administrative files contain correspondence relating to the behind-the-scenes organization of events and benefits. Individual benefits are filed alphabetically by the name of the benefit; these folders contain the correspondence, attendance lists, programs, and other paperwork relating to each occasion. Solicitations for funds include letters and brochures generated between 1893 and 1970.

See also the activities of individual auxiliary boards, especially the North Shore Junior Board's annual Antiques Show and the Winnetka Board's Fashion Shows.

The Settlement was the subject of many informal Histories and Studies, some written by Northwestern University students. They range from reports written by undergraduate sociology students to full-length master's theses and doctoral dissertations, and are arranged alphabetically by author's surname, or alphabetically by title when the author cannot be discerned. Also included are historical sketches, prepared by the Settlement, which were used for promotional purposes. The Settlement was the focus of one section of the 1917 Study of the Pre-Adolescent Girl conducted by the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers. Three folders contain general histories and studies of community organizations and the settlement movement.

The Memorial Fund files record donations to the Settlement on behalf of deceased Board members or other contributors to the Settlement during the years 1952 to 1985. For each donation, the Settlement sent a thank-you letter to the donor and a notification to the family of the deceased. The files are arranged chronologically by year; within each year, correspondence is filed alphabetically by the name of the person memorialized and then by the name of the donor.

Neighborhood Service Reports, spanning the years 1920 to 1966, record the ways in which the Settlement worked with clients outside the walls of the Settlement. The monthly reports list the number of cases reported to, accompanied to, or referred to other social service agencies or municipal authorities. Reports also show the number of home visits made and the number of interviews conducted. See also the Statistical Reports, 1913-1961, which give the numbers of participants in Settlement clubs and classes, as well as the number of neighborhood service calls. The Club and Class Attendance Records (Series 41/5) are another source for information on the level of participation in Settlement programs.

The Plays and Pageants files span the years 1924-1945 and consist of scripts for a variety of plays and skits performed by the Settlement staff and neighborhood community to mark patriotic and seasonal holidays. A few of the plays exist in several versions.

Rachwalski, Helen (Loth Blomgren), 1901-1977. Helen Loth Blomgren had been working at the Northwestern University Settlement for twenty years when she married Michael Rachwalski in 1943. Her correspondence files date from 1909 to 1966. They are arranged chronologically, and include letters from her first husband and from other suitors. The files also includes Loth family correspondence between 1865 and 1945.

Rachwalski, Michael (1900-1987). Since Rachwalski was associated with the Settlement from his youth, grew up in the neighborhood, and served as Head Resident for forty years, these files include both personal and Settlement materials. Records span the years 1919 to 1987 and include biographical materials, correspondence (including letters to and from Helen Rachwalski), awards and certificates.

The files pertaining to Helen and Michael Rachwalski date between 1943 and 1977 and include their appointment books, correspondence, and financial records.

Materials relating to the resident and non-resident Staff of the Settlement span the period 1917-1987 and are arranged chronologically. Employment applications, dating between 1920 and 1982, include application forms and correspondence of staff members employed as residents, non-resident workers, and camp counselors at the House in the Wood. Staff meeting minutes date from 1917 to 1985 and related memoranda cover the years 1977 to 1987.

Summer Programs files consists of schedules, announcements, and other materials detailing the activities offered at the Settlement during the summer months. The Summer Youth Employment Program files contain correspondence, memoranda, and employment forms pertaining to the young people hired by the Settlement as part of the Model Cities / Mayor's Youth Employment Program during the 1970s and 1980s.

Thank you / Rummage Donations. Between 1963 and 1981, many of the letters sent by the Settlement to donors of clothing, furniture, and other items, were filed separately from general correspondence. A portion of the materials donated were used by the Settlement itself, while some of the items were included in the frequent fund-raising Rummage Sales. Thank you letters are arranged chronologically by year and alphabetically by surname.

Vittum, Harriet (1872-1953). While the Settlement records do not include many of Vittum's personal papers, the series does document Vittum's years at the Settlement. Materials found here include biographical information, clippings (1911 to 1977), correspondence (1908 to 1949), and addresses, speeches and writings done on behalf of the Settlement and on other social and political issues. The annual, quarterly, and monthly reports of the Head Resident and many of the early fund-raising letters, also are expressive of Vittum's personality and view of the Settlement.

In addition, University Archives Series 41/6 and 41/7, Settlement scrapbooks and photographs, provide valuable information about Vittum's work. Of particular note are the scrapbooks documenting Vittum's involvement in the woman suffrage movement and in the campaign to elect Charles Evans Hughes (1916).

The Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago generated reports and statistics on welfare services and agencies in Chicago. The Settlement maintained chronological files of reports and memoranda issued by the Welfare Council. Files spanning the years 1950 to 1966 contain daily attendance records of Settlement classes kept by the Northwestern University Settlement and submitted to the Welfare Council

Description of the Addition, Boxes 74-76 (1947-1985)

This addition consists of correspondence files of the Head Resident/Executive Director, dating from 1947 to 1985, comprised primarily of copies of letters sent by Michael Rachwalski (Head Resident, 1947-1981) and Ron Manderschied (Executive Director, 1981- ). Many are “thank you” letters to donors for their contributions of goods and services to the Settlement; others are concerned with the daily operation of the Settlement. There are also a few letters received by Rachwalski and Manderschied, as well as occasional memos, reports, and other items.

The files have been maintained in their original order, with the correspondence arranged by year, and, within each year, in alphabetical order by surname or organizational name of the recipients.

For the bulk of Settlement correspondence, see the Chronological and Alphabetical Correspondence files (1909-1990), and the Rachwalski and Manderschied correspondence files, in Series 41/1.

Description of the Addition, Boxes 77-108 (1988-2000)

This addition to the Northwestern University Settlement Association General Administrative Records fills 31 boxes and spans the years 1988-2000, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1990 and 1999. Reflecting the original order of the records, the folders are arranged alphabetically by subject title, and records are arranged chronologically by date within the folders.

As in the original 76 boxes, many of the files relate to the work of the Board of Directors and to the various auxiliary boards; to the activities of the House in the Woods camp; and to the Settlement’s relations with funding agencies such as the United Way.

Folders related to the Board of Directors and their monthly meetings are filed by year under Board Meetings. These materials include minutes, agendas, reports, attendance, and correspondence, and records are arranged chronologically by month within each folder.

Folders titled by General Alphabet consist mostly of limited correspondence relating to donors, neighbors, or political figures. Folders titled with the name of an individual, company, or subject contain extensive correspondence, reports, notes and other materials relating to Settlement employees, board members, political figures, donors, and vendors.

Of particular interest in the addition are the records of the Noble Street Charter School, documenting the planning, organization and development of the Settlement’s public charter school. The school was granted funding and support from Chicago Public Schools and opened in 1999. Correspondence, minutes from planning meetings, construction plans and publicity materials are included in these folders. Records from administrative meetings regarding the school are organized by month under the title Noble Street Charter School Board Meeting. Additional planning information can be found in folders titled Board of Directors Meetings: 1998 and Ron Manderschied 1998.

Note: chronological runs of files are missing from this addition as follows: 1991--files A-L; 1992--files G-Z; 1998--files O-Z. No files exist for the year 1997.