• IdentificationICU.SPCL.CHA
  • TitleGuide to the Chicago Heart Association Records1918-1950
  • PublisherUniversity of Chicago Library
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Date1918-1950
  • Physical Description3 linear feet (6 boxes)
  • RepositorySpecial Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.
  • AbstractThe Chicago Heart Association Records comprise three linear feet of files containing mainly off-prints, typescripts and pamphlets collected by the Association for distribution to the public. Some correspondence is also included. The material essentially deals with the topics of heart disease, convalescence, rheumatic fever, and vivisection. Also contains administrative correspondence of Gertrude Howe Britton, founding member and first Executive Director of the Asociation, to various individuals and organizations; and correspondence of Ruth Pierce McEldowney, Britton's successor. Correspondents include Alice Mary Dickerson, Katherine Hufangel, A.C. Ivy, Alexander Ropchan, and others.

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When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Chicago Heart Association. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

The Chicago Heart Association was founded by James B. Herrick, M.D., who served as its first president. Originally known as the Chicago Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease, the association held its first formal meeting on April 7, 1922, after preliminary organizational work that had begun in 1921. Modeled on the New York Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease, it had a three-fold objective: the education of doctors and the general public; the coordination of community organizations dealing with heart disease; and the promotion of research on heart disease, especially as it relates to public health.

The organization held its first annual meeting in 1924, and in 1925 changed its name to the Chicago Heart Association. It played an active role in the American Heart Association and also sponsored the reorganization of the formerly dissolved Illinois Heart Association in 1944.

The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1: General Files, is comprised of off-prints and other publicly disseminated material as well as administrative correspondence, primarily that of Gertrude Howe Britton, a founding member of the Chicago Heart Association and its first executive director, and Ruth Pierce McEldowney, Britton's successor in 1937. The original organizational scheme of the files has been retained along with the individual file names.

The Chicago Heart Association's early concentration on heart disease, rheumatic fever, convalescent care, the place of the cardiac patient in industry, and actual job placement of patients is represented by internally-produced documents as well as publications of other organizations, such as the Metropolitan Life Company. Some of the materials, therefore, predate the Association's founding in 1922. Also included in this series are off-prints, typescripts, and correspondence concerning the negative implications for heart research in which the proposed outlawing of vivisection by city ordinance would result).

The second series includes material not fully incorporated into the Association's files, though it deals with essentially the same topics as the general files. These manuscripts have been organized alphabetically by author.

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

  • Names
    • Britton, Gertrude Howe
    • Dickerson, Alice Cora, 1908-
    • Hufangel, Katherine
    • Ivy, A. C. (Andrew Conway), 1893-
    • McEldowney, Ruth Pierce
    • Ropchan, Alexander
    • Chicago Heart Association
  • Subject
    • Medicine -- Societies, etc.
    • Public health
    • Convalescence
    • Heart -- Diseases