Biographical Collection Available
The RU Archives houses the Biographical Collection which contains files of news clippings, correspondence, faculty activity reports, etc. on over 1,000 individuals including faculty, administration, trustees, and others. Information about this collection is now available online at https://roosevelt.cuadra.com/starweb1/l.skca-catalog/servlet.starweb1?path=l.skca-catalog/skcacatalog.web . Click on Browse by Collection or type a name in the search window. Please bear in mind that there are a limited number of simultaneous users. If you can’t get immediate access please try again later.
Welcome Illinois Labor History Society
The Illinois Labor History Society has donated more than 155 cubic feet of photographs, documents, publications, moving images, and sound recordings to the RU Archives. In addition, the ILHS is now headquartered at Roosevelt University. Welcome Joanna Misnick and the ILHS!
Back issues of the university bulletins have now been cataloged into the Archives Online Catalog https://roosevelt.cuadra.com/starweb1/l.skca-catalog/servlet.starweb1?path=l.skca-catalog/skcacatalog.web. Enter “Bulletin” in the search box. Searchable PDFs are available for most editions between 1945-1971. More searchable PDFs will be added as they become available. Search slots are limited so please try back if the slots are busy.
University Bulletins Available Online
Back issues of the university bulletins have now been cataloged into the Archives online catalog http://www.roosevelt.edu/Library/Locations/UniversityArchives.aspx Searchable PDFs are available for most editions between 1945-1971. More searchable PDFs will be added as they become available.
Only a few days after the recent federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., a surprising discovery was made in the Roosevelt Archives. Scattered amongst financial planning documents from the 1950s and 1960s, emerged a folder unceremoniously titled, “General, Financial Campaign, Million Dollar Dinner, 1957.” Although humbly titled, the contents of this folder revealed the far-reaching civil rights legacy at Roosevelt University: a legacy that includes Martin Luther King, Jr.
Within the folder were a few invitations and random news clippings describing a Roosevelt fundraising event which took place on November 21, 1957. However, one name starkly stood out. This dinner boasted many special guests, including Leo Lerner (newspaper tycoon) and Frank Lloyd Wright (the famous architect), but most importantly it noted that an award was to be presented to Martin Luther King of Montgomery, Alabama.
During this nearly forgotten fundraising event in 1957, Roosevelt University powerfully recognized the struggle against racial segregation taking place in the South. Less than two years after the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by King in his role of President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, and only in the early stages of Martin Luther King Jr.’s rising cultural and political prominence, Roosevelt awarded King a special Founders and Friends award to commend his activism.
Roosevelt, a school rooted in social justice and founded on principles of racial equality, could not have been a more appropriate institution to recognize King. Although King only spoke for a few minutes, and despite the fact that this event has been largely forgotten by our own institutional history, it serves as a reminder to continue the Roosevelt legacy today: to continue honoring activism and to promote inclusion, social consciousness, and human development.
- Jocelyn Dunlop
The finding aid of the Walter Weisskopf Collection is now available on line at https://roosevelt.cuadra.com/starweb1/l.skca-catalog/servlet.starweb1?path=l.skca-catalog/skcacatalog.web
Walter A. Weisskopf was born in Austria in 1904. Educated in Geneva, Switzerland and Cambridge, England, he earned his PhD from the University of Vienna in 1927. He worked as a lawyer and labor relations advisor in Vienna from 1927 to 1938 when he came to the United States.
Weisskopf studied at American University, Washington, DC (1938), the University of Chicago (1939), and the University of Wisconsin (1940). He served as instructor in Economics, History, and Government at the University of Omaha, Nebraska from 1939 to 1943 when he took up a teaching post at Central YMCA College.
During World War II, Weisskopf was a consulting economist in industrial relations and public panel member of the National War Labor Board from 1943 to 1945.
In 1945, Weisskopf joined Edward Sparling and left Central YMCA College to become one of the founding faculty members of the newly formed Roosevelt College. He began as an associate professor, was acting chair of the Department of Economics in 1945, became a full professor in 1946, was chair of the Department of Economics from 1946 to 1967, and became professor emeritus in 1977. Weisskopf also served on the Board of Trustees from 1950 to 1974 and was an honorary trustee from 1975 to 1990. Weisskopf’s wife Gertrude was a professor of Modern Languages at Roosevelt from 1962 to 1975.
A specialist in the study of integration of the social sciences, Weisskopf was a prolific lecturer and author of numerous papers as well as The Psychology of Economics (1956) and Alienation and Economics (1971). He died in California in 1991.
Image: Professor Walter Weisskopf (left) and original RU graduate Raymond Clevenger at a homecoming reunion, February 1973
Did you know that Illinois had its own version of the House UnAmerican Activities Commission? “In 1947 State Senator Paul Broyles (R., Mount Vernon) called for a commission to investigate communism in Illinois. According to Broyles, “The increasing menace of communism is now widely recognized and we must take steps to keep un-Americanism under control.” The legislature created the Seditious Activities Investigation Commission, or Broyles Commission, and in 1949 it requested a series of measures to rid Illinois of communists, including requiring “non-Communist oaths” from public employees, making the support of communism a felony, and prohibiting communists from holding office. The Illinois investigations occurred in a time of increasing frenzy over communist infiltration into public life. J.B. Matthews, a special consultant to the Broyles Commission, went on to be the staff director for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s investigations. The inquiries lasted well into the 1950s, with Broyles mainly targeting the University of Chicago and Roosevelt College.” (taken from the University of Illinois Archives website).
The finding aid to Roosevelt University’s records of the Broyles Commission are now available online. See how RU responded to the commission at https://roosevelt.cuadra.com/starweb1/l.skca-catalog/servlet.starweb1?path=l.skca-catalog/skcacatalog.web
- Archivists play a key role in ensuring that the digital records being created today will be accessible when needed in the future.
- Archival records are essential to support society’s increasing demand for accountability and transparency in government and public and private institutions.
- Archival records protect the rights, property, and identity of our citizens.
- Archives are responsible for maintaining our communities’ vital historical records. An archives serves to strengthen collective memory by creating a reliable information bank that provides access to an irreplaceable asset – an organization’s, government’s, or society’s primary sources.