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Historical Society of Woodlawn Records

Identifier: spe-nhrc-hsw

Scope and Contents

The Records of the HSW consist of financial records, minutes of meetings, membership rosters, printed materials and news clippings. The predominant years represented in the collection extend from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Administrative files include correspondence, certificates, constitution and by-laws, financial records and minutes of meetings. One narrative history of Woodlawn’s early years appears. News clippings document some of HSW’s activities from 1935 to 1946, as well as provide biographical information about some HSW officers and members. Printed materials such as poems, programs and meeting announcements, and song books are included in the collection. Finally, photographs depicting HSW meetings and members appear.


  • 1937-circa 1965

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

Founded in 1937 and active until the mid-1960s, the Historical Society of Woodlawn (HSW) took as its 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.


1 Linear Feet (in 2 boxes, including 10 photographs)

Language of Materials



The Records of the Historical Society of Woodlawn consist of financial records, minutes of meetings, membership rosters, printed materials and news clippings.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by format and either alphabetically or chronologically within.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Funded by the Scholl Foundation, the collection was transferred from the Historical Society of Woodlawn during the summer of 1984.

Related Materials

  • Associated Clubs of Woodlawn
  • United Woodlawn, Inc. Records
  • Woodlawn Block Club Council Records
  • Woodlawn Community Collection
  • Woodlawn Women’s Club Records

Separated Materials

The following materials have been removed to the locations given.

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

Guide to the Historical Society of Woodlawn Records
Original author unknown. Processed, 1989. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875