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Rush University Medical Center Archives: Institutional Records

Welcome to the Rush University Medical Center Archives. The Rush Archives, a department of the Library of Rush University Medical Center, is the official archival agency of Rush University Medical Center and Rush University.

Institutional Records in the Rush Archives

The Rush University Medical Center Archives holds the records of not only our current Medical Center and University, but also several predecessor schools and hospitals. 

RESEARCH TIP: To learn more about either Rush or a predecessor institution, click one of the following green tabsThis will give you a brief history of your selected institution and links to its collection guides and online collections.

Explore Our Collections

Rush records (1969-present) include the non-medical and non-student records of Rush University Medical Center (Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center), Rush University, their departments and committees. The following lists of collections are a LIMITED SAMPLE of the materials in the Rush Archives. Please contact the archivist for more information.

  1. Good Medicine coverResearch Tip: For records before 1969, please explore the green tabs above.
  2. Research Tip: Want to do a quick search to answer your post-1969 question? Click on the links below and conduct a keyword search!

Contact the archivist for more information about the following Rush Institutional Records:

  • Office of the President
  • Board of Trustees 
  • Rush University and its four colleges, Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, and Graduate College
  • Dean of Rush Medical College, 1924-present (Older records of this office can be found within the Rush Medical College Records)
  • Medical Staff Office
  • Professional Nursing Staff
  • Office of Philanthropy
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Woman's Board of Rush University Medical Center
  • Alumni Association of Rush Medical College
  • Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Nurses Alumni Association
  • Golden Lamp Society
  • Benjamin Rush Society
  • Formerly Affiliated Hospitals (Mile Square Health Center, Sheridan Road Hospital, etc.)
  • Various Rush University Medical Center and Rush University departments, centers, institutions, committees, and divisions.

The Rush Archives preserves full runs of recent and current Rush-related newsletters, including the following titles:

  • News Releases Collection, 1956-2005 ***[see note below]***
  • NewsRounds Collection (Rush's longest-running newsletter), 1963-continuing ***[see note below]***
  • Discover Rush Collection (community health newsletter), 2004-continuing
  • The Magazine (continuation of the Bulletin of the Alumni Association of RMC until 1980; and continuation of The Newsletter, 1956-1974), 1975-1993 [The Magazine includes articles on research at Rush, news from various departments, and pictures and speeches from Rush University's commencements.  As its name suggests, the Magazine has a glossy magazine format.]
  • The Newsletter Collection (newsletter for Development Program and the Public Relations Department), 1956-1974
  • A Record and RushRecord, (newsletter of the Alumni Association of Rush Medical College)1980-1994
  • Rush MD Collection (newsletter of the Alumni Association of Rush Medical College), 1995-2012
  • Rush Record Collection (newsletter about research at Rush, medical news, and included issues of Rush MD and News and Views) 1995-2004 
  • Rush Physician Collection (newsletter for the Medical Staff of RPSLMC/Rush University Medical Center), 1995-2014
  • Nursing Notes Collection (newsletter of the Division of Nursing, RPSLMC), 1971-1985
  • Alumni News and Views Collection (newsletter of the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Nurses Alumni Association), 1961-2008, 2011
  • Rush Reporter Collection (Rush University Student Affairs newsletter), 1975-1999
  • InfoLine Collection (newsletter of the Library of Rush University), 1990-2008
  • Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center Newsletter Collection, 1988-2000
  • Campaign for Rush Vision & Values Newsletter Collection, 1991-1997
  • Rush Partnerships Collection (newsletter for friends of RPSLMC), 1998-2004
  • Network Collection (newsletter about Rush Network Hospitals and their Medical, Scientific, and Nursing Staffs), 1972-1985
  • Suicide Research Digest Collection (newsletter of the Center for Suicide Research and Prevention in the Department of Psychology at RPSLMC), 1987-1992
  • Health Law Report Collection (newsletter related to health and hospital law and medical ethics from the Office of Legal Affairs), 1993-2003
  • Bulletin Collection (internal newsletter for RPSLMC), 1972-1974
  • Insights into Clinical and Scientific Progress in Medicine Collection, RPSLMC, 1977-1994
  • Medical Center Memo Collection (RPSLMC event and news broadside), 1976-1988
  • Rush Ethics Reporter Collection (healthcare ethics news), 1991-1996
  • Rush Express Collection (bi-weekly employee bulletin), 1995-2002
  • News Tips Collection (research bulletin), 1990-1997
  • Healthy Perspective Collection (health news and advice, health research), 1993-1996
  • and many, many more...

*** To search issue summaries of the NewsRounds newsletter, Rush's newsletter since 1963, please explore the following PDF and contact the Archivist for more information:  [NewsRounds has been digitized and is available online. It is keyword searchable within each document and downloadable in a variety of formats.] ***

*** To search a list of News Releases, 1956-2005, please explore the following PDF and contact the Archivist for more information: [We hope to digitize our news releases very soon!] ***

Brief History of RUSH MEDICAL COLLEGE

  • RMC seal1837: Rush Medical College was founded by Daniel Brainard, MD, (1812-1866) and chartered March 2, 1837, two days before the city of Chicago received its own charter.
  • 1871: The school's building at Grand and Dearborn was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire.
  • 1870s: After the Fire, the school was relocated to Chicago's West Side, where it remains to this day.
  • 1883: The Presbyterian Hospital of the City of Chicago was established in affiliation with Rush Medical College.
  • 1887: The College became the medical department of Lake Forest University.
  • 1898: This relation was dissolved by mutual consent in April 1898, and in the same month an affiliation with the University of Chicago was established.
  • 1924: In May 1924, a new contract was executed between the Rush Medical College and the University of Chicago, and Rush became more of an organic part of the University.
  • 1941: Rush Medical College and the University of Chicago terminated their relationship, and Rush closed its doors soon after.
  • 1969: In July 1969, the Board of Trustees of Rush Medical College approved a merger of Rush Medical College with Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, and the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center was established.
  • 1972: Rush University was founded in 1972 and came to include Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences, and the Graduate College.

Several items from the Rush Medical College Records, #4707, have been digitized and are available online. 

Research Tip: Want to do a quick keyword search to answer your Rush Medical College question? Click on the links below and select "text contents" for the search box!

Other Rush Medical College resources:

***RESEARCH TIP: Rush Medical College served as the medical school of the University of Chicago from 1898 to 1941. The Alumni Association of Rush Medical College merged with the University of Chicago's in 1924. Because of this merger, Rush's alumni newsletter, The Bulletin, ended in 1924. Alumni updates for the original Rush Medical College after 1924 can be found in the University of Chicago Magazine. To explore these campus publications (both University Publications and Student Publications), please visit the University of Chicago Library's Campus Publications site below:

Rush Medical College I, 1837-1942

Brief History of ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL:

  • Rev. Clinton Locke, founder of St. Luke's Hospital1864: St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago, Ill., was founded when Rev. Clinton Locke, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, used a sermon to call for 'a place where the sick poor might be cared for'. Members of the Camp Douglas Ladies Aid Society, who cared for Confederate prisoners of war in Chicago, sat among the congregation that day. They approached Rev. Locke to propose that he head a church hospital, and he accepted. St. Luke's Hospital started with a seven bed hospital and within a few months moved to an 18-bed facility.
  • 1865: St. Luke's Hospital was officially incorporated in 1865.
  • 1871: In May of 1871 the hospital moved to a 25-bed building on South Indiana Avenue near 14th Street. Five months later, the building survived the Great Chicago Fire.
  • 1885: St. Luke's constructed a new 65-bed building on South Indiana Avenue near 14th Street. That same year, the hospital founded the St. Luke's Hospital Training School for Nurses, also known as the St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing.
  • 1940s: St. Luke's Hospital faced a variety of problems in the years following World War II. The Hospital lacked the prestige and stability of a university affiliation. Furthermore, the institution fell into financial difficulty as the surrounding community experienced socioeconomic decline.
  • 1950s: By the early 1950s, the hospital faced the decision of whether to remain at its present location or move to a different site.
  • 1956-1959: The St. Luke's Board of Trustees considered a variety of options before they decided to move to Chicago's West Side and merge with Presbyterian Hospital to become Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital. The two boards approved this action on February 10th, 1956, and St. Luke's Hospital closed its doors on June 26, 1959.

Brief History of the ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL SCHOOL OF NURSING

  • SLHSN seal1864: St. Luke's Hospital was founded.
  • 1885: The hospital founded the Training School for Nurses, also known as the St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing. In
  • 1956: St. Luke's Hospital merged with Presbyterian Hospital to create Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, located on Chicago's West Side. The nursing schools merged at that time, also, to become Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing.

Several items from the St. Luke's Hospital Records, #4704, and St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing Records, #4765, have been digitized and are available online.

More St. Luke's Hospital resources:

St. Luke's Hospital, 1864-1956

Brief History of PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL:

  • Jones Building, 19101883: Presbyterian Hospital of the City of Chicago was chartered July 21, 1883, by faculty at Rush Medical College as a facility to provide clinical instruction for medical students. The faculty cooperated with local Presbyterian leaders to procure the financial support necessary to proceed with construction. The hospital was built adjacent to Rush Medical College at the corner of South Wood Street and Congress Parkway. The Woman's Board was developed during the beginning stages of the hospital and played a key role in fundraising for and service to the hospital throughout its history. The hospital's relationship with Rush Medical College led to an increasing interest in medical research at the hospital.
  • 1898: Rush Medical College was affiliated with the University of Chicago beginning in 1898. Because of its symbiotic relationship with Rush, Presbyterian Hospital had a strong influence on Rush's relationship with the University of Chicago. 
  • 1903: The hospital introduced the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing. 
  • 1941: Eventually, Presbyterian, Rush, and the University of Chicago disagreed on the future of Rush, and the affiliation dissolved.
  • 1942: Rush Medical College closed. Soon afterward, Presbyterian Hospital became affiliated with the University of Illinois. The medical staff of Presbyterian Hospital served as faculty for the University of Illinois.
  • 1956: In an effort to combine their resources, Presbyterian Hospital merged with St. Luke's Hospital, on April 25, 1956, and became Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital.

Brief History of the PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL SCHOOL OF NURSING:

  • 1883: Presbyterian Hospital of the City of Chicago was founded in 1883.
  • 1903: Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing was founded. The nursing school was affiliated with Rush Medical College (RMC), the faculty of which served as instructors, supplementing teaching by the nursing staff. Nursing students worked in Rush clinics and the Central Free Dispensary.
  • 1956: On April 25, 1956, with the merger of St. Luke's and Presbyterian Hospitals, the schools of nursing merged as the Presbyterian-St. Luke's School of Nursing. 

Several items from the Presbyterian Hospital Records, #4705, and Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing Records, #4776, have been digitized and are available online.

Other Presbyterian Hospital resources:

Presbyterian Hospital, 1883-1956

Brief History of PRESBYTERIAN-ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL:

  • PSLH seal1956: Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital was the product of the April 1956 merger of St. Luke’s Hospital, founded in 1864, and Presbyterian Hospital, founded in 1883. The nursing schools merged to become Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing.
  • 1959: The physical merger of the two hospitals occurred in 1959 when the staff of St. Luke’s Hospital moved to the Presbyterian Hospital campus at the intersection of West Congress Parkway and South Wood Street in Chicago.  The new institution constructed the New East Pavilion building (renamed the John L. and Helen Kellogg Pavilion in 1979) to accommodate the merger and the growth of the hospital. Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital maintained Presbyterian Hospital’s teaching hospital relationship with the University of Illinois at Chicago.  
  • 1960: The John F. Jelke and Louanna Frazier Jelke Memorial Building opened in 1960, followed soon after by the Jelke South building which expanded Jelke further west. 
  • 1969: Rush Medical College was revived from its closure in 1942, and Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital voted to merge with the school to form Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Brief History of PRESBYTERIAN-ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL SCHOOL OF NURSING:

  • PSLHSN seal1956: Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing (PSLHSN) was created upon the merger of Presbyterian Hospital and St. Luke's Hospital and their nursing schools.
  • 1968: The school closed in 1968 after graduating its ninth class.
  • 1969: Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital hospital affiliated with Rush Medical College, which was re-activated after closing in 1942. This corporation became Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in 1969.
  • 1972: Rush University was established, and its College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences admitted its first students in 1973, continuing our institution's long legacy of nursing education.

Several items from the Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital Records, #4706, and Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing Records, #4778, have been digitized and are available online.

More resources related to Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital:

  • ***You can explore issue summaries of the hospital's NewsRounds newsletter or search a list of News Releases, 1956-2005, by visiting the PDFs below. Please contact the Rush Archives for more information. [We hope to digitize our collection of News Releases very soon!]
  • Explore the Personal Papers of many individuals related to Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital. Click on the "Personal Papers" tab above for more information.
  • selection of photographs related to Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital and its nursing school can be found in our Flickr collection.
Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, 1956-1969

Brief History of the CENTRAL FREE DISPENSARY:

  • Central Free Dispensary, Harrison St.1873: The Central Free Dispensary was founded in 1873, and served as a free clinic for patients on the west side of Chicago. The Central Free Dispensary began after the Great Fire of 1871 by combining the efforts of the Herrick Free Dispensary and the Brainard Dispensary. The new united dispensary was incorporated in 1873 with a fund of $11,000. This fund was loaned to the Rush Medical College to help with the cost of a new college building at the corner of Wood and Harrison streets. In exchange for rooms, the dispensary contracted to make its medical facilities available to the College for medical education. The union of the two institutions gave the sick poor of Chicago access to medical care and provided the college with patients for the teaching program. 
  • 1940s: The Central Free Dispensary became the outpatient service for Presbyterian Hospital in the 1940s.
  • 1961: The Central Free Dispensary became the Presbyterian-St. Luke's Health Center.

Several items from the Central Free Dispensary Records, #4761, have been digitized and are available online.

  • Annual Reports, Central Free Dispensary 
  • Because of the Central Free Dispensary's close relationship with Rush Medical College, please explore the Rush Medical College collections tab above for further information regarding the history of the clinic.
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Using the Rush Archives

Rush Archives Service Hours: 

Monday-Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Contact the Archivist: 

Nathalie Wheaton, MSLS / (312) 942-6358

Outside of Service Hours:  For very urgent requests outside of service hours, please contact the Library of Rush at lib_ref@rush.edu

Note for researchers: Internal reference requests are given precedence. External requests will be addressed as time allows. However, this webpage will lead you to a number of digital resources from the Rush Archives that may meet your information needs.

Visiting the Rush Archives: In-person visits from researchers from outside of Rush must be approved by the archivist ahead of time.

Location: 1700 W. Van Buren Street, Suite 086, Chicago, IL 60612.

Using our Material in your Publication/Exhibit/Presentation: Contact the Archivist for a Permission to Publish form and fee table.

Citing our Collections: Footnotes or captions should indicate the collection or other identifying information from our finding aids. Please contact the Archivist for more information. Basic format for citation:

[Identification of item], in the [Name of Collection] [Collection Number], Rush University Medical Center Archives, Chicago, Ill.

Looking for Medical Records/Patient Records? Visit Rush University Medical Center's Health Information Management Office.

Looking for Student Records/Transcripts? Visit Rush University's Office of the Registrar.

About Our Collections

The Rush University Medical Center Archives, Chicago, Ill., is the official archival agency of Rush University Medical Center and Rush University.

The Rush Archives strives to tell the story of Rush and its esteemed history of education, research, patient care, and community leadership in a meaningful way through our collections.

The Rush Archives holds almost 3000 linear feet of material from Rush and its predecessor schools and hospitals going back to the founding of Rush Medical College in 1837, two days before the city of Chicago was incorporated. The Rush Archives also includes the personal papers of many individuals related to those institutions. Photographs, audiovisual material, paintings, artifacts, nursing school uniforms and caps, and digital assets document the history of Rush, also. 

The Rush Archives preserves, identifies, organizes, and provides access to records of long-term historical, evidential, and administrative value to the institution. 

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