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Rush University Medical Center Archives: News and Events

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.

Rush Archives News and Events

“I’ll Cut You With a Knife”: World War I and Rush

[Date TBD]

Location: TBD

Overview: In honor of the centennial of our country’s entry into World War I in 1917, Rush Archivist, Nathalie Wheaton, will share stories and photos from the Rush Archives during that time. World War I touched many lives at Rush. Physicians, surgeons, and nurses from both of our predecessor hospitals, Presbyterian and St. Luke’s, staffed U.S. Army Base Hospitals in France. The war also affected life here on the homefront. Students at Rush Medical College and the hospital’s schools nursing, found ways to assist in the war effort any way they could. 

Coming Soon! Future Rush Archives Events

Rush Archives Film Festival (Date TBA)

Join us for the Rush Archives Film Festival to see Rush-related films digitally restored from our historical collections.

Past Rush Archives Events

"Rush Time Capsules: Opportunities in a Corporate Environment" and "The Internet Archive: Money Well Spent" (April 2017)

Presented at the Small Archival Projects Conference, Loras College, Dubuque, IA, hosted by DALINC 

The opening of four time capsules, dating from 1888 to 1924, on the Rush University Medical Center campus, has led to many opportunities for the Rush Archives. The excitement surrounding these items has renewed interest in Rush history. What is the best way to present these time capsules and their stories online? How will these online time capsule collections fit in with our existing digital collections? This presentation will also feature an overview of our experience working with the Internet Archive to digitize and upload hundreds of items. 

“I’ll Cut You With a Knife”: Tales of Presbyterian Hospital’s Base Hospital 13 and St. Luke’s Hospital’s Base Hospital 14 (April 2017)

Presented as part of The Edith Ayres and Helen Burnett Wood Memorial Symposium

Location: University of Illinois College of Nursing, Third Floor Event Center

Overview: World War I touched many lives at Rush. Students at Rush Medical College joined the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps. Both of our predecessor hospitals, Presbyterian and St. Luke’s, staffed U.S. Army Base Hospitals in France. Students in the hospitals’ schools of nursing found their lives changed by the war, also. Learn more during this presentation.

"Lady Doctors: Women Physicians at Rush, 1900-1920" (March 2017)

Celebrate Women’s History Month with the presentation, Lady Doctors: Women Physicians at Rush, 1900-1920. This lecture by Rush archivist, Nathalie Wheaton, reveals stories of our first female medical students and practitioners within the larger contexts of the Progressive era, the Flexner Report, the growing metropolis of Chicago, and the city’s oldest medical school, Rush Medical College.  

Read about some of these women in this Rush InPerson blog post:

Women Physicians at Rush: 1900-1920


"Rush Time Capsules: Advocating for Archives and History in a Corporate Environment" (December 2016)

Chicago Area Medical Archivists meeting at UIC Library of the Health Sciences Special Collections and Archives


Business meeting: 1:00 – 2:00

Break and setup: 2:00 - 2:15

Presentation 1: 2:15 - 3:00 "Rush Time Capsules: Advocating for Archives and History in a Corporate Environment" Nathalie Wheaton, Archivist for Rush University Medical Center.

Presentation 2: 3:00 - 3:45 "Cook County Hospital 1854-2002", Edward Winslow MD

Optional walking tour 3:45-4:30: Federal Art Project artworks on the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Campus

Tour of the Rush Archives, Chicago Area Archivists (September 8, 2016)

Join fellow Chicago archivists for this special tour of the Rush University Medical Center Archives.

"Good Old Rush! Student Life on the Rush Campus, 1844 to Today," (September 26, 2016)

Did you know Rush is older than the city of Chicago? Want to learn how? Join Rush Archivist, Nathalie Wheaton, as she shares photos, stories, and artifacts that showcase student life at Rush from its earliest days to today. Lunch will be served for the first 75 participants. 

You can now view the presentation online!​

Superblock Time Capsule Opening Event (October 20, 2016)

Celebrate the Superblock buildings with this unique event! Over the past year, we have watched most of the Superblock, comprised of four buildings, come down on the Rush Campus. These buildings, Jones (1888), Senn (1902), Murdoch (1912), and Rawson (1924) will be honored as we open three time capsules from their cornerstones. 

Searle Conference Center, Room 500, Main Lounge / Remarks from Dr. Larry Goodman / Cake and Refreshments will be served.

You can now view the event online!


Rush Archives Partners with Medical Heritage Library (September 2015)

By partnering with the Medical Heritage Library, the Rush Archives digital collections on the Internet Archive have now been "tagged" to become part of this larger MHL virtual collection. This partnership will bring more attention to our amazing online collections. I contributed a blog post for the MHL blog describing these collections, titled "The MHL Welcomes a New Partner: Rush University Medical Center Archives."

About the Medical Heritage Library: "The Medical Heritage Library (MHL), a digital curation collaborative among some of the world’s leading medical libraries, promotes free and open access to quality historical resources in medicine. Our goal is to provide the means by which readers and scholars across a multitude of disciplines can examine the interrelated nature of medicine and society, both to inform contemporary medicine and strengthen understanding of the world in which we live. The MHL’s growing collection of digitized medical rare books, pamphlets, journals, and films number in the tens of thousands, with representative works from each of the past six centuries, all of which are available here through the Internet Archive."

Rush Archives Lends Item to the National Library of Medicine (September 2015)

The Rush Archives has lent an item for an exhibit at NIH’s National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. The exhibit opened in September. The exhibit is titled, Confronting Violence, Improving Women’s Lives, and “highlights the work of 20th-century nurses and activists to improve medical care for domestic violence survivors.”

Rush Archivist Nathalie Wheaton was contacted by the NLM earlier this year as they were looking to use a 1982 article by Dan Sheridan (Rush University College of Nursing, class of 1982) in the Rush Reporter (Rush University’s former student newsletter) that featured the Rush Coalition Against Spouse Abuse (RCASA).  

To view this item in the online version of the exhibit, view item 2 of 7 in the following exhibit gallery:

From the text for the exhibit: “While pursuing his bachelor’s in nursing, Sheridan wrote the first policy and procedure on domestic violence for the emergency room at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago.”

Also from the exhibit: “During his first year as a student at Rush College School of Nursing [sic] (Chicago, IL), Sheridan founded the Rush Coalition Against Spouse Abuse, an all-volunteer group that sought to raise awareness and educate medical providers about domestic violence. The coalition regularly sponsored workshops like these, which provided information and resources on how to effectively treat women who were battered.”

Tour of the Rush University Medical Center Archives (October-November 2015):

This is your chance to visit behind-the-scenes in our closed stacks. Get a good look at priceless, historic documents, photographs, and artifacts related to the history of Rush. The Tour of the Rush Archives is also a great opportunity for you to learn how you can use and add to our collections.

Note from the Rush Archivist: THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the four Tours of the Rush Archives in October and November. These tours introduced or reacquainted forty Rush employees or students with the Rush Archives and its collections and services. Would you and your colleagues enjoy a Tour of the Rush Archives? Contact the Rush Archivist for more information.

Historic Walking Tour of the Rush Campus (June and July 2015):

The Rush Archives Bids Farewell to the “Superblock” Buildings

Join Rush Archivist Nathalie Wheaton for a Historic Walking Tour of Campus. Learn about the history of Rush through its buildings. This year’s tours might be your last chance to hear the tales of the Superblock buildings, so don’t miss it!

Note from the Rush ArchivistTHANK YOU to everyone who participated in these seven walking tours! I was able to share this unique view of history with almost 90 Rush employees and students. And a big THANK YOU to all of you who have participated in our many walking tours since we first launched the tours in 2009. It's hard to say good-bye to the old buildings, but it was a pleasure telling you their stories over the years

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

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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