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Rush University Medical Center Archives: Exhibits

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.

A College, a City, and a Civil War The Life and Times of Dr. John Ll. Williams and Dr. William E. Williams

Instruments of John Ll. Williams, MDLOCATION: Library of Rush University Medical Center (600 S. Paulina St., #571, Chicago, IL 60612)

This exhibit provides a glimpse into Rush’s early history and includes historic photos, letters, patient ledgers, and diary entries illustrating the lives and careers of two early Rush Medical College graduates.

In 1863, John Ll. Williams, MD, graduated from Rush Medical College. The following year, he volunteered to serve as a surgeon for the Union Army in Vicksburg, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Upon the completion of his service, he returned to his thriving practice in Cambria, Wisconsin. In 1889, his son, William, graduated from Rush and continued his father’s practice and served as a small town physician for nearly fifty years.

The bulk of this collection was donated to the Rush Archives in 2012, by Robert L. Behling and Jacquelyn Sweeney, the great-great-grandchildren of John L. Williams, MD. This exhibit was curated by Laura R. Johns, public historian/consultant.

Rush University Medical Center: 175 Years of Education, Research, and Patient Care

View of Rush's Tower building, 2012LOCATION: The Tower, 1st Floor, Emergency Department (1653 West Congress Parkway, Chicago, Illinois, 60612)

This exhibit presents a brief overview of some of the milestones in Rush's long legacy of education, research, and patient care. It begins with the founding of Rush Medical College in 1837, and takes us through the opening of Rush's state-of-the-art Tower in 2012.

PDF of panels available through link below: 

A Legacy of Excellence: Nursing Education, Research, and Practice at Rush and its Predecessors since 1864

Photo of Nursing Exhibit in Tower, Smith Family Lounge, 2012LOCATION: The Tower, 4th Floor, Smith Family Lounge (1653 West Congress Parkway, Chicago, Illinois, 60612)

A Legacy of Excellence celebrates the tradition of nursing excellence at Rush. Through photographs, historic objects, and profiles of nursing alumni and leadership, it tells the story of the innovative educational programs, research, and patient care developed by nurses and its predecessors.

This exhibit from the Rush University Medical Center Archives was designed by Bluestone Design Build through the support of the Edith Payne Fund of the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Nurses Alumni Association.

Most of the text from this 2012 exhibit can be found on our website, here: "Legacy of Nursing at Rush."

The Woman's Board of Rush Fashion Show Posters

Cover, Woman's Board Fashion Show program cover, 1943, featuring St. Luke's Hospital nurse saluting American flag.LOCATION: The Tower, 4th Floor, Woman's Board Family Lounge (1653 West Congress Parkway, Chicago, Illinois, 60612)

This display of Fashion Show posters represents the many years the Woman's Board of Rush University Medical Center has supported Rush's mission of education and quality care.

The Annual Rush Woman's Board Fashion Show dates back to 1927, when it was first held by the Woman's Board of St. Luke's Hospital, one of our predecessor institutions. To explore these posters and other Woman's Board and Fashion Show material, including scrapbooks and programs, contact the Rush Archives or visit the following the link: Woman's Board Fashion Show scrapbooks and posters 

For more information on the group and its mission, view the organization's official page at http://thewomansboard.org/.

The Daniel A. Jones Building Staircase Remnant

LOCATION: Fourth Floor, Atrium Building (1653 West Congress Parkway, Chicago, Illinois, 60612)

See below for links to information about the history of Rush's Daniel A. Jones Building, which stood at Congress and Wood Street, 1888-2016.

Also, a link to remarks from archivist, Nathalie Wheaton at the unveiling of the Jones Staircase Unveiling Event in the Atrium, co-hosted by archivist Nathalie Wheaton and Larry Goodman, MD, CEO, Rush University Medical Center and CEO, Rush System, September 12, 2018.

A brief video of the exciting event:

Centuries of Excellence: Portraits of Nursing Alumni

St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing, class of 1887LOCATION: Armour Academic Center, 10th Floor, East Corridor (600 S. Paulina St., Chicago, Illinois, 60612)

Centuries of Excellence is a collection of class photos from Rush University College of Nursing and its predecessor nursing schools, St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing (est. 1885), Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing (est. 1903), and Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing (merged 1956.) This exhibit, located outside the College of Nursing administrative offices, is a popular stop for members of the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Nurses Alumni Association. The photos date back to 1887, and are a wonderful tribute to Rush's long, proud legacy of nursing education. 

This exhibit of reproductions of nursing class composites was assembled and created by former Rush Archivist, Heidi Butler, and former Dean of the Rush University College of Nursing, Kathleen G. Andreoli, DSN, FAAN, in 2004. 

CAPTION: St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1887.

Rotating Displays

LOCATION: Triangle Office Building, Basement Hallway and 2nd Floor (1700 West Van Buren St., Chicago, Illinois, 60612)

The displays in the basement hallway outside of the Rush Archives and the 2nd floor outside of the TOB "Cantina" (formerly Au Bon Pain) are always changing! Stop by and take a look at fun, historic photographs, interesting articles about the history of Rush, and our latest announcements. 

Past Exhibit (2012): 40th Anniversary of Rush University

[To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Rush University in 2012, the Rush Archives featured milestones from Rush history on the elevator doors throughout Rush University's Armour Academic Center. Designed through a collaboration with the Office of Marketing and local production firm, It's a Sign.]

Take a journey through 175+ years of Rush history! Beginning with the charter of Rush's oldest component, Rush Medical College, March 2, 1837, to now, learn about the moments and milestones that have made Rush University what it is today. From research and education firsts, leadership transitions, and campus developments, there is so much to share!

Much of this information has been reproduced (and updated) as an online timeline available here:

https://rushu.libguides.com/rusharchives/RushHistoryTimeline

You can view the original PDFs of the elevator wrap designs here:

Rush University 40th Anniversary Elevator Wraps, 2012 [PDF]

Past Exhibit (2007): Accept No Substitutes: Local Medical Advertising, 1890-1920

Accept No Substitutes: Local Medical Advertising, 1890-1920[This two-part exhibit by archivist Nathalie Wheaton was featured in the Rush Archives display case in the Triangle Office Building and the Library of Rush in 2007 and 2008.]

We will be creating a digital version of this popular exhibit focusing on the Chicago area, 1890-1920, and the history of advertising, patent medicines and related addiction issues, and the popularity of health foods, hygiene, equipment, physical culture, sanatoriums, equipment, homeopathy, and therapies such as light therapy, hydrotherapy, and electrotherapy.

Past Exhibit (2007): "Battling for the Honor of 'Old Rush'": Sports at Rush Medical College, 1892-1904

Archivist Nathalie Wheaton in archives display case, 2007[This exhibit by archivist Nathalie Wheaton was featured in the Rush Archives display case in the Triangle Office Building and the Library of Rush in 2007 and 2009.]

We will be creating a digital version of this popular exhibit featuring items related to the history of Rush Medical College's sports teams.

In the 1890s, baseball, football, and basketball were all the rage in colleges across the nation.  Not to be outdone, Rush Medical College got in the game by establishing teams for all three sports. Although Rush’s teams were short-lived, they competed fiercely with other area teams.  The Chicago Tribune regularly reported on games between Rush and other teams, including the University of Chicago, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Notre Dame, and local ball clubs that were not affiliated with schools.  

The exhibit celebrates the excitement of the early years of America’s pastimes with photographs of Rush’s teams, contemporary advertisements inspired by sports, and a look at the life of John E. Schwendener, Rush alumnus, class of 1902, and a member of Rush’s football, baseball, AND basketball teams.  

Past Exhibit (2007): Caricatures of Rush Medical College Professors in "Chicagoans as We See 'Em"

Title panel for Caricature exhibit. Text on page.[This exhibit by archivist Heather Stecklein was featured in the Library of Rush in 2007.]

We will be creating a digital version of this popular exhibit of historic caricatures of Rush Medical College professors.

In 1904, the Newspaper Cartoonists' Association compiled a book of caricatures by the leading political cartoonists in the city, Chicagoans as We See 'Em. The book included many notable Chicagoans and a large number of Rush Medical College faculty members / Presbyterian Hospital staff members grace its pages.

This exhibit features drawings of several Rush professors and provides insight into their lives and accomplishments.

Past Exhibit (2009): Greetings from Rush: Postcards from Rush's Past

Postcard image of the Jones Building, corner of Congress and Wood, circa 1915[This exhibit by Rush archivists Heather Stecklein and Nathalie Wheaton and designed by Library staff member, Molly Merrill, was featured outside the Rush Archives and in the Armour Academic Center, 2009.]

We will be creating a digital version of this popular exhibit of historic postcards from Rush's past. These interesting images of Rush Medical College and its teaching hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, and Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital not only capture the spirit of these Chicago campuses, but sometimes include original correspondence on the verso. 

CAPTION: The corner of West Congress and Wood Street, circa 1915, featuring Rush Medical College's teaching hospital, Presbyterian Hospital. Buildings include, left to right, Private Pavilion (1908-, now known as Pavilion), the Daniel A. Jones Building (1888-2016), the Jane Murdock Building (1912-2016), and the Rush Medical College Clinical Building, (1875-1924.)

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. 

Follow the Rush Archives on Twitter: @RushArchives

We're counting down to the 50th Anniversary of Rush University, 2022! Follow our #RU50 hashtag on Twitter for a new year each week!

Subscribe to the Rush Archives Blogrushu.libguides.com/blog

The Rush Archives COVID-19 Collection needs you! rushu.libguides.com/rusharchives/COVIDCollection

-Rush is a proud member of the Chicago Collections Consortium.

Using the Rush Archives

Rush Archives Service Hours: 

The Rush Archives offers on-site services one day a week. Often, we can assist researchers using digital resources.

Please explore this webpage and our online resources before contacting the Rush Archives for assistance.

Contact the Archivist: 

Submit Request to Nathalie Wheaton, MSLS, Archivist: Ask the Rush Archives [link]

Ask the Archives buttonOutside 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, our website 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. [link]

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

Looking for Verification/Credentials for Residency or Fellowship Programs? Visit Graduate Medical Education. [link]

Looking for Birth, Death or other Vital Records? Visit the Illinois Department of Public Health. [link]

Maps and Directions

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