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Rush University Medical Center Archives: Presbyterian Hospital, 1883-1956

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.

PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL, 1883-1956

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

Using the Rush Archives

Rush Archives Service Hours: 

THE RUSH ARCHIVES IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS ON THE RUSH CAMPUS.

WE WILL TRY TO ASSIST RESEARCHERS AS BEST WE CAN USING DIGITAL RESOURCES.

PLEASE EXPLORE THIS WEBPAGE AND OUR ONLINE RESOURCES BEFORE CONTACTING THE RUSH ARCHIVES FOR ASSISTANCE.

Thank you for your patience during this unpredictable time. 

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

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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Maps and Directions

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