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Northwestern University Settlement Association Records Case Files

 Collection
Identifier: 41/2

  • Staff Only
The Northwestern University Settlement Case Files fill seventy-nine boxes and span the period 1908-1975, with the bulk of the material dating from 1928 to 1939. Individual case files typically feature a pre-printed case form on which is recorded case number, client name and the names of immediate family members, their ages, address, occupation, and a summary of the problem or problems which resulted in Settlement intervention. The result of the intervention or a brief notation concerning case disposition may also be found on the form or in ancillary documentation. Many cases include other forms such as delinquency reports, insanity decrees, chronic alcoholism evaluations, arrest slips, court summaries, clothing vouchers, referrals for employment and promissory notes.

Narrative reports of field visits by Settlement caseworkers often complete the case forms or may be on separate Visitor's Report slips. Various relief-related materials including coal receipts, eviction notices, medical and household budget forms and utility bills are scattered throughout the records. Supplemental correspondence may be found occasionally in the collection.

The files document caseworker intervention on a variety of personal, family, or social problems encountered by the Settlement's client population. The bulk of the files document problems associated with poverty, as well as marital and family disputes, domestic abuse, truancy, prostitution, petty, and in some instances major criminal activity.

The majority of the early case records concern first or second generation Polish immigrant families residing in the neighborhoods surrounding the Settlement. Given the demographics of neighborhood succession in this area, the Settlement's client population became, by the early 1960s, increasingly Puerto Rican and African-American. Case files dating from more recent years tend to contain less information than the early records.

Description of the Addition

The first addition to the Northwestern University Settlement Case Files fills one folder and spans the date 1974-1976. The records are arranged sequentially by case number which follows a rough chronology. Individual case files typically feature a pre-printed case form on which is recorded case number, client name and the names of immediate family members, their ages, address, occupation, and a summary of the problem or problems which resulted in Settlement intervention. Many cases also include a letter of introduction of the client and their immediate needs sent to the Northwestern University Settlement from other social service agencies in the Chicago area.

Description of the Addition

This addition to the Northwestern University Settlement Association Case Files spans the years 1922-1940 and fills twelve boxes. Boxes 80-86 contain case file cards organized alphabetically by street name, and thereafter sequentially by street address number. Case file cards typically contain the names of client members and their family, address, and case number.

Boxes 87-91 contain case file cards arranged alphabetically by surname. Cards typically include the client's name, family members and address. They may also include information on the cause of contact with the Settlement Association, the case file number, and a date.

Dates

  • 1908-1975

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The Case Files may be consulted only with the permission of the University Archivist.

Extent

91.00 Boxes

Abstract

The Northwestern University Settlement Association was founded in 1891 by a group of administrators and faculty from Northwestern University in order to provide social services, educational programs, referrals, and emergency relief to a poor immigrant neighborhood on Chicago's near northwest side. The Case Files typically feature a case number, client name and the names of immediate family members, their ages, address, occupation, a summary of the problem or problems which resulted in Settlement intervention, and the result of the intervention or a brief notation concerning case disposition. Many cases include other forms such as delinquency reports, insanity decrees, chronic alcoholism evaluations, arrest slips, court summaries, clothing vouchers, referrals for employment and promissory notes.

Arrangement Note

The records are arranged sequentially by case number which follows a rough chronology.

Method of Acquisition

These records have been separated from Accession # 90-160, and donated to the University Archives by the Northwestern University Settlement via Executive Director Ron Manderschied and Doris Overboe on October 15, 1990.

Related Materials

The records' original arrangement, in alphabetical order by subject, was retained, but several large, coherent categories were separated from the General Administrative Files, organized separately, and assigned their own series numbers.

Series 41/1: General Administrative Files, 1891-1995, 73 boxes

Series 41/2: Case Files, 1908-1976, 79 boxes

Series 41/3: Delinquent Boys Case Files, 1929-31, 1938-9, 5 boxes

Series 41/4: Financial Records, 1918-1971

Series 41/5:Clubs and Classes Attendance and Registration Cards, 1936-1953, 25 boxes

Series 41/6: Photographs, 1890-1991, 8 boxes

Series 41/7: Scrapbooks, 1892-1984, 20 boxes

Series 41/8: Evanston Woman's Board, 1911-1990, 7 boxes

Series 41/9: North Shore Junior Board, 1937-1992, 14 boxes

Series 41/10: Lenora E. Clark Diary, 1906-1910, 1 box

Series 41/11: Food Client Records, 1985-1986, 3 boxes

Separated Materials

None.

Processing Information

Kaia L. Densch, Sherry Bosse, and Wendy Russell; March-July, 1996.

The second addition was processed by Kaia L. Densch, October, 1997.
Title
Guide to the Northwestern University Settlement Association Records Case Files
Author
Kaia L. Densch, Sherry Bosse, and Wendy Russell
Date
01/03/1996
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3354