Frances W. Shimer College Collection (Mt. Carroll), 1838-1980
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Brief Description:

The Shimer College Collection documents the founding and development of an important higher educational institution in Mt. Carroll, Illinois.  Materials in this collection range from original manuscripts pre-dating Shimer's origin in 1853 to publications printed in 1978.  There are six major record series in the Shimer College Collection:  (1) original documents, historical, and biographical files; (2) files from the Office of the President; (3) alumnae and public relations records; (4) scrapbooks and photographs; (5) financial records; (6) Shimer College publications.

Types of materials making up the first three series include diaries, correspondence, legal documents, minutes, reports, and research relating to the founding and history of the College.  Although these records span the period, 1838-1975, the bulk of the material documents the earliest years of the College (1853-1875) and the period 1930-1955.  Unfortunately many of the records generated during the half century between 1875 and 1925 appear to have been lost.

The photo and scrapbook series is especially strong in the period 1925-1955 and documents campus personnel, groups, buildings, and events quite well.  Publications and financial records found in the concluding series also fall mostly into the twentieth century, although some very early financial records have been preserved.

A major strength of this collection is its abundance of nineteenth-century correspondence and documents which are rather comprehensive.  Researchers should note that subsequent alumnae correspondence and publications frequently contain additional information on Shimer's early history and founders.  While there is considerable material on the twentieth century as well, there is progressively less after 1950 or 1955.  In particular, business records, for all practical purposes, cease in 1924.  Overall, coverage of recent years is the weakest part of the collection.

Held at:
Northern Illinois University
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1779
Email: rhcua [at]
Record Series Number: RHC/RC/077
Volume: 22.0 Linear Feet
Acquired: 10/10/1979. An addendum was added in January 2005.
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Subject Index
Church Colleges
Community Colleges
Diaries-- 1840-1869
Frances W. Shimer College
Mt. Carroll (Ill.)
Mt. Carroll Seminary
Shimer, Frances Wood
Shimer College
Women--Education (Higher)
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.
Acquisition Notes: Duncan E. McBride and the Trustees Committee of Shimer College  Duncan E. McBride and the Trustees Committee of Shimer College donated the Shimer College Collection to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on October 10, 1979.