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Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce Records

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Historical Information; Board of Directors' Records, Executive Committee, Financial, Annual Meetings, Credit Bureau

Correspondence

Newsletters

Subject Files

Industry File, 1940-1975

Photographs

Oversize

Addendum 1.

Addendum 2.

Addendum 3.

Addendum 4.



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Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce Records, 1910+ | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce Records, 1910+

ID: RHC/RC/180

Extent: 32.25 Linear Feet

Arrangement: Series I has  five subseries:  Board of Directors' records, Executive Committee records, Financial Statements, Annual Meeting Records and Annual Reports, and Credit Bureau records. Series IV, Subject Files, is arranged alphabetically . The fifth series is the Industry File. These files span the years 1940-1975 and are arranged alphabetically by company name. Photographs make up Series VI. Photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject with the number of prints and negatives listed for each folder.

Date Acquired: 01/00/1986. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce of Rockford Area, Discrimination., Economic development., Retail trade, Rockford (Ill.), School District of Rockford (Ill.), Segregation in education

Forms of Material: Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The records in this collection document the activities of the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce from 1910 to the present.  The original collection is arranged in seven series.  The  addendum donated in April 2006 adds an eighth series, Council of 100 Records.

Series I and its five subseries contains many of the core organizational records of the Rockford Chamber including Board of Directors' records, Executive Committee records, Financial Statements, Annual Meeting Records and Annual Reports, and Credit Bureau records.  A later addendum adds Awards to the Annual Meeting Records and Annual Reports subseries.

The second series is comprised of Correspondence.  It should be noted that a considerable amount of committee information is contained in this series.

Newsletters contained in Series III are especially valuable since they often provide documentation of Chamber activities for years not covered by Board records.  A later addendum adds Membership/Development to this series.

Series IV, Subject Files, is arranged alphabetically and provide information on most of the major issues that confronted the Rockford community during the first three-quarters of the twentieth century.

The fifth series is the Industry File.  These files span the years 1940-1975 and are arranged alphabetically by company name.  An index for the series is contained in Box 15, Folder 27.  The amount of information for each company varies widely.  Also included in this series is  general information on Rockford industry including statistics, strike information, and some correspondence.

More than 400 photographs make up Series VI.  Photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject with the number of prints and negatives listed for each folder.

Series VII, Oversize, includes newsclippings, one photograph, an 1889 issue of Frank Leslie's Illustrated containing an article on Rockford, and a 1921 membership roster (photocopy in Box 1, Folder 1).  The addendum includes award certificates, publications, 16mm films, an album, and several artifacts.

The Council of 100 records comprise series VIII.  These files contain information on the activities of the Council.  Of special interest are the VHS Tapes that consist of business properties that the Council was promoting for future use, local business highlights, and several tapes promoting development in Rockford.

Collection Historical Note

In June 1910 the Board of Directors of the Rockford Club authorized the club's President to appoint a committee to organize a Chamber of Commerce for the City of Rockford. A month later, on July 13, 1910 a group of approximately 1,000 businessmen and manufacturers met on the river steamer "Illinois" to organize a chamber. Chairman of the organizing committee was E.H. Keeler. This meeting was followed a month later by a Chamber "Round-up" day to solicit members for the new Chamber. In the months following these initial efforts the group elected a Board of Directors, officers, and created a committee structure. The first officers were President R.K. Welsh, Vice President F.S. Datin, Treasurer August Floberg, and Secretary Art. G. Brown. Committees created were: Finance, Conventions, Traveling Men, Civic Improvement, Membership, Manufacturers, Colleseum, and Municipal. In 1921 the Chamber conducted a re-organization and recruitment campaign that succeeded in signing up over 1,400 members. In April of the same year the Chamber incorporated. Early in its history the Chamber became involved with the local credit bureau which had been established in 1900 as the Rockford Business and Professional Men's Association. The organization became a department of the Chamber in 1923 and was known as the Credit Rating Bureau. In 1944 the Credit Bureau of Rockford was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

During most of its first fifty years the Chamber focused much of its energies on problems and issues relating to private business and economic development. As the local economy changed and problems common to mature urban-industrial centers emerged, the Chamber expanded its activities. Through its annual program of work, standing committees and project committees the Chamber broadened its areas of community involvement. The Chamber con- tinues to function in many traditional roles but now sees itself as a community-centered problem solving organization that emphasizes cooperation among the business, government, and education communities in Rockford.

Subject/Index Terms

Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce of Rockford Area
Discrimination.
Economic development.
Retail trade
Rockford (Ill.)
School District of Rockford (Ill.)
Segregation in education

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: Addenda were added at later dates.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection are held by the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce

Acquisition Method: The Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce donated its inactive records to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center in January 1986.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Historical Information; Board of Directors' Records, Executive Committee, Financial, Annual Meetings, Credit Bureau],
[Series II: Correspondence],
[Series III.: Newsletters],
[Series IV.: Subject Files],
[Series V.: Industry File, 1940-1975],
[Series VI.: Photographs],
[Series VII.: Oversize],
[Addendum 1.],
[Addendum 2.],
[Addendum 3.],
[Addendum 4.],
[All]

Series V.: Industry File, 1940-1975
Box 15
Folder 27: Industry File Index
Folder 28-33: A-B
Box 16
Folder 1-20: B-N
Box 17
Folder 1-18: N-W
Folder 19: Industrial Expansion, Employment Statistics, 1950-1965
Folder 20-22: Industrial History, Correspondence, 1945-1975
Box 18
Folder 1-4: Newsclippings; Manufacturers Directory, Expansion, Labor Relations, Strikes, 1945-1965
Folder 5: Rockford Strike Record, 1945-1965

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Historical Information; Board of Directors' Records, Executive Committee, Financial, Annual Meetings, Credit Bureau],
[Series II: Correspondence],
[Series III.: Newsletters],
[Series IV.: Subject Files],
[Series V.: Industry File, 1940-1975],
[Series VI.: Photographs],
[Series VII.: Oversize],
[Addendum 1.],
[Addendum 2.],
[Addendum 3.],
[Addendum 4.],
[All]


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