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Jane Heckman Papers


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Young Women's Christian Association


Older Women's League (OWL)

Personal and Social Activities

Subject File

Oversize and Audio Visual

Addendum 1

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Jane Heckman Papers, 1940-2010 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Jane Heckman Papers, 1940-2010

ID: RHC/RC/317

Extent: 24.0 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is divided into six series: YWCA, Scrapbooks, OWL, Personal and Social Activities, Subject Files, and Oversize and Audio Visual material.  Series I is further divided into two subseries: YWCA Book Material and General YWCA Material.  The donors organization of book material was preserved in Subseries A,  which was arranged by chapters and chronologically within chapters.  There is no information for Chapter 12.  Series IV, Personal and Social Activities, as well as Subseries B is arranged by topic, and Series V is arranged alphabetically by subject title.  It should be noted that in maintaining the organization of the donor, material on the YWCA is spread throughout Series I and V. with additional information contained in scrapbooks in Series II and in the Oversize and Audio-Visual files of Series VI.  Also of note, Jane Heckman’s video project on the history of women in the DuPage Area,  “Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things” is located in box 17, but there is little accompanying information.  With the predominate focus on the YWCA, most material concerning other organizations and personal issues is small in comparison.  A few items are in French.  Researchers interested in OWL should see DuPage Area Older Women, 1989-2004 (RC 299) for further information.  Researchers interested in any of the other numerous organizations or issues addressed in the Jane Heckman Papers should consult the Regional Collections Guide for collections with further information.

Date Acquired: 12/18/2011. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: American Association of University Women, Apartheid., Barnard College, Chicago Area Partnership Institute--CAPI, Child abuse., Child Assault Prevention--CAP, College of DuPage, Conflict Resolution in Education--CORE, Democratic Party, Displaced Homemakers, DuPage County (Ill.), DuPage Women Against Rape, Environmental policy., Family violence., Forest Beach (MI), Forest conservation., Heckman, Jane, International education., Job Training Partnership Act, Lombard (Ill.), Marital violence., Obama, Barack, Occupational retraining, Older Women’s League - OWL, Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things., Outstanding Women Leaders of DuPage County, Peace movements, Prairie Homesteaders, Racism, South Africa, Target, Think Globally, Act Locally, Unitarian Universalist Church, United Way, Urban Suburban Day Camp, West Suburban Peace Action Network, Women's studies., Young Women's Christian Association-West Suburban Area., Young Women's Christian Association., YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Zambia.

Forms of Material: Poetry

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of the papers of Jane Heckman from 1940 to 2010.  Papers include minutes, committee records, administrative files, publicity and audio-visual files from the West Suburban Area YWCA; as well as meeting minutes and booklets from OWL (the Older Women’s League) of DuPage County, meeting minutes, correspondence, and printed material from other organizations in DuPage County, printed material from Barnard College, and personal correspondence.  The collection documents Jane Heckman’s involvement in various organizations that focused on women, education, environmental issues, racial equality, and peace; with the predominate focus on the YWCA.  Of note is the material collected and arranged by Jane Heckman into chapters for a potential book on the history of the West Suburban Area YWCA in Series I, as well an invitation to President Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration located in box 11.

Collection Historical Note

Jane Chippendale Stewart Heckman was born in May 1921 in Dobbs Ferry, New York where she grew up with her parents and her two brothers Peter and Jack.  She went to the women’s college, Barnard, at the age of 16, graduating in 1941.  She went on to receive her Masters of Social Work in 1944 at the University of Michigan and afterwards worked as a community organizer in Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh.  In 1955 she married a widower Tom Heckman.  Together with his two sons Eric and Jan, whom she adopted, and Tom and Jane’s son, Mark, they lived in DuPage County.

Heckman remained involved in Barnard College as an alumnae and became involved in numerous organizations over her lifetime including: the American Association of University Women, Older Women’s League (OWL), the Partnership Institute, the Glen Ellyn Book Club, and the West Suburban Peace Action Network.  She was also a Democratic Precinct Committeeman for more than twenty-one years and was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church.      Jane Heckman’s involvement in the DuPage area YWCA began in 1965 when she was hired by the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago to investigate area needs, culminating in the opening of the West Suburban Area YWCA in 1966.   Under Heckman’s leadership, the West Suburban Area YWCA developed the Urban/Suburban Day Camp; Prairie Homesteaders which educated Junior High students on the importance of prairie land; DuPage Area Women against Rape which educated the public about rape and provided services to victims of rape; and established numerous programs on race, sexism, divorce, and older women’s issues.  The West Suburban YWCA also established a Displaced Homemakers program that prepared women for  re-entering the workforce.  Heckman’s concern for international issues such as apartheid, also brought international issues to focus in DuPage County.  Heckman took part in the YWCA’s International Study Project in the 1980s, as well as developed and implemented programs to educate the public on international issues and understanding such as: “Global Thinking on Local Issues”and the International Minoan Celebration of Partnership in 1992.

In 1987 After leading the West Suburban Area YWCA for twenty-one years, Jane Heckman became the director of Forest Beach, a complex in Michigan owned by the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago to host programs and events.  Heckman worked to make Forest Beach a financially solvent sight for YWCA programs.  Despite the work of Heckman and others, the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago sold Forest Beach under a cloud of controversy in 1989.  Heckman retired in late 1988, but still remained involved in YWCA affairs and in other organizations.

Throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s, Jane Heckman worked on creating a project on the history of the DuPage area YWCA. In the 1990s, Heckman received funding to start work on “Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things,” culminating in a collection of interviews and group discussions on the role of women and the YWCA in the DuPage area. Many of these interviews and group discussions were filmed and aired on the local Community Focus television show in 2002 and subsequently “Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things” was released on DVD.

After years of service to the DuPage area and receiving numerous awards for this service, Jane Heckman passed away May 27, 2010.

Subject/Index Terms

American Association of University Women
Barnard College
Chicago Area Partnership Institute--CAPI
Child abuse.
Child Assault Prevention--CAP
College of DuPage
Conflict Resolution in Education--CORE
Democratic Party
Displaced Homemakers
DuPage County (Ill.)
DuPage Women Against Rape
Environmental policy.
Family violence.
Forest Beach (MI)
Forest conservation.
Heckman, Jane
International education.
Job Training Partnership Act
Lombard (Ill.)
Marital violence.
Obama, Barack
Occupational retraining
Older Women’s League - OWL
Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things.
Outstanding Women Leaders of DuPage County
Peace movements
Prairie Homesteaders
South Africa
Think Globally, Act Locally
Unitarian Universalist Church
United Way
Urban Suburban Day Camp
West Suburban Peace Action Network
Women's studies.
Young Women's Christian Association-West Suburban Area.
Young Women's Christian Association.
YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: Additional records were added in 2013.

Alternate Extent Statement: 5 digital files (6.47MB)

Access Restrictions: Twenty- four hours advanced notice is requested for the audio-visual material due to the need of special equipment.

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

Technical Access Note: Electronic records may be accessed on the computer in the Center’s reading room.

Acquisition Source: Mark Heckman

Acquisition Method: Mark Heckman donated the Jane Heckman Papers to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on December 18, 2011. The donation included paper and electronic files.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Young Women's Christian Association],
[Series II.: Scrapbooks],
[Series III.: Older Women's League (OWL)],
[Series IV.: Personal and Social Activities],
[Series V.: Subject File],
[Series VI.: Oversize and Audio Visual],
[Addendum 1],

Series IV.: Personal and Social Activities
Box 9
Folder 19: Barnard College: Greek Games, 1938-1939
Folder 20: Renseignements pratiques concernant le stage de pre-formation, Centre de pre-formation (in French), 1975
Folder 21: Barnard College Women's Center oral history proposal, circa 1964
Folder 22: Barnard College 25th Anniversary Reunion, June 3, 1966
Folder 23: 17th Alumnae Council-Associate Alumnae of Barnard College, November 8-9, 1968
Folder 24: Reference letter to attend Barnard College, February 17, 1990
Folder 25: Earth Day-"Women, Gain and Ecology" by Riane Eisler,, April 22, 1999
Folder 26: Barnard College Reunion, Class of 1941, 1996, 2006, 1941, 1996, 2006, no date
Folder 27: Correspondence and articles concerning Holly House at Barnard College, March-October 1991
Folder 28: Barnard College Alumnae material, 2000, no date
Folder 29: Remembrance & Celebrating Jane Chippendale Stewart Heckman, May 12, 1921-May 27, 2010; 2010
Folder 30: Personal correspondence, 1939-1940
Folder 31: Personal correspondence, July 23, 1941
Folder 32: Personal correspondence and newspaper clippings, 1941, 1961, 1968-1969, 1978-1985, 1987-1992, 1995-1997
Folder 33: Heckman family and friends slides (20 slides), 1975, 1977-1978
Folder 34: Program Services Committee Meeting and Minutes, June 3, 1980
Folder 35: Personal, no date
Folder 36: Personal correspondence, 1962, 1976, 1982-1988, 1990, 1992, 1994-1998, 2000, 2002-2004
Folder 37: Correspondence from Ruth Fisherman, 1978, 1981, 1983-1986, 1988, 1999, no date
Folder 38: Personal correspondence and newspaper clippings, 2001, 2004, 2007, no date
Folder 39: Flowers, 2003, 2005, no date
Folder 40: Personal correspondence, 2007, 2009, no date
Folder 41: The 'Thanks Be to Grandmother Winifred Foundation' grant information for "Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things", 1999-2004
Folder 42: YWCA newsletter, Spring 1987
Box 10
Folder 1-2: Who's Who In Human Services Directory, County of DuPage, 1993
Folder 3: School Board Reference Library: "Treating Pupils As Individuals" and "Salary Schedules For Teachers", 1945-1946
Folder 4: Social Action booklets and pamphlets, 1945, 1947, 1949, no date
Folder 5: Education and Child Care Institute in Germany, 1949-1951
Folder 6: New York School of Social Work, 1950
Folder 7: Dobbs Ferry Public School and Green Valley Kindergarten, 1950, no date
Folder 8: National Citizens Commission for the Public Schools Working Guides, "How Have Our Schools Developed?," "Self-Quiz on School Quality", 1953-1955, no date
Folder 9: Thomas Heckman-P.T.A., School Board, personal notes, 1954,  January-April 1960, 2000
Folder 10: Teaching Salaries Then and Now, by Beardley Ruml and Sidney G. Tickton, October 1955
Folder 11: National School Board Association pamphlets, and booklets, 1958-1959
Folder 12: Illinois Citizens Education Committee and Illinois Congress of Parent and Teacher material, 1958, 1960
Folder 13: Chicago Park District: Suggested Goals in Park and Recreation Planning, September 1959
Folder 14: Images of the Future: A New Approach to the Secondary School, by J. Lloyd Trump, 1959
Folder 15: The P.T.A. Magazine, October 1960, (February-December1962)
Folder 16: City Year-Youth Service Corps, 1993
Folder 17: Racism Weekend on "Groups", no date
Folder 18: Workshops and Conferences, 1972, 1974, 1978-1979, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1990
Folder 19: Workshops and Conferences, 1991-1998
Folder 20: Workshops and Conferences, January 1999-October 2002
Folder 21: Workshops and Conferences, no date
Folder 22: Bethany Village website, no date

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Young Women's Christian Association],
[Series II.: Scrapbooks],
[Series III.: Older Women's League (OWL)],
[Series IV.: Personal and Social Activities],
[Series V.: Subject File],
[Series VI.: Oversize and Audio Visual],
[Addendum 1],

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