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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 V.: Subject File
Box 10
Folder 22: File names, January 26, 2010
Folder 23: Jane Heckman's Annual Family letter, 1956, 1958-1962, 1964-1969
Folder 24: AARP, 2002
Folder 25: American Association of University Women (AAUW), 1985-1987, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2007-2010, no date
Folder 26: AAUW-Diversity Services, 1989, 1993, 1995-1996, 1998-1999
Folder 27: Addams,  Jane, 1971, 2007, no date
Folder 28: Africa,, April 3, 2006
Box 11
Folder 1: Ageing, 1985, 1988, 1994, 2001, 2009, no date
Folder 2: Archives/Organizing, September 2006, no date
Folder 3: Barnard, 1940-1941, no date
Folder 4: Barnard Alumnae reunion and programs, 1986
Folder 5: Barnard-Alumnae reunions and programs, January-June 1991
Folder 6: Barnard Alumnae reunion and programs, 1995
Folder 7: Barnard Alumnae reunion and programs, 2001-2001, 2005-2006, 2008
Folder 8: Barnard Magazine, Fall 2008
Folder 9: Barnard-Alumnae reunions and programs, 1973, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1983-1984, 1987, 1998, no date
Folder 10: Book club-Glen Ellyn, June 26, 2007
Folder 11: Career Fair-Volunteer organizations, 1991, 2000, no date
Folder 12: Church World Service-minutes, activities, correspondence, 1963, 1983-1987, 1989
Folder 13: Church World Service-World Game, hunger, and the Price Of War, 1990-1991
Folder 14: Circle Pines, 1974, 1978, 1990, 2001-2002, 2004-2005, 2008-2009, no date
Folder 15: College of DuPage, 1989, 1999, 2008, no date
Folder 16: Cody-Irish Setter, 2007-2008
Folder 17: Co-op York Center Community Cooperative Incorporated, 1981, 1988, 1994-1995, no date
Folder 18: DuPage Interfaith Resource Network flyers, no date
Folder 19: Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, 1980-1999, no date
Folder 20: DUCOPE (DuPage County Committee on Pregnancy Education), 1976-1981, no date
Folder 21: DuPage County Federation, 1992, 1994-1996
Folder 22: DuPage United, 2003, 2007-2008
Folder 23: Education, 1974, 1994-1995, no date
Folder 24: Election 2008, 2008
Folder 25: Election 2009, 2009
Folder 26: Election priority's, 1964, circa 1976, 1986, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004-2008, no date
Folder 27: Family Shelter Service, Spring 2009
Folder 28: Fish-Downers Grove area FISH Incorporated, 1996-1997
Folder 29: Flowerfield Neighbor Watch and Neighbors Influencing Fifty-Three Improvement (NIFTI), 2000, 2002, 2005, no date
Folder 30: Funny living will, March 22, 2009
Folder 31: Gardening/Environment, 1982, 1984, no date
Folder 32: Global Education-hunger mission partners, Guatemala, circa1980s, 1990-1991
Folder 33: Global Education-Fact Sheets and curriculum, 1991, no date
Folder 34: Global Education-commissions, committees, programs, and Articles, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1989-1992
Folder 35: Global Education-KAIROS USA, International Year of the Family, Third World Conference, articles, curriculum, 1992, 1994, 2003, no date
Folder 36: Global Education scrapbook
Folder 37: Grief, no date
Folder 38: Groups-decision making and sharing, 1993, no date
Folder 39: Gulf War, January 1990-April 1991, no date
Folder 40: HOPE Fair Housing Center, October 29, 1995
Folder 41: History-American Association for State and Local History, 1975, 1995, 1999-2000, no date
Box 12
Folder 1: Human Development Foundation, no date
Folder 2: ICASA-Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, 1984, 2007, 2009, no date
Folder 3: Jewish Studies, 1987, 1989, 2008-2009, no date
Folder 4-5: LAN (Local Area Network) Resources, 1991, 1994-1999, no date
Folder 6: LAN (Local Area Network) Resources-"Sharpen Your Knowledge of the DuPage County Local Area Network,", June 9, 1998
Folder 7: LAN (Local Area Network)-DuPage County Child and Adolescent Local Area Network #39 Consumer Advisory Sub-Committee, circa 2006
Folder 8: Landmark Forum, December 1997-April 1998
Folder 9: The Meadow of Glen Ellyn Brookdale Senior Living, no date
Folder 10: Mentoring, 1996-1997, 1999-2001, no date
Folder 11: Middle East, January, April 1993, 2001, 2006, 2009, no date
Folder 12: Million Moms, May 14, 2000
Folder 13: Mondragon, 1984, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2004
Folder 14: Morton Arboretum, 1991, 2007-2009, no date
Folder 15: Mozambique, 1989-1990, no date
Folder 16: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator,, circa 1999
Folder 17: NOW-National Organization for Women, 1974, 1985, 2009
Folder 18: Organic Gardening, 2000-2002, 2008-2009, no date
Folder 19: Parent Education, 1991, 1998, no date
Folder 20: Peace-Department of Peace, 1992, 2001-2003, 2005-2007, 2009, no date
Folder 21: Peace (general), 1942, 1985-1987, 1990-1994, 1996, 2000, 2005-2006, no date
Folder 22: Peace & Justice Coalition-conference and workshops, 1996-1997
Folder 23: Peace & Justice Coalition-Teambuilding, June 13, 1997
Folder 24: Peace & Justice Coalition-programs, 1993-1996, no date
Folder 25: Peace & Justice Coalition-programs, 1997, no date
Folder 26: PEERs programs, July 1998-November 1999, no date
Folder 27: PEERs-Let's Talk Summit, 1998, 1999, 2004
Folder 28: People-correspondence,, 2004
Folder 29: Poems and writing, 1927-1929, 1942, 1951, 1959, 1961, 1973, 1975, 1978-1987
Folder 30: Poems and writing, 1988-1992, 1995-1996, 1999-2003, 2008-2009
Folder 31-32: Poems and writing, no date
Folder 33: Prairie Club, 1983-1985, 1989-1990, 1995-1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2007-2009
Oversize Drawer LO-6
Folder 14: Peace (general)-An Open Letter to the People of Iraq from the Citizens of the United States, no date
Folder 17: Women's Studies and Women's History, 1999, no date
Box 13
Folder 1: Pro Se Divorce Manual for DuPage County, 1976, no date
Folder 2: Racism, 1945, 1979, 1982, 1989-1992, 1995, no date
Folder 3: Recreation, Chicago Park District Rainbow Fleet, circa 1979
Folder 4: Reference Letters, 1980, 1984-1985, 1992, 1997-2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, no date
Folder 5: Respite Care & Living Alternatives, 1999
Folder 6: Respite Care & Living Alternatives-Lutheran Social Services Homemaker, August 1999
Folder 7: Respite Care & Living Alternatives-Metropolitan Family Services, circa 1999
Folder 8: Rich & Poor, 1980, 1990, no date
Folder 9: Roe vs. Wade, 1986, 2007, no date
Folder 10: Saree, circa 1985, 1991, 2004-2005, 2007-2009, no date
Folder 11: SEA-Student Environmental Action Guide, 1990-1991, no date
Folder 12: Senior Home Sharing, 2007
Folder 13-14: Senior Resources, 1994-1995, 2001-2002, 2005, 2007, no date
Folder 15: September 11, 2001, circa 2001
Folder 16: Sexual violence, 1984
Folder 17: Spirituality, 1990, 1992, no date
Folder 18: Starved Rock, December 28, 2004
Folder 19: Story Telling, 1994, 1996-1998, no date
Folder 20: Story Telling class material, June-August 1994
Folder 21: Unitarian, 1994, 2003-2004, 2007, 2009, no date
Folder 22: Unitarian-Youth programs and work camps, 1960-1961, 1964-1965, no date
Folder 23: University of Michigan-School of Social Work, 1998, September 20, 2001
Folder 24: Volunteers, 1985-1987
Folder 25: Wedding, October 2000-January 2001, September 2006, no date
Folder 26: West Suburban Peace Action Network, 1987, 1991-1993, 1997
Folder 27: Women's studies-programs and literature, 1955, 1974, 1976, 1983, 1985-1987
Folder 28: Women's studies-labor,, circa 1964, 1967, 1976-1980, 1992-1993, no date
Folder 29: Women's studies-For Women Who Are, Sexism, Racism, 1970, 1973, no date
Folder 30: Women's studies-Women's issues, 1972, 1975-1977, 1980, no date
Folder 31: Women's history and studies-Women in business, International women's issues, 1973, 1982, 1985-1987, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2007, no date
Box 14
Folder 1-2: Women's studies-Literature about women in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Marion County, California, 1976-Winter  1980, no date
Folder 3: Women's studies-College of DuPage, Problems of Women in Contemporary America, January-June 1977
Folder 4: Women's studies-Mid-Decade Conference for Women, Institute for Cultural Affairs, 1978-1981
Folder 5: Women's studies-California material, 1979-1980
Folder 6: Women's studies, 1982, 1986, no date
Folder 7: Women's studies and History, December 1985-May/June 1990, no date
Folder 8: Women's studies, 1988, 1990, no date
Folder 9: Women's history project-writing and publishing, 1959, 1975- 1976, 1984, 1989, 1991, 2003-2004
Folder 10-11: National Women's History Project-articles and programs, 1976, 1971-1982, 1984-1985, 1989, 1992-1993, 2000- 2005, 2007-2008, no date
Folder 12: National Women's History Project, 1976, 1983, 1985
Folder 13: Women's history, 1976-1980, 1983, 1987, 1989-1990, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2002-2007, no date
Folder 14: Women's history newspapers-"Women Win the Vote" and "The Dinner Party,", 1981-1982, 2005
Folder 15: Women's history-interview with Heather Raguheider of Iceland-DWAR (includes cassette tape), August 13, 1991
Folder 16: Women's history project, October 24-25, November 22, 2003, no date
Folder 17: Women's history project notes, no date
Folder 18: Work Camp flyer draft and information (23 photos, 1 slide), circa 1951-1964
Folder 19: Work Camp correspondence-Liberal Religious Youth  material, 1962-1964
Folder 20: Work Camp planning committee (ALC-UUSC), 1963-1965
Folder 21: York Township,, 2009, 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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