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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 VI.: Oversize and Audio Visual
Box 14
Folder 22: Photographs: West Suburban Day Camp group photos (10 photos), circa 1966
Folder 23: Photographs: Teen and U.S. Day Camp captioned photos with list (9 photos, 5 printed images), 1960s
Folder 24: Photographs: U.S. Suburban Day Camp composition note,, circa 1960s
Folder 25: Photographs: YWCA images (14 photos), 1966, no date
Folder 26: Photographs: Images of Jane Heckman (1 photo, 1 printed image), 1924, 1972
Folder 27: Photographs: YWCA program and personnel images, newspaper article(3 photos, 14 printed images), 1966, 1972-1973, 1975-1980s, 1988, no date
Folder 28: Photographs: Captioned images on YWCA programs, 1966, 1969-1971, 1979, 1981, 2001-2002
Folder 29: Photographs: Identified photos (11 photos), 1965, 1970s-1980s, 1985, 2000, 2004, no date
Folder 30: Photographs: CORE images, 1970s
Folder 31: Photographs: YWCA staff and programs (25 negative strips), 1969, 1970, 1985, no date
Folder 32: Photographs: West Suburban YWCA early history (4 photos), 1970s
Folder 33: Photographs: International Study Project and YWCA staff (5 photos), 1984, no date
Folder 34: Photographs: Identified YWCA photos (4 photos), circa 1980s, no date
Folder 35: Photographs: 1986 World YWCA meeting-Greece (13 photos), 1986
Folder 36: Photographs: Forest Beach (14 slides), 1980s
Folder 37: Photographs: West Suburban Peace Action Network (2 photos), circa 1980s-1990s
Folder 38: Photographs: Photo collage celebrating and honoring friendships, January 10, 1998
Folder 39: Photographs: Parent Education, West Suburban YWCA program (1 photo), no date
Folder 40: Photographs: Forest Beach-West Suburban Weekend (7 photos), no date
Folder 41: Photographs: Unidentified photos (23 photos, 1 negative, 1 slide, 1 negative strip), no date
Folder 42: Photographs: Captions for unknown photos, no date
Folder 43: Photographs: Jack Stewart (1 photo), 1940s
Folder 44: Photographs: West Suburban Interfaith Peace Initiative marchers (1 photo), no date
Folder 45: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: Jane Stewart Heckman sketchbook, 1983-1984
Folder 46: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material:"Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things"informational flyer, no date
Folder 47: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: Jane Heckman Study Guide book notes, no date
Folder 48: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material:"The Rise of Political Women in the Election of 1912," Jo Freeman (incomplete), 2005
Folder 49: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: Correspondence to McDonald's Corporation form Jane Heckman, Chicago Area Partnership Institute, June 1, 1993
Folder 50: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: MWAH! (Messages Which Are Hype, Healthy, and Hard toForget) Grant Proposal, 1993
Folder 51: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: International Year of the Family, 1994
Folder 52: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: Editing 188 class work, circa January 2000
Folder 53: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: DuPage Women Against Rape and YWCA poster pieces (3 photos), no date
Folder 54: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: Potlock Picnic poster pieces (39 photos), August 22, 1992, August 22, 1992
Folder 55: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: The Annual Discover Peace Through Justice poster pieces and images, January 30, 1993
Folder 56: Oversize, Audio Visual Associated Material: Activity Label (3), no date
Box 15
Folder 1: U.S. Suburban Day Camp (4 photos), circa 1966
Folder 2: U.S. Suburban Day Camp (1 photo), circa 1966
Folder 3: YWCA building and photo of Metropolitan YWCA Chicago 100 Years, 1976, no date
Folder 4: Forest Beach map, no date
Folder 5: YWCA World Convention (1 photo), 1986
Folder 6: Barnard Bulletin, Heckman's Senior year, June 6, 1971
Folder 7: Coren's Rod and Reel Service poster mentioning Eric Heckman, no date
Box 16
Folder 1: Be All You Can Be. Work For Peace, bumper sticker,West Suburban Peace Action Network, no date
Folder 2: YWCA of the USA, Metropolitan Chicago, 2001
Folder 3: Landmark Forum, 1997
Folder 4: Election 2009-consolidated General Election Publication
Folder 5: Nitra newspaper article (incomplete), January 31, 2003
Folder 6: Conflict is Inevitable, Violence is Not, no date
Folder 7: West Suburban Area YWCA scrapbook, 1970s
Folder 8: Urban Suburban Day Camp, YWCA (2 photos), circa 1966, no date
Folder 9: South African-Apartheid posters (5), no date
Folder 10: Personal Reflection notes, no date
Folder 11: YWCA Forest Beach Camp and Conference Center Report, Support Group for Forest Beach and Each other, April 24, 1987-November 30, 1987, no date
Folder 12: Legal Information Services poster, no date
Oversize Drawer LO-6
Folder 1: YWCA Counseling/Northern Illinois Foodbank, 1979-1990s, no date
Folder 2: Women's History and Domestic Violence posters (4), 1977-1978, 1999, no date
Folder 3: The Mythical Three Legged Stool of Retirement/Domestic Violence articles, no date, 1974, 2003
Folder 4: Forest Beach stationary design, no date
Folder 5: Incubator/Riane Eisler talk, no date
Folder 6: West Suburban Day Camp (1 photo), circa 1960s
Folder 7: OWL Agenda/World YWCA, no date, 1979, 2001, no date
Folder 8: YWCA Child Development Center, Forest Beach, July 1988
Folder 9: Forest Beach Camp Brochure Design (2), no date
Folder 10: Winter in the Dunes-South Shore Line poster, 1925
Folder 11: American Association of University Women-Lombard sign, no date
Folder 12
Item 1: Child Care, circa 1983/"Discover A New World: Women's History,", 1992
Item 2: Target, circa 1980s
Folder 13
Item 1: Why Can't We Get Along, no date
Item 2: YWCA-end Apartheid, circa 1980s
Oversize Drawer LO-7
Folder 1
Item 1: DuPage Democratic Party and Women voters, July 31, 2005
Item 2: DuPage YWCA beginnings, 1977-1979, 2001
Folder 2
Item 1: DWAR, 1983, 1988, 2001, no date
Item 2: YWCA program-leadership and divorse, 1976, 1980, 1982, no date
Folder 3
Item 1: It All Started with Jane... YWCA West Suburban, 1960s, 1978, 1984-1985, no date
Item 2: Women’s history, no date
Folder 4
Item 1: Elderhostel at Forest Beach, June 12-18, 1988
Item 2: York Township maps and information, circa July 2005
Folder 5
Item 1: YWCA international photo, 1980s
Item 2: AAUW Lombard sign, no date
Box 17
Folder 1: Jean Houston-Oasis Week tape inventory (see cassette box 1, cassettes 1-16), November 14-18, 1993
Folder 2: Unitarian Church of Hinsdale-Women's Service program, (See cassette box 1, cassette 17), March 27, 1983
Box 1
Cassette Tape 1-16: Jean Houston-Oasis Week (16 tapes) (see folder in box 16 with inventory), November 14-18, 1993
Cassette Tape 17: Unitarian Church of Hinsdale Women's Service, March 27, 1983
Cassette Tape 18-19: First International Minoan Celebration of Partnership-Plenary Social Change (2 tapes), no date
Cassette Tape 20-21: First International Minoan Celebration of Partnership-Restructuring Business-Ben Cohen (2 tapes), no date
Box 2
Cassette Tape 1: CAPI, July 10, 1993
Cassette Tape 2: CAP-Retreat at Bethany, July 23-July 24
Cassette Tape 3: CAP meeting, September 15, 1993
Cassette Tape 4: Education Seminar Planning Committee, January 14, 1970
Cassette Tape 5: Education Conference and community involvement, no date
Cassette Tape 6-7: meeting on education in school district (2 tapes), no date
Cassette Tape 8: CORE II, May 1
Cassette Tape 9: Gaza-Meeting CPE-WSPA, March 21, 1993
Cassette Tape 10: WSPAN Steering Committee, March 27, 1993
Cassette Tape 11: DuPage political women's meeting, no date
Cassette Tape 12: Return of the Goddess: Ecology, Spirituality, and Partnership 93-Parliament of the World's Religions, 1993
Cassette Tape 13: What Shall We Do?'-Dr. Gerald Barney, no date
Cassette Tape 14: CORE-What Have We Accomplished, no date
Cassette Tape 15: ISP-Special Session, March 28, 1983
Cassette Tape 16-17: BTS: Future of Land/ Building (2 tapes), March 26, 1993
Cassette Tape 18: Mayslake Landmark Conservancy Organization meeting, DuPage County, no date
Cassette Tape 19: Forest Beach, April 15, 1989
Box 3
Cassette Tape 1: Day Care/Divorce Hotline, October 1;   October 1, 1983
Cassette Tape 2: Suburban Camp, no date
Cassette Tape 3: S. African Network; Stopping violence (sound poor), no date
Cassette Tape 4: Target Graduation; speech, September 19, 1983
Cassette Tape 5: Mid-American Congress and Illinois Report on Aging Intergenerational Program, 1992
Cassette Tape 6: World Y Council meeting-opening, September 8, 1979
Cassette Tape 7: Communications-commercials YWCA, no date
Cassette Tape 8-9: Kathleen interviews (side 1 only) (2 tapes), no date
Cassette Tape 10: Role of Adults and Teens, no date
Cassette Tape 11: Staff Retreat, June 7-8, 1984
Cassette Tape 12-13: Session II-Multi-National Corporations (2 tapes), March 14, 1983
Cassette Tape 14: YWCA Gray Panthers, July 24
Cassette Tape 15: Peter Hay talk, July 24, 1979
Cassette Tape 16: Environment, YWCA, November 7
Cassette Tape 17: Speech at Women in Lucent-WIL Board, July 8, 1998
Cassette Tape 18: YWCA Women's History Plans, no date
Cassette Tape 19: Beech, March 21, 1983
Cassette Tape 20: DWAR talk, no date
Box 4
Cassette Tape 1: Stolfus Question period, no date
Cassette Tape 2: John Sommers, Coroheno [Sweter], Ellen Rich, September13-14
Cassette Tape 3: Ellen Dick talk, September 14, 1993
Cassette Tape 4: Talk from Marta from El Salvador, April 11, 1983
Cassette Tape 5: Jane Heckman in YWCA-Lombard, no date
Cassette Tape 6: Sr. [Jeanne Cozemus] at Wellness Conference, 1982
Cassette Tape 7: Introduction and Sr. Marjorie, April 11, 1983
Cassette Tape 8: Hawk Group: Bill Clarke, Chas [Cille], [Yvon Stokley], and Jane Heckman talk, July 13, 1993
Cassette Tape 9: Janet [Palrud] on Nicaragua trip-YWCA [Church World Seminar], March 19, 1984
Cassette Tape 10: Cheryl Johnson talk, March 7, 1983
Cassette Tape 11: Meeting on community organizations, no date
Cassette Tape 12: Mrs. White, EEC/Mr [Swift], EEC; Alfred Medvitz YWCA Consultant, no date
Cassette Tape 13: Aurora University talk, November 1
Cassette Tape 14: Animals as Teachers and Healers talk, no date
Cassette Tape 15: Friday retreat-Gale, Crisis Center; Singing Retreat, September 30;   September 29
Cassette Tape 16: Children's Choir practice, no date
Cassette Tape 17: Susan Urban, 'Dragonflies and Rainbows,' music, 1991
Cassette Tape 18: Songs of the Suffragettes,' Elizabeth Knight, Smithsonian Institute, no date
Cassette Tape 19: Tops '86 music, no date
Item 1: DVD:"Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things"
Item 2: Take Back the Night in Wheaton, Illinois, October 2, 1999
Item 3: VHS: 125th Anniversary Celebration of Metropolitan Chicago, March 19, 2002
Item 4: VHS: OWL-"The Truth About Women & Social Security", 1999
Item 5: Safe Strong and Free YWCA button, no date
Box 18
Item 1: Magnetic Recording Tape: Metropolitan Chicago YWCA-Young Adult Conference:Women and Sex Morality, Mrs. Southard, Aurora Conference (poor sound quality), May 16, 1964
Item 2: Magnetic Recording Tape: Metropolitan Chicago YWCA-Young Adult Conference: Women and Sex Morality, Dr. [Bettleheim], Chicago Loop Center (poor sound quality), March 27, 1965
Item 3: 16mm: Glenview Camp, Central Evanston, YWCA (no sound), no date
Item 4: 16mm: YWCA Girls Reserve Camp (no sound), no date
Item 5: 16mm: Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, "A Law for Victims," (color, sound), no date
Item 6: 16mm: Forest Beach (no sound), circa 1930s
Item 7: 16mm: Forest Beach film (in color, no sound), 1949
Item 8: 16mm: Camp Sagawau, Metropolitan Chicago YWCA (in color, no sound), 1947
Item 9: 16mm: Camp Sagawau, Metropolitan Chicago YWCA, (in color, no sound), no date
Item 10: 16mm: Untitled film (no sound), circa 1920s-1930s

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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