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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],

Addendum 1
Sub-Series 1: Slides
Box 19
Folder 1: Prairie Homesteaders, (54), 1969-1971
Folder 2: People Project (40), 1968-1969
Folder 3: Lombard (20), 1969
Folder 4: Day Camps (177), 1961-1975
Folder 5: Urban-Suburban (67), 1965-1966
Folder 6: Teen and Women Organizations (133), 1966-1969
Folder 7: Unlabeled (38), 1967-1974
Folder 8: Scenic Shots (28), 1969, no date
Folder 9: Community Organizations (58), 1967-1969, no date
Folder 10: YWCA History (74), 1963-2003
Folder 11: Trip to Zambia and Women in Europe and USA: Common Issues (67), 1979
Folder 12: Camps (254), 1979-1982
Folder 13: Adult and Young Groups (19), 1979, 1982
Folder 14: Forest Beach camp (16), July 1971
Folder 15: Y-Teens and Poor People’s Power (22), no date
Folder 16: President Hotel (6), September 1979
Folder 17: Forest Beach Camp (13), June 1980
Box 20
Folder 1: Jane Heckman (6), no date
Folder 2: “Metro” (21), 1959
Folder 3: Forest Beach Camp (80), 1970, 1979, 1988, no date
Folder 4: Unlabeled (5), no date
Folder 5: Jane Heckman (34), 1987
Folder 6: Unlabeled (12), February 1988
Folder 7: Essington Dedication (7), July 1979
Folder 8: Forest Beach (18), 1979
Folder 9: African national Congress representative (17), 1985
Folder 10: Unidentified camp (19), no date, 1959, 1965, 1970, 1971
Folder 11: Day Camp and Forest Beach (6), 1985, no date
Folder 12: Essington Hall Renovations (19), 1979
Folder 13: Unidentified outdoor activities (7), no date
Folder 14: West Suburbs (includes fire and gateway) (15), 1965-1971
Folder 15: Unidentified pictures (26), no date, 1987
Folder 16: Camp (29), 1981-1985, no date
Folder 17: Unidentified Camp (20), 1979-1985
Folder 18: “Youth Power Action Y-Teens”, Mrs. McCloud and Son, and “Elimination of Racism” (6), no date
Folder 19: YWCA (25), 1965-1973, no date
Folder 20: Unidentified Camp (29), 1952-1982
Folder 21: Harris Dedication and as a new place (83), circa 1970s
Folder 22: Forest Beach camp (52), 1950-1979, no date
Folder 23: Unidentified pictures (18), no date
Folder 24: Scenes of Chicago (22), August 16, 1965
Folder 25: Forest Beach Camp and Reunion (29), no date, 1962-1971
Folder 26: Forest Beach Camp and Reunion (154), 1962-1965
Folder 27: Unidentified pictures (4), 1979, 1986, 1987
Sub-Series 2: Photographs
Box 20
Folder 28: Urban-Suburban Day camp photo (1), 1966
Folder 29: Photos and Greeting card of Jane Heckman (4), no date
Folder 30: Correspondence from Grace McLucas to Ida [regarding YWCA slide], 1971
Box 21
Item 1: Children on beach, no date
Item 2: "One Sout Park Building" with YMCA logo, no date
Item 3: Residents of the Marquette Park Area protesting the possibility of non-white, black people moving into the area, 1966
Photograph by E. Heckman
Item 4: Young adults holding papers, no date
Sub-Series 3: VHS
Box 22
Item 1: VHS: “A vision of a Chicago partnership”, no date
Item 2: VHS: Alice Newman and David Sweeney, April 1999
Item 3: VHS: Chicago area partnership, no date
Item 4: VHS: Ch. 11 Racism 101: Campus Bigotry, February 20, 1990
Item 5: VHS: David Sweeney on DuPage Intergenerational Village, no date
Item 6: VHS: Dirty Diaper Delima, no date
Item 7: VHS: Geoff Aronson at College of DuPage on Settlements: Israel Palestine Ideas, August 30, 1991
Item 8: VHS: Goddess Remembered Ch. 11, March 18, 1995
Item 9: VHS: Hartigan/ Edgar Rally/Donahue “Newsmakers”, 1990
Item 10: VHS: Hineline Speech League of Women Voters, October 16, 1997
Item 11: VHS: ISP #1, May 14, 1983
Item 12: VHS: ISP #2, May 14, 1983
Item 13: VHS: Korean YWCA, no date
Item 14: VHS: Master CAPI audio track, no date
Box 23
Item 15: VHS: WSPAN-WSIPI Meeting Dr. Artan Al-Hani, June 23, 1991
Item 1: VHS: Older Adulthood, December 20, 1990
Item 2: VHS: Papandreou and Eshel, September 26, 1991
Item 3: VHS: Peacemaker’s 2/3Committee Reports, no date
Item 4: VHS: Profit, April 30, 1996
Item 5: VHS: Riane Eisler: Interview with Howie Samuelson, no date
Item 6: VHS: Singing at weekend- YW support group, no date
Item 7: VHS: Spirit of Crazy Horse/ Death Throes of Apartheid/ Middle Adulthood: Seasons of Life, December 18,1990
Item 8: VHS: “The Impact of Forest Beach on Women’s Lives” to Metre Board, May 18, 1987
Item 9: VHS: “Twice punished-Denise [Trajnaal]” and “the Betrayal of Dr. Supers”, no date
Item 10: VHS: Wall-mart and BTS Campus, May 9, 1993
Item 11: VHS: Washington D.C. selected highlights, January 26, 1991
Item 12: VHS: Washington march-Fisher (negotiation expert)/Catherine-the-Great, no date
Item 13: VHS: WSPAN: Conflict Resolution Workshop, no date
Item 14: VHS: WSPAN Meeting, November 24, 1991
Sub-Series 4: Super 8mm
Box 24
Reel 1: Prairie Homesteader Summer Program, 1973
Reel 2: Prairie Homesteader Wisconsin #1, 1971
Reel 3: Prairie Homesteader Wisconsin #2, 1971
Reel 4: Prairie Homesteader #1, 1972
Reel 5: Prairie Homesteader #3, 1972

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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