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David McMahon and Barbara Keeling Collection


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Rockford history, companies, and organizations

Newspaper clippings

Audio Visual


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David McMahon and Barbara Keeling Collection, 1910-2013 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: David McMahon and Barbara Keeling Collection, 1910-2013

Predominant Dates:1950-2011

ID: RHC/RC/329

Extent: 7.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The collection is divided into four series: (I) Rockford History, Companies, and Organizations; (II) Newspaper Clippings; (III) Audio Visual Material; and (IV) Oversize Material.  The Audio Visual and Oversize series are further divided with Audio Visual divided into (A) Slides; (B) Tapes;( C) Buttons, Passes, and Artifacts; and (D) Photographs.  Oversize (IV) is divided into (A) Newspapers and (B) Various Oversize material.  The donor originally organized material in Series I roughly by decade.  It has been further divided by topic and chronologically within.  This means that information for an organization like Tinker Swiss Cottage, will appear numerous times throughout Series I.  Series II is arranged chronologically and consists primarily of 1950s Rockford newspaper reprints of turn of the century Rockford photos.  Series III, Audio Visual, is organized by subject and type, and then chronologically. Subseries D, Photographs, consist of photographs taken by David McMahon.  Series IV is organized chronologically. For additional information on the Rockford Institute/ Howard Center, see the Howard Center for the Family, Religion, and Society/Rockford Institute (RC 238) For information on the Rockford Historical Society see RC 268.  For additional information on Rockford, Illinois please consult the Regional History Center guides for further collections.

Date Acquired: 01/30/2013

Subjects: AmCore Bank, Beattie Park, Box, Charles, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Churchill Grove, Rockford, Coronado Theater, Discovery Center Museum, First Night, Greenwich Village Art Fair, Howard, John, Howard Center for the Family, Religion and Society, Junior League of Rockford, Keeling, Barbara W., Keeling, Virgil C., Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Keith Country Day School (Rockford, Ill.), Klehm Arboretum and Botanical Garden, McMahon, David W., Midway Village and Museum Center, Natural Land Institute, New American Theater, Newspapers, Northern Illinois Botanical Society, On the Waterfront, Puri, Sunil, Rockford (Ill.), Rockford Area Convention and Visitor Bureau, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford College, Rockford Community Foundation, Rockford Historical Society, Rockford Institute, Rockford Memorial Hospital, Rockford Morning Star, Rockford Park District, Rockford Pro/Am, Rockford Register, Rockford Register Star, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Rock Valley College, Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, United States--Politics and government

Forms of Material: Newsletters.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The David McMahon and Barbara Keeling Collection consists of material on Rockford, Illinois collected by David McMahon and Barbara Keeling from the 1910s to 2011.  The materials document the various religious, social, political, medical, and entertainment organizations, businesses, and events of Rockford, Illinois primarily in the later half of the twentieth century.  The collection also reflects McMahon and Keeling’s interest in Rockford history as they saved images and material related to Rockford’s early history while also saving material on important events and organizations in Rockford during the late twentieth century.  The collection consists of museum invitations and programs, political material, material on local educational institutions, newspaper clippings, newspapers, audiovisual material, and material from various organizations and events.  Of particular note are the photos of President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, that were mailed to voters in 2004 located in box 4, folder 39.  Also of note is a high school scrapbook of Elizabeth “Ellis” Raffl given to David McMahon by Ellis’ granddaughter, Lynn Boreen of Rockford, Illinois, located in Series IV.  Though the collection documents the history of Rockford, it also reflects the professional and social organizations of interest to Keeling and McMahon.  The collection has little personal correspondence and material related to McMahon and Keeling’s daily lives.

Collection Historical Note

David W. McMahon

David W. McMahon was born in Rockford, Illinois and lives in Rockford with his wife Marcie.  He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1973 with a Graphics/ Communications BFA degree.  After graduation, McMahon worked in marketing and management until his retirement in 2007.  He has been a board member for several Rockford area organizations including: The Rockford Art Museum, Winnebago County Health Department Advisory, and Rockford College Social Work Advisory Committee.

In 1975 he met Barbara W. Keeling who shared an interest in Rockford and Winnebago County history.  In 1995, Barbara Keeling gave McMahon an “early inheritance.” The inheritance was Keeling’s historical files which were then added to McMahon’s files.

Barbara W. Keeling

Barbara W. Keeling was born March 15, 1918 in Bemidji, Minnesota, the daughter of Arthur Guiteau Wedge and Margaret Wilford (Ford).  She married Dr. Virgil Craig Keeling on November 24, 1945.  They shared 53 years together before his death on April 30, 1999.  They had 5 children together: Michael, James, Katherine, Timothy, and Thomas.  Barbara Keeling was a devoted volunteer during the sixty years she lived in Rockford and her legacy includes the Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza.  She died February 12, 2008.

Subject/Index Terms

AmCore Bank
Beattie Park
Box, Charles
Burpee Museum of Natural History
Churchill Grove, Rockford
Coronado Theater
Discovery Center Museum
First Night
Greenwich Village Art Fair
Howard, John
Howard Center for the Family, Religion and Society
Junior League of Rockford
Keeling, Barbara W.
Keeling, Virgil C.
Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza
Keith Country Day School (Rockford, Ill.)
Klehm Arboretum and Botanical Garden
McMahon, David W.
Midway Village and Museum Center
Natural Land Institute
New American Theater
Northern Illinois Botanical Society
On the Waterfront
Puri, Sunil
Rockford (Ill.)
Rockford Area Convention and Visitor Bureau
Rockford Art Museum
Rockford College
Rockford Community Foundation
Rockford Historical Society
Rockford Institute
Rockford Memorial Hospital
Rockford Morning Star
Rockford Park District
Rockford Pro/Am
Rockford Register
Rockford Register Star
Rockford Symphony Orchestra
Rock Valley College
Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum
United States--Politics and government

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

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

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

Acquisition Source: David McMahon

Acquisition Method: David McMahon of Rockford, Illinois received material from Barbara Keeling, also of Rockford, Illinois, in 1995 which was combined with his material and donated to the Regional History Center as the David McMahon and Barbara Keeling Collection on January 30, 2013. Additional records were donated at a later time.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Rockford history, companies, and organizations],
[Series II.: Newspaper clippings],
[Series III.: Audio Visual],
[Series IV: Oversize],

Series III.: Audio Visual
Sub-Series A.: Slides
Box 5
Folder 17: Doctor William K. Ford's slides (24 slides), 1948-1950
Folder 18: Doctor Keeling-picnic at Doctor Rogers (41 slides), 1950, 1954, no date
Folder 19: Doctor outing-Bill Ford slides (9 slides), 1964
Sub-Series B: Tapes
Box 5
Item 20: VHS: Rockford Register Star Premier video insert-Gruno's Holiday sale and coupon, 1999
Item 21: Cassette tape: Rockford music, plays, and radio, 1973-1974
Sub-Series C: Objects
Box 5
Item 1-28: Waterfront: Waterfront buttons and backstage passes, 1988-2011
Item 29-39: First Night: First Night buttons, 1991-2001, 2003-2004
Item 40-43: Jazz in the Night: Jazz in the Night buttons, 1997, 1999-2001
Item 44: Various buttons: "Second City, Rockford, Illinois", no date
Item 45: Various buttons: "Jackson School, 1904-2004", 2004
Item 46: Objects: Delbert E. Peterson-Rockford Police Department medal, 1985
Item 47: Objects: Doubles Cards for Rockford Monopoly game, no date
Item 48: Objects: Admirals Club-map research technologies chop sticks, 2002
Item 49-52: Objects: Rock River clamshells-from extended beach when  Commonwealth Edison worked on Fordham Dam, June 1, 1976
Sub-Series D: Photographs
Folder 22: Photos taken by David McMahon, Shumway Farmer's Market, Rockford, Illinois (4 photos), circa 1970-1972
Folder 23: Photos taken by David McMahon, Marshall Fields & Co., including Walnut Room, Chicago, Illinois (6 photos), circa 1970-1972
Folder 24: Photos taken by David McMahon, DeKalb, Illinois (14 photos), circa 1970-1972
Folder 25: Photos taken by David McMahon, Downtown Chicago, Illinois (28 photos, 6 proof sheets), circa 1972

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Rockford history, companies, and organizations],
[Series II.: Newspaper clippings],
[Series III.: Audio Visual],
[Series IV: Oversize],

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