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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 IV: Oversize
Sub-Series A: Newspapers
Box 6
Folder 2: Rockford city and company developments-newspaper specials, 1954, 1963, 1965-1966, 1968
Folder 3: Remarkable Rockford: Century Plus 10 special, March 1962
Folder 4
Item 1: National Headlines (11): Rockford Register-Republic, Rockford Morning (Shepard in space), May 5-6, 1961
Item 2: National Headlines (11): National Observer (1st edition), February 4, 1962
Item 3: National Headlines (11): Chicago Tribune (Kennedy Assassination), November 23, 1963
Item 4: National Headlines (11): Rockford Register Star (Watergate-Nixon staff), October 21, 1973
Item 5: National Headlines (11): Chicago Tribune (Watergate Transcriptions), May 1, 1974
Folder 5
Item 1: National Headlines (11): Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Rockford Morning Star (Nixon Resignation), August 9, 1974
Item 2: National Headlines (11): Rockford Register Star, Chicago Tribune (Chicago Bulls 6th title), June 15-16, 1998
Folder 6: Rockford headlines, 1965, 1972, 1979-1981, 1989, 1994,  2001
Folder 7: Illinois Sesquicentennial special, February 15-16, 1968
Folder 8: The Energy Crisis; "Salute to Veterans" Specials, July 1973; December 2001
Folder 9: Preview '76 newspaper special, August 8, 1975
Folder 10: Rock River Valley Preview 1980 special, February 19, 1980
Box 7
Folder 1: The Way We Are special, February 24, 1981
Folder 2: Pride of Rockford and "Pride of Rock River Valley"  specials, June 15, 1998 and June 2000
Folder 3: Rockford Register Star Millenium Specials, October 24, December 30-31, 1999
Folder 4: Rockford Sesquicentennial special, June 9-16, 2002
Folder 5: Important Newspaper Issues: Notable Issues of Rockford Register, Rockford Morning Star, and Rockford Register Star, 1955, 1971, 1978-1979
Folder 6: Important Newspaper Issues: National historic headlines reprinted in Rockford Register Star and New York Times, 1966, 1999, no date
Folder 7: Newspaper inserts: Fourth Fest and Rockford Pro/Am, July 1, 1977; July 11-12, 1982
Folder 8: Newspaper inserts: Rockford Register Star Welcome Guide, 1981, 1992, 1994
Sub-Series B: Various Oversize material
Box 7
Folder 9
Item 1: A Sociologist Looks at an American Community LIFE, October 1949
Item 2: Annual Report City of Rockford, 1955
Folder 10: LIFE Special Report: 1973, The Year in Pictures, 1974
Folder 11: Spirit of '76-Rockford photo reprints and painting, 1976
Folder 12: Time Special Issue: Beyond the Year 2000: What to Expect in  The New Millennium, Fall 1992
Folder 13: YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) newsletter, Burpee Museum flyer, 1999, 2001
Box 8
Item 1: David McMahon's East High School Art Project Book: Victorian house, 1204 North Church Street, Rockford, Illinois, drawings; newspaper clippings; notes (includes 2 photos), 1963; 1995; 2013
Volume 1: Elizabeth "Ellis" Raffl's Sparta Township High School Scrapbook, Red Bud, Illinois, 1920
Oversize Drawer 28
Folder 22
Item 1: AmCore Bank calendar, 1985
Item 2: Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, 1986
Item 3: Rockford Landmarks: A Guide to Historic Rockford, 1989
Item 4: Perspective Map of the City Rockford, 1891, reprint by Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, circa 2000

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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