Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago records
MSAECC75

 An inventory of the collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Summary Information

Repository
Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives
Creator
Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago.
Title
Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago records
ID
MSAECC75
Date [inclusive]
1928-1975
Extent
9.0 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract:
The Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago was established in 1924 and incorporated in 1925 as the Chicago Forum Council. The purpose was "to promote understanding and good will by bringing people of different groups into friendly association with each other for discussion of problems related to the public welfare." The collection contains annual reports, brochures, constitution and by-laws, correspondence, auditors' examination of records, minutes, programs from musical events, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and published materials.

Preferred Citation

Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago records, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Biographical Sketch

The Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago was established in 1924 and incorporated in 1925 as the Chicago Forum Council. The purpose was "to promote understanding and good will by bringing people of different groups into friendly association with each other for discussion of problems related to the public welfare," (footnote to Auditor's report, 1926, folder 17). The organization sponsored forums in Chicago and brought in speakers to debate issues of the day. The initial advisory committee included such well-known Chicago reformers as Jane Addams, Preston Bradley, and Harriet Vittum.

In 1927, the Forum Council began the publication of Educational Events in Chicago, a monthly listing of educational activities for adults. That same year, a group of educators founded the Chicago Adult Education Conference. It was to be an organization for professionals that would focus on adult education from a practitioner's point of view. By 1929, the functions of the two organizations were similar enough that the boards of directors decided to merge. In August of that year, they announced the creation of the Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago (AEC). In October 1931, it was reorganized as a federation of agencies that offered or supported adult education programs.

The AEC continued to sponsor forums and publicize educational events. With a new emphasis on professionalism, it offered specialized conferences on the practices of adult education. In 1936, the organization expanded into cultural activities, creating the Musical Arts Piano and Songs cycles at Orchestra Hall. The low cost concerts were offered until 1948, when Allied Arts Corporation took them over.

In 1948, the AEC began to have problems. Declining attendance at the piano series had left it in debt and the resignation of Ralph McCallister, the executive director, left it without supervision. The Board of Directors decided to economize by limiting the size of the paid staff and the scope of the activities. By 1953, the Community Fund had withdrawn support because the lack of an executive director had resulted in a disintegrating program.

In 1956, the Board of Directors hired a new executive director, Robert Ahrens. One of the first activities planned under his direction was George Bernard Shaw Day, July 26, 1956 to honor the centennial of Shaw's birth. It received national publicity for the AEC and resulted in an increase in donations and membership. This convinced the Board of Directors to sponsor an annual special event. As part of Ahrens' efforts to revitalize the organization, be began publication of a newsletter in 1957, and in 1958, the AEC took over publication of the Chicago Exhibitions Calendar (Chicago Arts Calendar after 1962) from the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1960, reflecting the growing diversity of its membership and programs, the AEC began to create a series of assemblies which related to specific interest areas. The first was the Arts Assembly, which was to become an independent organization but remained a part of the AEC.

In 1962, Ahrens resigned and was replaced as executive director by Esther Frain. Her years with the organization were marked by increasing financial difficulties. Although the AEC was able to continue to sponsor its successful program, rising costs often exceeded income. With no outside funding, special events could not compensate for the deficit. Income from the College Booklet and Speakers Bureau dropped as colleges faced declining enrollment and low budgets. Fain served for two years as a volunteer, but finally the Board of Directors agreed to dissolve and the organization closed on November 21, 1975.

Originally, the AEC was funded by contributions, but within its first year it had build up a list of lecturers from the forums and used it to establish a speakers bureau. By 1929, income from the speakers bureau accounted for half the year's income. It became both a major service activity and a source of funding for the organization. In 1936, the Adult Education Council began to publish the College Booklet, a listing of small colleges in the Midwest which was distributed free to high school students in the Chicago area. Colleges paid to be included, and since printing costs were low, the booklet became a major source of income.

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Scope and Contents

The collection contains annual reports, brochures, constitution and by-laws, correspondence, auditors' examination of records, minutes, programs from musical events, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and published materials. The records document the history of the Adult Education Council from 1928 to 1975.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives 02/01/2006

801 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60607
312.996.2742

Revision Description

  12/15/2009

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

None.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago. -- Archives

Subject(s)

  • Adult education -- Illinois -- Chicago.
  • Chicago Community Organizations.
  • Hull-House and Settlement House History.

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago Records 

Box Folder

Adult Education Association of the U.S.A., 1970 

1 1

Adult Education Week 1953 - notebook, 1953 

1 2

Annual Reports, 1932-1955 

1 3

Arts Assembly, 1959-1972 

1 4

Assembly of Professionals in Adult Education, 1963-1965 

1 5

Blacks, 1959-1974 

1 6

Board of Directors - lists, 1941-1973 

1 7

Brochures and pamphlets about the Adult Education Council, 1928-1967 

1 8

China trip, 1975 

1 9

Conference on Community Cooperation, 1944 

1 10

Conferences sponsored by the Adult Education Council, 1929-1974 

1 11

Constitution and By-laws, 1925-1970 

1 12

Correspondence, 1956-1975 

2 13

Education Assembly, 1967-1971 

2 14

Emergency Adult Education and Recreation Program, 1931 

2 15

Fain, Mrs. Benjamin, 1962-1967 

2 16

Financial records - Auditors' examination of records, 1926-1935 

2 17

Financial records - Auditors examination of records, 1936-1946 

2 18

Financial records - Auditors examination of records, 1947-1958 

2 19

Financial records - Auditors' examination of records, 59-1971 

2 20

Financial records - community fund, 1931-1953 

3 21

Financial records - federal forms, 1937-1974 

3 22

Financial records - miscellany, 1928-1973 

3 23

Financial records - state forms, 1938-1971 

3 24

Forums, 1930-1965 

3 25

History, 1930-1972 

3 26

History - Adventures in Brotherhood by James E. Pitt, 1955 

3 27

Letterheads, undated 

3 28

Letters and Drama Assembly, 1963-1969 

3 29

Lind Show Appearances through AEC, undated 

3 30

List of Chicago wall murals, undated 

3 31

Manual compiled by Robert J. Ahrens, 1956 

3 32

Minutes - Chicago Adult Education Conference, 1926-1929 

3 33

Minutes, 1928-1930 

3 34

Minutes, 1931-1933 

4 35

Minutes, 1934-1937 

4 36

Minutes, 1938-1944 

4 37

Minutes, 1945-1947 

4 38

Minutes, 1948-1952 

5 39

Minutes, 1953-1958 

5 40

Minutes - notebook, 1955-1960 

5 41

Minutes - notebook, 1960-1962 

5 42

Minutes - notebook, 1961-1972 

6 43

Museum Directors Round Table, 1961-1963 

6 44

Musical Arts Piano Series Announcements, 1937-1948 

6 45

Musical Arts Piano Series Programs, 1936-1948 

6 46

Musical Arts Song Cycle Programs, 1945-1947 

6 47

Newspaper clippings, 1963-1975 

6 48

Photographs - activities, 1956-1975 

6 49

Photographs - Speakers bureau, A-J, undated 

6 50

Photographs - Speakers K-Y, undated 

6 51

Practitioners meetings, 1942-1972 

7 52

Program announcements, 1942-1972 

7 53

Proposal for survey of attitudes toward adult education, 1952 

7 54

Publications - abstract of Frontiers of American Culture by James Truslow, 1944 

7 55

Publications - An Investigation of Materials and Methods for the Introduction of Literacy Education, 1964 

7 56

Publications - Chicago Arts Calendar, 1962-1968 

7 57

Publications - Chicago Arts Calendar, 1968-1973 

7 58

Publications - Chicago Exhibitions, 1958-1962 

7 59

Publications - The Chicago Forum Lectures, 1936-1937 

8 60

Publications - The College Booklet, 1936-1959 

8 61

Publications - The College Booklet, 1960-1964 

8 62

Publications - The College Booklet, 1965-1968 

8 63

Publications - The College Booklet, 1969-1971 

8 64

Publications - The College Booklet, 1972-1974 

8 65

Publications - Directory of Adult Education Opportunities, 1950-1971 

8 66

Publications - Educational Events in Chicago, 1927-1947 

9 67

Publications - Handbook for Leaders of Senior Citizens Clubs, 1970 

9 68

Publications - Mid-west Institute and Conference on Adult Education, 1937 

9 69

Publications - newsletter, 1957-1962 

9 70

Publications - newsletter, 1962-1972 

9 71

Speakers bureau - press releases, undated 

9 73

Speakers bureau - brochures and lists of speakers, 1929-1971 

9 74

Speakers Bureau - correspondence, 1956-1972 

10 75

Special Events - Creative Chicago festival, 1965 

10 76

Special Events - Darrow Centennial, 1956-1957 

10 77

Special Events - Fundraisers, 1949-1973 

10 78

Special events - Hemingway event, 1962-1963 

10 79

Special events - Holmes banquet, 1937 

10 80

Special events - National Folk Festival, 1937 

10 81

Special events - Sandburg memorial, 1967-1968 

10 82

Special events - script by Coughlin and Friedkin "Death o Caesa, " undated 

10 83

Special events - script by Coughlin and Friedkin "Death o Caesa, " undated 

10 84

Special events - Shaw Day and Shaw Society minutes, 1956-1959 

10 85

Special report on structure and programs, 1961 

10 86

Training program for workers with senior citizens, 1968-1970 

10 87

Women's Division, 1960 

10 88
Oversize

Proclamations for special events, undated 

Scrapbooks, 1949-1959 

Scrapbooks

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