Armour Institute of Technology collection

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

Summary Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives
Armour Institute of Technology.
Armour Institute of Technology collection
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Linear feet
The Armour Institute of Technology was founded in 1893 in Chicago as an engineering school. It merged with Lewis Institute in 1940 and became the Illinois Institute of Technology. The materials in this small collection reflect the strategic planning of the period proceeding the merger.

Preferred Citation

Armour Institute of Technology collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Administrative History

Chicago Minister Frank Gunsaulus founded The Armour Institute in 1893 with the financial backing of Phillip Danforth Armour, a Chicago meatpacker and grain merchant. The Institute offered training in engineering, chemistry, architecture, and library science, amongst other fields. Opening on the heels of the Columbian Exposition, the school purchased mechanical and electrical equipment from the fair. During the first year, the trustees of Armour met with Trustees from the Art Institute of Chicago and decided to co-join the architecture programs from each school, using Armour faculty for engineering curriculum and Art Institute faculty for aesthetic training. In 1895 after finding its academic niche in science and engineering, trustees renamed the school the Armour Institute of Technology.

The Institution grew in reputation until the 1920s when Armour heir J Ogden Armour began to lose money. The school sought out stability by pursuing mergers with other institutions. Several proposals were considered, but none came to fruition until 1940, when Armour merged with Lewis Institute, a west-side four-year college that also specialized in Engineering. The school was renamed the Illinois Institute of Technology at this time. More mergers would shortly follow, increasing the scope of education greatly. The Institute of Design merged with IIT in 1949 and added law to its degree offerings with the merger of the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1969. The addition of the Stuart Graduate School of Business formed the nucleus of IIT's west suburban campus in 1999. Today IIT is a private, PhD-granting university offering degrees in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, design, and law.

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Scope and Contents

This collection of materials highlights the period in which the Armour Institute undertook substantial strategic planning. The reports and surveys contained within reflect the scope of considerations regarding the expansion of the institute into graduate education, new fields of study, an increased civic role, and mergers with other institutions.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives November 2004

801 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60607

Restrictions on Access


Restrictions on Use


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Related Materials

Related Material

Researcher should be aware of the IIT archives, which offer a complete record of the activities of the Armour Institute of Technology, located at the Paul V Galvin Library, 35 W 33rd Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60616.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Armour Institute of Technology. -- Archives


  • Chicago Design History.

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Armour Institute of Technology Collection 

Box Folder

Scrapbook - Grand Armour Reunion, 1932 

1 1

Speech - Welcome for New Students from Alumni, 1952 

1 2

The Essential Elements of the Armour Institute of Technology Development Plan, ca. 1932 


A Survey of Engineering Education and Recommendations for Procedure at Armour Institute of Technology, ca. 1932 


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