Monthly Archives: March 2014

Skyla Hearn joins Library as resident archivist for social justice

This spring, Special Collections welcomed Skyla Hearn, a resident archivist for social justice and visiting instructor at the university. Hearn processes the archives of social justice organizations, working closely with both the Library and Professor Barbara Ransby, the director of the Social Justice Initiative at UIC.

“I live to document, preserve and maintain the rich, cultural and valuable stories, legacies and histories of unsung individuals, communities and organizations who have made significant contributions to our society,” she explained of her work.

Hearn joins the library with a wealth of experience in research and special collections archives. She previously served as an archival consultant for the Never-The-Same Organization at the University of Chicago; as an Institute of Museum and Library Services archival fellow at the Woodson Regional Library; and as a research intern and project coordinator for the South Side Community Art Center.

Hearn earned her Bachelor of Art degree in mass communications and media arts from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hearn can be reached by email at:

Researchers can access 7,500 UIC dissertations, theses online

Researchers now can access 7,500 UIC dissertations and theses online in the campus’s institutional repository, INDIGO.  The Library recently completed a large-scale project to upload these titles from ProQuest.  This collection includes dissertations from all UIC colleges, dating back to 1951.

The dissertations and theses uploaded from ProQuest are accessible only to users on-campus or to those off-campus authenticating with a UIC netid and password.

Dissertations and theses from the Graduate College are submitted electronically and uploaded into INDIGO once a semester. There are three access levels to the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (EDTs):

  • Open Access: anyone with Internet access is able to access the EDTs.
  • UIC Only, with a two-year embargo: only UIC affiliates (with a Net ID and password) can access the EDTs until the two-year embargo ends. Then, the content will be accessible to all. A UIC icon marks content currently limited to UIC only.
  • Restricted Access, with a two-year embargo: after two years, content will be freely accessible to all through the Internet. A lock icon marks currently embargoed content.

Some important information about the electronic dissertations and theses:

  • At the Daley Library, print copies were removed from the open shelves, and the catalog records updated to reflect this.  When necessary, print copies were transferred to University Archives.
  • At LHS, the print copies are on the shelves even if the Library has the electronic version.
  • None of the electronic dissertations or theses have a catalog record at this time.   Eventually all the electronic dissertations and theses (both the Proquest items and the items submitted electronically through the Graduate College) will be in the catalog with a link to their electronic version in INDIGO.
  • Users can search for the electronic items in INDIGO.   Users can also search for both UIC’s electronic and print dissertations and theses in Summon by typing in a search, then limiting the content type to “Dissertations/Thesis” and the Institution to “University of Illinois at Chicago”.

Women’s History Month: spotlight on Chicago female politicians and activists

In light of Women’s History Month this March, we are honoring Chicago female politicians and activists from the past and present. These women helped shape the political and social climate of Chicago and beyond.

Students, staff and community members interested in learning about Chicago women and the organizations they served can find photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, campaign memorabilia and more in the Daley Library Special Collections.

The profiles below highlight several of the Chicago women and organizations featured in the Special Collections archives:

Alma Zola Groves (1898-1984)

Alma Zola Groves served as assistant attorney general under six Illinois attorneys general. She also participated in women’s organizations at the local, state, and national levels. Groves helped organize and served as president of the Illinois Federated Business and the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago. She was also active in the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the National Association of Women Lawyers where she served as Publicity Chair.1

Esther Saperstein (1901-1988)

Saperstein served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1957 to 1967. She made history in 1966 as the first Democratic woman elected to the Illinois Senate. While in the General Assembly, Saperstein focused on education, public aid, health, and women’s rights issues.  She assisted in the passage of House bill 1505 which established the Commission on the Status of Women. Under her leadership, the Commission reviewed women’s employment issues and equal employment opportunities for women. In 1975, Saperstein was elected Alderwoman of Chicago’s 48th Ward.2

Joanne Alter (1927-2008)

Joanne Alter was a politician, activist and community organizer. Her efforts centered on environmental, education, feminist and cultural issues. Alter served as the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago from 1972 to 1990. Alter’s political career began in the fifties when she served as secretary to the Young Democrats. Alter co-founded the Illinois Democratic Women’s Organization and served multiple times as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Alter also founded the Junior Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago.3

League of Women Voters of Chicago

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that was founded on February 14, 1920, in Chicago. The League of Women Voters influences public policy by distributing information to citizens and advocating for or against certain public interest policies based on facts and details. The organization encourages citizens to participate in the democratic process and to work toward positive solutions for society’s pressing issues.4

Chicago National Organization of Women

The National Organization of Women (NOW) was founded in 1966 and the Chicago chapter was established in 1967. NOW’s goal is to eliminate sexism and end oppressions through legal, political, social and economic change. Chicago NOW works to create equal wages, address women’s health issues and stop violence against women. Chicago NOW hosts panel discussions, fundraisers, and other political activities open to the public.5

Hull House

Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr founded the Hull House in 1889 in Chicago’s Near West Side. It was the first social settlement in Chicago, and became one of the most influential settlement houses in the country. Residents of Hull House established Chicago’s first public playground, advocated for reformation in ward politics and public schools, and investigated housing, working and sanitation issues. The residents also offered courses for new immigrants looking to succeed in America. On the state level, Hull House residents lobbied for child labor laws and protection of immigrants. Nationally, the residents fought for national child labor laws, women’s suffrage and unemployment compensation, among other issues.6

See the UIC Library website for a list of manuscript collections.  Phone Special Collections staff (312 996 2742) or Ask a Librarian to make an appointment to see specific materials.



Brandon Palmer begins development, communication position March 3

Brandon Palmer begins as Assistant Director of Development and Communications on March 3, 2014.  In this position, he will support all Library fundraising, publicity, and marketing activities.

Brandon previously worked at Bright Pink as development and events coordinator and at DePaul University as program assistant in the Masters in public health program.  He holds a BA degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul.

Brandon’s office is in the Daley Library’s Administrative suite.  His email is