Supported in part by an award from the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives and Records Administration, a digital collection of the Chicago Training School Archives is made available to the public. The Chicago Training School, whose full name is Chicago Training School for City, Home, and Foreign Missions, was established in 1885 under the leadership of the Methodist lay woman, Lucy Rider Meyer, and her husband, Josiah Shelley Meyer. The purpose of the school was to educate Christian lay women as leaders and social service agents in ministry by serving the needs of the city. The school produced more than 5,000 graduates, who became leaders in a variety of fields such as education, health, mission, and social service. Upon the retirement of the school?s first principal, Lucy Rider Meyer, Louise Lesemann became the second principle in 1917. The school merged with Garrett Biblical Institute (a predecessor of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary) in 1934.
While the Chicago Training School Archives has very diverse and extensive materials, only 55 items have been selected, based on the historical value and research needs, to be digitized and included in this digital collection. A finding aid for the entire collection is available in PDF on the collection homepage. The type of materials digitized ranges from yearbooks, newsletters, scrapbooks, letters, and handwritten items. Yearbooks composed by students were printed under varying names such as The Torch, Echoes, Rosemary, C.T.S. Annual, and The Annual, and give a unique glimpse into the lives of the young women who attended the school. Another school publication of historical value included in the digital collection is The Message which eventually became the Deaconess Advocate. In addition, viewers might be interested in taking a look at the digital collection of the Lucy Rider Meyer Archives.
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is the copyright holder of this digitized collection. Please send any inquiries about reproducing the collection's content in writing to:
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
The United Library
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201