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Before the current University of Chicago, founded by one John D. Rockefeller, there was the old University of Chicago, which was founded by Senator Stephen Douglas and his associates in Illinois. This first iteration was incorporated in 1857 on land donated by the good senator and it closed rather abruptly in 1886 due to several financial difficulties. This guide to the institution's records resides at the University of Chicago Library and the online version contains a raft of digitized documents from this earlier institution. Visitors can scroll around the site to read minutes from Board of Trustees meetings, peruse the courses of study, or learn about literary societies. The Miscellaneous Historical Material series is a gem as it contains a history of the institution written by one W.W. Everts and a rather lovely scrapbook compiled by Edward Goodman documenting institutional events from 1856 to 1890.
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