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University Archives Guide

The University Archives preserves the historical records of NEIU and assists the NEIU community with research projects on those records.

Have a Question?

Northeastern Illinois University Archives is happy to assist the university community in answering a variety of questions related to the history and development of NEIU. Please make an appointment for a research session; contact information is listed below. 

Office: Library LL 015
Phone: 773-442-4402

History of NEIU

1867   The Cook County Commissioners appropriated money to establish an experimental Teacher Training School in Blue Island, Illinois. No rooms were available and the 32 students were accommodated in a leaky freight car.

1869   Until the building was completed for the Teacher Training School, classes were held in the Lewis Champlin Grammar School in Englewood, Illinois. On September 16, the cornerstone for the building was laid.

1870   On September 21, the school opened in its new building in Englewood. Over the next few years, the school came to be called The Normal School.

1883   The Normal School was still a county institution located in the village of Englewood. In 1889, Englewood legally annexed itself to Chicago.

1896   The Normal School comes under the jurisdiction of the Chicago Board of Education.

1897   The Normal School became Chicago Normal School, under the aegis of the City of Chicago.

1938   The Normal School was the only tuition-free, four-year, degree-granting institution in the city. It was officially renamed the Chicago Teachers College, a four-year institution conferring the Bachelor of Education degree.

1940   Chicago Teachers College received full accreditation from North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

1949   Overcrowding led the Board of Education to establish two branches on the North Side.

1961   The two North Side branches at Foreman and Sabin were closed and a new facility was built at the current St. Louis Avenue location. The North Side Teachers College was opened with an enrollment of 1,364 students. The South Side branch on Stewart remained open.

1965   Control of the Chicago Teachers College passed to the State of Illinois in July. The names of the two campuses were changed to Illinois Teachers' College North and Illinois Teachers' College South. Control was transferred to the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities.

1966   The Center for Inner City Studies on Chicago's south side was established to further prepare teachers for schools in disadvantaged and minority communities. 1967 Illinois Teachers' College North became Northeastern Illinois State College. Secondary teacher training programs were now offered, as well as degrees for students who did not wish to enroll in education curriculums.

1971   Northeastern Illinois State College became Northeastern Illinois University on July 23. Enrollment reached 7,281 students, and continued growth led to the offering of Master's degrees and non-traditional programs.

1996  Control was transferred from the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities to an independent Board of Trustees.

2014  Construction of the new El Centro campus completed.

2016  Construction of Northeastern Illinois University's first residence hall completed.

Library Directors

Seymour Schneider, 1963-1973

Vacant, but Charles Stamps may have served as Interim Director for part of that time, 1974-1978

Melvin George, 1978-1985

John Gaboury, 1985-1988

Brad Baker, 1988-2013. He became the acting University Librarian on Aug 15th, 1988. Formally installed on Jan 1,1990 as the Director of the Library. His title was changed to Dean of Libraries and Learning Resources on Sep 2, 2002.

Carlos Melian, 2013- 2017

David Green, 2017

Lisa Wallis, 2017 - 2019

Steven Harris, 2019 - Present