Rush University Medical Center

Three nurses at work in the Presbyterian Hospital infant nursery, c1910. Illinois Training School for Nurses graduate washes baby while two Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing students filter water for incubator. From the Subject Photograph CollectionRush University Medical Center traces its history back to the founding of Rush Medical College in 1837, two days before the city of Chicago was incorporated.

The Rush University Medical Center Archives holds the records of Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, and their predecessor and affiliated schools and hospitals. Rush University, established in 1972, is a health sciences university that comprises Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.

The Rush Archives also includes the personal papers of many individuals related to those institutions, including health professionals and instructors, administrators, and alumni. Photographs, audiovisual material, paintings, artifacts, nursing school uniforms and caps, and countless digital assets document the history of Rush, also.

The Rush Archives institutional records represent the following:

  • Rush Medical College (1837-1942; 1969-present)
  • [Rush Medical College served as the medical school of the University of Chicago, 1898-1941]
  • The Central Free Dispensary (1873-1961)
  • Presbyterian Hospital (1883-1956)
  • Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing (1903-1956)
  • St. Luke’s Hospital (1864-1956)
  • St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing (1885-1956)
  • Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital (1956-1969)
  • Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing (1956-1968)
  • Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center/Rush University Medical Center (1969-present) [Name changed in 2003.]
  • Rush University and its Colleges (1972-present)

Because of this long, continuous legacy, the Rush Archives is an appealing collection to researchers interested in the history of education, practice, and research in medicine, surgery, nursing, hospital administration, and other health-related topics.

Our online resources include guides to our physical collections as well as links to our many digital collections, videos of Rush history presentations, campus exhibit information, and Rush history FAQs.

The Rush Archives preserves, identifies, organizes, and provides access to records of long-term historical, evidential, and administrative value to the institution. We strive to tell the story of Rush and its esteemed history of education, research, and patient care in a meaningful way through our collections.