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IIT Women and Biology, IIT at Work films, 1940-1959

Identifier: 039.01.51

"IIT at Work" and "IIT Women and Biology, Campus Aerial," two 16 mm films produced by Illinois Institute of Technology, are primarily about science programs at IIT, with classroom and lab scenes. The films were likely produced as recruiting tools.

"IIT Women and Biology, Campus Aerial" is actually two films (one reel). The films date from the late 1940s or 1950s. They are black and white and silent.

The first film shows female students in lab coats in unidentified science labs doing experiments, in offices doing clerical work, in architecture class, and eating lunch outdoors on campus. Lois Graham McDowell and Lois Bey may be pictured in the lab scenes. The film is around 3 minutes long.

The second film shows scenes of male students conducting an experiment and weighing liquid. It includes scenes shot through a microscope. Aerial scenes are also included, they occur at the beginning and the end of the film, only a few seconds in length. These scenes include the IIT campus, and the Chicago loop skyline is briefly visible. The film is around 5 minutes long.

"IIT at Work" dated circa 1940, includes scenes of students (men) in a hallway, physics lab, including a man in AIT letter sweater in this scene, a metallurgy lab, and in chemistry, electrical engineering, catalysts, and engineering drawing classes. Students are also filmed in the library. Most classroom and student scenes take place in the in the Main Building.

The film also includes scenes of students dining, socializing and in residence halls. There is a brief scene of Camp Armour (surveying class) at the end.

The film is black and white, silent with captions, and around 10 minutes long.

An introductory caption appears at the beginning of the film and reads as follows: "Illinois Institute of Technology at Work "Illinois Institute of Technology is a consolidation of Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute. In their combined span of nearly 100 years, these two colleges, offering work in day and evening sessions, have trained over 100,000 students in engineering, science, arts, and architecture. The engineering curricula, including the necessary arts and sciences courses, are centered at the Armour College of Engineering division, located at 3300 Federal Street. Instruction in the arts and sciences, with the addition of a number of day classes for freshmen engineering students and evening classes in engineering, is offered at the Lewis Institute of Arts and Sciences division, located at Madison and Damen Avenues. The work in architecture is carried on in cooperation with the Art Institute of Chicago where many classes in architectural drawing, free-hand drawing, and design are presented."


  • Creation: 1940-1959


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Research

Collection Size

2 reels (2 reels) : 16 mm

1 Tapes (VHS)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Formerly 1998.048

Existence and Location of Copies

VHS cassettes containing both film transfers (transferred by University of Chicago).

Surrogates of "IIT at Work" are available in BetaCamSP and VHS.

Digital surrogates of both films have been created for for access and preservation purposes, and are stored on Google Drive.


Catherine Bruck, University Archivist

Part of the Paul V. Galvin Library. University Archives and Special Collections Repository

35 West 33rd Street
Chicago IL 60616
(312) 567-5993

Paul V. Galvin Library

35 West 33rd Street | Chicago, IL | 60616