Overview of Records on Housing Groups

Illinois students at work in their dorm room, circa 1950

A major part of a students' life at the University is spent in a housing unit. Sleeping, eating, conversations and athletic and social activities are based largely in the student residence. Housing policy reflected the financial support and community conditions as the University sought to provide accommodations for its increasing enrollment. The original university building contained a dormitory which was used until 1880 when it was damaged in a storm and razed. From 1886 to 1941, most male students lived in clubs and rooming houses in Champaign and Urbana.

After the 1890s a minority lived in fraternity houses. The University built the first dormitories for men in 1941. All female students lived in rooming houses and clubs until sororities organized in the 1890s. In 1919, they occupied the first women's dormitory. Most of the information on clubs and rooming houses is found in student scrapbooks and papers. The photograph collection contains group photographs of student rooming house residents.

Collection Guides
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Independent Housing Groups