Collection SC/034 - Frederick Van Sickle Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

US ILfC SC/034

Level of description



Frederick Van Sickle Collection


  • circa 1890-1920, 1981-1986 (Creation)


Name of creator

Biographical history

Frederick Mercer Van Sickle is a Canton, Illinois native. He received his undergraduate degree in history from Lake Forest College in 1983. Van Sickle’s last year at the college he completed a senior thesis entitled, “A special place: Lake Forest and the great Depression, 1929-1940.” Van Sickle went on to obtain his master’s degree in education from Harvard University in 1989 and later, in 1996, a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. His wife's name is Susan and they have two children.

Van Sickle has held positions in alumni relations and development at various colleges, including his undergraduate alma mater (Lake Forest College), the University of Michigan, Columbia University, and Princeton University. Beginning in 2014, he also worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey as its Chief Development Officer. In 2016, Van Sickle joined Cornell University as vice president for Alumni Affairs and Development.

Van Sickle is chair of the Board for the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County and also served as a trustee of International House New York. He is a current trustee of the Holland Society of New York.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection contains materials amassed by Van Sickle while undertaking the writing of his senior thesis. The bulk of this collection contains audiocassettes with interviews Van Sickle conducted with Lake Forest residents who lived in the town during the Great Depression. There are also handwritten notes and transcripts from the interviews, as well as 18 release forms.

Also in the collection is a copy of Van Sickle’s 1986 published article in the Illinois Historical Journal that was developed from his senior thesis and has the same title.

Additionally, there is a box containing late 19th-early 20th century theatre programs, mostly from Illinois.

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Languages of the material

  • English

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