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Welcome to the Purdue University Northwest
Archives and Special Collections

This catalog provides access to finding aids for all processed materials held by Purdue University Northwest. This collection includes both the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue North Central collections. The collections can be distinguished by the name of the collection identifier. You may use the dropdown at the top of the page to search individual collections, or you may search all collections at once.

The University Archives are located in SULB 236 on the Hammond Campus and LSF 245 on the Westville Campus. For more information regarding University Archives policies, procedures, and hours please visit http://guides.pnw.edu/pnwarchiveandspecialcollection

Purdue Calumet

World War II prompted the birth of Purdue University Calumet. Classes were offered to Calumet Region workers as part of a national defense training program in cooperation with the federal government. In 1945, Purdue decided to continue its presence in Northwest Indiana. Purdue credit courses were introduced Feb. 25, 1946, with classes held at various locations across the Region. Then a 40-acre parcel of land in south Hammond’s Woodmar neighborhood was purchased for campus development. By late 1951, Purdue had moved into a permanent Calumet home. In1962, the Calumet Region Purdue was renamed the Purdue University Calumet Campus. In 1979, the campus became recognized as a regional university and designated Purdue University Calumet.

Purdue North Central

Purdue University became a presence in the area shortly after World War II when the University began offering technical courses at extension centers in LaPorte and Michigan City. In 1948 the Barker Welfare Foundation made available to the University the John Barker mansion. Through the 1950s, enrollments at the Barker Memorial Center continued to grow and by the 1960s, Purdue began to make plans for a new regional campus that could more adequately serve the area. In May of 1962 Purdue University, through the Ross-Ade Foundation, purchased 160 acres in LaPorte County. The Education building, now Schwarz Hall provided modern academic facilities when it opened its doors for the Fall 1967 semester, with an enrollment of 1,200 students.

Purdue University Northwest

Purdue University Northwest is a comprehensive regional university with two campuses located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. With more than 15,000 students and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is the fifth largest public university in Indiana. In 2014 Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central jointly announced plans to unify their campuses into a single university to be called Purdue University Northwest.

John H. Barker Mansion

The John H. Barker Mansion is a historic home located in Michigan City, LaPorte County, Indiana In 1836, at the age of 22, John Barker Sr. arrived in Indiana from Andover, Massachusetts, looking for new business opportunities. He began as a general merchant, expanded into grain brokerage, before opening a commission house to receive and forward merchandise from ships on the lakes. During this time, he married and raised a family. Two children survived him, daughter, Anna, and son, John H. Barker. Seeing the potential of railroads, he bought an interest in the manufacture of freight cars. Shortly after his purchase in 1855, the company was renamed Haskell & Barker Car Co. The onset of the American Civil War helped the business prosper through government contracts. When he retired in 1869, his son left Chicago to return as the general manager of the company. In 1922 "Haskell & Barker" merged with the Pullman Company, and was then known as Pullman-Standard.


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