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Cynthia Holmberg Collection

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Collection Identifier: C.2011-04
Extent of collection
1 box of 16mm home movies shot by Henry Brooks, Cynthia Holmberg's father, between 1939 and 1965. 2 boxes of 8mm home movies shot by Cynthia Holmberg's husband, Ron Holmberg, from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s.
Abstract
The Cynthia Holmberg Collection consists of 16mm home movies shot primarily by Henry Brooks, Cynthia’s father, and 8mm home movies shot by Cynthia’s husband Ron Holmberg. Ranging from the late 1930s to the mid-1960s, the 16mm films document Cynthia’s childhood and the life of a middle class family living in Chicago. The 8mm home movies document Ron and Cynthia Holmberg’s family and life in the suburbs of Chicago in the 1970s and early 80s. They include various locations around Chicago as well as family trips to Wisconsin, various U.S. National Parks, and Florida.
Description

The Cynthia Holmberg Collection consists of 16mm home movies shot primarily by Henry Brooks, Cynthia’s father, and 8mm home movies shot by Cynthia’s husband Ron Holmberg.

The 16mm films document Cynthia’s childhood in Chicago and feature various apartments the family lived in on Chicago’s South Side. Ranging from the late 1930s to the mid 1960s, these films capture the life of a middle class family living in Chicago in the mid-century. Brooks’s home movies feature family celebrations and holidays, birthday parties, festivals, fashion and automobiles from the 1940s-60s, children playing in the neighborhood, snowstorms, key moments in Cynthia’s childhood and young adult life (graduation, life at college with her sorority sisters), and various locations in and around Chicago (including Soldier Field and Grant Park), Kentucky and New York. Henry Brooks was an avid gardener, and his films document various gardens, including his own. Brooks’s family lived in Kentucky and some of the films feature homes and family in the Kentucky countryside, as well as horses.

The 8mm home movies document Ron and Cynthia Holmberg’s family and life in the suburbs of Chicago (La Grange, Park Ridge and Wilmette) in the 1970s and early 80s. They include various locations around Chicago as well as family trips to Minocqua, Wisconsin, U.S. National Parks (including Yellowstone, Teton, and Zion), and Florida.

 

Henry Brooks’s 16mm home movies feature the following locations:

 - The Brooks apartment at 84th and Ingleside, Chicago (pre-1938)

 - The Brooks apartment at 8047 S. Rhodes, Chicago (about 1938-1957)

 - The Brooks apartment at 10700 S. Vernon, Chicago (about 1958-1965)

 - Various Chicago locations

 - The Holmberg apartment at 40 N. Madison, LaGrange, IL (about 1957-1959)

 - The Holmberg apartment at 847 S. Seventh, LaGrange, IL (about 1959-1965)

 - Relatives’ homes in Kentucky and New York

 - Various vacation destinations

 

The Holmberg 8mm home movies feature the following locations:

 - 847 S. Seventh Avenue, La Grange, IL

 - 824 Austin Avenue, Park Ridge, IL

 - 2960 Iroquois Road, Wilmette, IL

 - Minocqua, Wisconsin

 - Various Chicago locations

 - Various U.S. National Parks

 - Florida

Creators
Holmberg, Cynthia (created by)
Cynthia Brooks (later Holmberg) was born in Chicago on October 8th, 1934. She lived at 84th and Ingleside until she was 4 or 5 years old when her family moved to 8047 Rhodes Avenue in Chicago. She attended Dixon Elementary School and Hirsch High School (7740 S. Ingleside), both Chicago Public Schools. She went to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she studied elementary education. She met her husband, Ron, while she was at DePauw, and graduated in 1956. After graduation, she spent nine weeks in Europe traveling with the DePauw University Choir. Cynthia and Ron married on October 20, 1956. Ron was drafted into the army, and while he was stationed in Aberdeen, Maryland, Cynthia taught 3rd grade. After Ron left the army and the couple moved back to Illinois, Cynthia taught third grade in La Grange, Illinois. The couple lived at 40 North Madison in La Grange, IL from 1957-59, then moved to 847 South 7th Avenue (1959-65) and bought a house in Park Ridge Illinois where they raised their family and lived until 1971. Cynthia and Ron have four children: David Glenn Holmberg (born on August 10, 1959), Steven Brooks Holmberg (born on March 31, 1961), Mark Ronald Holmberg (born on April 29, 1963), and Susan Julia Holmberg (born on May 18, 1965). In 1971, the family moved to a house at 2960 Iroquois Road in Wilmette, where Cynthia and Ron lived for forty years. They currently live in Glenview, IL.
Brooks, Henry (created by)
Henry Brooks was a film hobbyist and shot 16mm home movies from the late 1930s through the 1960s of his family and only daughter, Cynthia Brooks (later Holmberg). Brooks was born on May 17, 1898, in the countryside near Sullivan, Kentucky. He family were farmers and Henry was the sixth of eight children. He grew up in the Sullivan, Kentucky area and graduated from high school in 1919. Upon graduation, Brooks moved to St. Louis and lived with his sister while attending Washington University, planning on being a dentist. After one semester of classes he had run out of tuition money and began working in the insurance industry in St. Louis. He moved to Chicago after a few years and worked at the American Automobile Insurance Company. On February 2, 1924, Henry Brooks married Mary Edna Tanner Hughes (known as Edna).
Holmberg, Ron (created by)
Ron Holmberg was born in Chicago on June 8, 1932, and lived on South Indiana Avenue and East 77th / 78th Streets. Ron and Cynthia attended the same high school, Hirsch High School, and met when he was a senior and she was a sophomore. They married in 1956. Ron was drafted into the army and the couple lived in Aberdeen, Maryland, where he was stationed. They moved back to La Grange, Illinois in 1957. Ron Holmberg worked for Continental Casualty and later for the Combined Insurance Company (which merged with the Ryan Insurance Group to form the Aon Corporation in 1982) on Chicago’s North Side. He joined the Combined Insurance Company to start the Actuary Department and later became a member of the Board of Directors. He was a Chief Administrative Officer at the company and retired in 1992.
Custodial History
Cynthia Holmberg's family's home movies.
Language of Materials
English
Collection Item
1939 (circa)
1939-1941
1940s: WW2
1940
1948