The Armour Institute of Technology grew out the Armour Mission, a Sunday School established through bequests from brothers Philip D and Joseph F Armour in 1881. In 1887, technical classes were introduced by librarian Julia Beveridge and quickly proved popular. Subsequently Rev. Frank W Gunsaulus' "Million Dollar Sermon" given in 1980 at the affiliated Plymouth Church inspired Philip D Armour to provide funding for a technical training school. Armour Institute of Technology opened in 1982 and expanded its technical curriculum over the following decades. In 1940 it joined with the Lewis Institute to form the Illinois Institute of Technology under the leadership of President Henry Heald, who became IIT's first president.
Armour-related collections include some administrative records, photographs of students, faculty, and the campus, and three-dimensional artifacts. University Archives and Special Collections holds a near-complete collection of Armour yearbooks, catalogs, and academic bulletins, as well as student newspapers.