Harold Washington Library Center
General Information Services
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Information Center Phone: (312) 747-4300
Textnet: (312) 747-4314
Ask a Librarian »
The Information Center provides quick answers to general reference questions. Information Center staff will:
- Check the online catalog for up to three titles per call;
- Place a hold on an item owned by CPL;
- Transfer your call to have a shelf checked for an item;
- Direct you to another library or request an item through interlibrary loan when a requested title is not owned by CPL;
- Provide directory assistance for up to three telephone number or reverse directory requests.
The Information Center offers a bibliographic tour for student groups (seventh grade through college; maximum 40 students) at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. Arrangements must be made at least two weeks in advance of your preferred tour date. Instructors or adult staff members from your school must accompany each student group: one adult with 11 students or two adults with 12-40 students.
Tours last one hour and include the following:
- A visual presentation including an introduction to the Harold Washington Library Center; how to apply for a library card, how to search for books in the online catalog; Library of Congress Classification System; and a virtual tour of the third floor, including the microfilm room.
- Hands-on mini workshop on using online databases to search magazines and newspapers.
Request a tour through Ask a Librarian. Your reservation is not complete until you receive confirmation in writing from the Information Center student tour coordinator.
Interlibrary loan materials requiring a fee and/or any photocopy requests delivered to the Harold Washington Library Center may be picked up at the Newspapers and General Periodicals desk on the third floor. All other interlibrary loan items delivered to Harold Washington Library Center may be picked up in the Popular Library on the first floor.
Newspapers and General Periodicals
- General interest magazines
- Current newspapers from every U.S. state
- Various foreign country newspapers in English
- Chicago neighborhood newspapers
- Suburban newspapers
- Various U.S. ethnic newspapers
- Alternative newspapers (current)
- Retrospective years of bound general-interest magazines, microfilmed magazines and newspapers
- Indexes in a variety of formats
- Directories and almanacs
- Current telephone directories from many cities in the United States (print)
- Historical Chicago, suburban and Illinois directories for selected years (microform)
- Chicago newspaper microfilm holdings (1833-current)
- Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey (1861-1938)
- Early American Newspapers (1704-1820)
- Lerner Chicago neighborhood and suburban newspapers (1905-1993)
- Underground Newspaper Collection (1963-1984)
- Alternative press collection (historical)
- New York Newspapers on the Assassination of Lincoln, 1865
- Contemporary Newspaper Reports of the Chicago Fire, 1871
- Memorial Newspaper Collection: John F. Kennedy assassination, November 22-26, 1963
- Ships’ passenger lists: Baltimore (1833-1866; 1820-1897), Boston (1848-1891), Philadelphia (1800-1906)
- Chicago city directories (1839-1893; 1895-1917; 1923; 1928-1929)