Special Collections and Preservation Division
Neighborhood History Research Collection
South Shore Historical
.5 linear ft.
Call number: Archives_SSHS
The Society was formed in October, 1935 as part of the "local history in Branches" idea expressed by Carl B. Roden, Librarian of the Chicago Public Library. The Society was concerned with collecting, preserving and making active use of material showing early South Shore residents and the development of the South Shore District. In addition to gathering material the Society made an effort during the latter part of the 1930’s to contact older South Shore residents, inviting them to speak on historical topics at Society meetings.
In addition to gathering older, 19th and early 20th century, material from long-time District residents, the Society made an effort to collect contemporary material that would be of later interest. During World War II the Society established a large collection of photographs of area men inducted into the Armed Services. Examples of these can be found in the South Shore Community Collection.
The South Shore Historical Records (SSHS) contain documents related to the foundation and organization of the Historical Society itself. The kinds of material to be found here for the most part concern the Society’s routine organizational affairs—copies of the Society’s Constitution; Membership Lists; Treasurer’s Reports; Meeting Minutes and Programs are examples. A short history of the Society produced by one of its members describes the Society’s formation and sets forth its aims. The Society was most active during the late 1930’s and 1940’s and most of the material included here dates from that time, thought items dated as late as 1960 are also to be found. Historical items collected by the Society as part of its activities can be found in the South Shore Community Collection, also part of the Neighborhood History Project.
Of particular interest are two notes from author and humorist Opie Read which can be found in the Correspondence file.
The material collected here was produced by the South Shore Historical Society and stored at the South Shore Branch of the Chicago Public Library, 2505 E. 75th Street, from the Society’s formation in 1935 until 1985. In 1985 the Special Collections Division of the Chicago Public Library, under the auspices of a grant provided by the Dr. Scholl Foundation, added the material to the Neighborhood History Research Collection, housed in the Division’s Archives at the Cultural Central, 78 E. Washington Street, and later the Harold Washington Library Center.
The South Shore Historical Society Records are available to the public for research in the Special Collections and Preservation Division Reading Room on the 9th floor of the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center, 400 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60605. The collection does not circulate, although photocopy and photoreproduction services are available depending upon the condition of the original materials. First time patrons to Special Collections must present photo identification and complete a Reader Registration Form. Telephone inquiries on this collection and other Special Collections holdings can be directed to 312-747-4875.
1. "History and Organization of the South Shore Historical Society." Describes the foundation and purposes of the Historical Society. Written by a member. n.d.
2. Constitution—Drafts and Copies. Handwritten and typed copies. 1935.
3. Membership Lists. Members, n.d.; honorary & charter members, 1935-36; members, n.d.; charter members, 1935; prospective members, 1935; charter members paid, 1936-37.
4. Membership Lists. Charter members not paid, 1936-37; members with committee service, n.d.; members, n.d.; members, n.d.; prospective members, n.d.
5. Membership Lists. Signatures of original members; charter members, 1936-37; prospective members, 1936; paid up members, 1936-37.
6. Correspondence. Incoming letters, 1935-1960. Subjects covered are largely routine business—meeting attendance and membership questions; some responses from old-timers to speaking invitations. 2 typed and signed notes from Opie Read, Sept. 3, 1936 and Oct. 22, 1938.
7. Meeting Notices. Notices of meeting times and agendas, 1935-39.
8. Meeting Notices. 1940-45.
9. Meeting Notices. 1946-59.
10. Meeting Minutes. Reports of regular meetings, 1935-36.
11. Meeting Minutes. Executive Board meeting reports, 1937-44.
12. Meeting Programs. Guests and events, 1935-39.
13. Meeting Programs. Guests and events, 1940-46.
14. Memos. Largely concern routine Society business—Committee memberships and the like. 1948; 1956.
15. Treasurer’s Reports. 1936-39.
16. Treasurer’s Reports. 1940-42.
17. Treasurer’s Reports. 1943-47.
18. Treasurer’s Reports. 1948-58.
19. Publicity. News clippings and publicity releases concerning Society meetings and speakers. 1935-37.
20. Publicity. News clippings and publicity releases concerning Society meetings and speakers. 1938-48.
21. Condolence Resolutions. Resolutions adopted by the Board and membership to be sent to families upon the death of a society member. Arranged alphabetically by deceased member’s name.
22. Membership Cards. Two membership cards. n.d.
23. Reference Questions. Lists of questions and answers concerning South Shore history. n.d.