Archival Collections at the Chicago Public Library
The Chicago Public Library’s archival collections document the lives and activities of people and organizations in Chicago.
The Library collects broadly about Chicago with an emphasis on Chicago neighborhoods, theater in Chicago, African American history and literature, Mayor Harold Washington, the American Civil War and the 1893 World’s Fair, among other subjects.
The archival collections feature rare manuscripts, photographs, broadsides, scrapbooks and other items. Collection highlights include:
- Papers from the Abbott-Sengstacke family, publishers of the Chicago Defender;
- Construction photographs of Millennium Park;
- Community histories of the Ravenswood and Lake View neighborhoods.
A list of archival collections describes the Library’s holdings and links to online finding aids, which are detailed inventories of collections.
Through its digital collections, the Library makes nearly 10,000 images available online.