The largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest, the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature documents the black experience with a strong focus on Chicago.
Archival Collections has a list of all CPL collections and finding aids.
- Phone: (312) 745-2080
Manuscript Room Hours
- Monday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Areas of Interest
We have photographs, manuscripts and books about African American:
- Civil rights
Additional materials focus on:
- African history
- African religion
- African politics
We also have African American newspapers, magazines and journals, and rare books and manuscripts.
Using Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection
We welcome visitors during our open hours and by appointment.
Given the special nature of our materials, we ask you to conform to security and handling precautions:
- Complete a registration form and present valid photo ID before receiving materials.
- Use materials only in the Reading Room.
- Contact us in advance of your visit if you are interested in unprocessed collections.
- Chicago History: Explore the rich tapestry of Chicago history at CPL.
- Archival Collections: A list of CPL collections and finding aids
- Digital Collections: Chicago images, newspapers and more
- Northside Neighborhood History Collection at Sulzer Regional Library
- Special Collections at Harold Washington Library Center