Chicago Park District Records: Photographic Negatives

Dates: 1870-2000 (bulk, 1930s-1960s). Size: 8 linear feet. 3,731 negatives counted individually, 818 envelopes of negatives. Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections. Chicago's earliest parks were created between the 1830s and 1860s. In 1869, three major organizations were formed for the creation, maintenance and governance of Chicago's parks: the Lincoln Park Commission, the West Chicago Park Commission and the South Park Commission. By 1934, 22 independent park commissions existed, and in that year, they consolidated into the Chicago Park District. The negatives complement, and in some cases duplicate, the Chicago Park District Records: Photographs collection and the Chicago Park District Records: Drawings collection. Topically, images document site development, park facilities and features, park staff and leaders, programmatic activities, special events, the lakeshore and shore protection efforts and people engaged in activities and athletics. Also included is a set of negatives capturing different types of trees and flowers. Sixty-nine of the over 500 parks in the Chicago Park District system are represented in this negative collection. [Finding aid]