Making a List: Historical Holiday Shopping

Long before Cyber Monday, folks who didn't live close enough to a city to visit shopping districts downtown would order their holiday gifts through the mail using paper catalogs. If they were ordering those presents between around 1870 and 1920, it's likely they were ordering from a Chicago company. In 1872, just after the Great Chicago Fire, A. Montgomery Ward's […]

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How to Make a Grotesque Head

Can't decide what to dress up as for Halloween? Do you feel that a simple mask doesn't show enough dedication? Do you need a better costume idea? Look no further than the Chicago Park District Records: Drawings and Photographs. These collections, along with Grotesque Heads and Masks & Costumes, published by the Park District and the South […]

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October Is American Archives Month

October is American Archives Month, celebrating the work of archivists and raising awareness on the value of archives to our community.  An archive is a collection of historical records and/or the physical place such records are located. Archives are important because they provide long-term preservation and access to records of enduring cultural and historical value. […]

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Gospel Music in Special Collections: I’ll Take You There

On September 16, 1966, the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place came alive with the Gospel Festival Spectacular. "Spectacular" is undoubtedly the word today’s gospel music lovers would use to describe this lineup. Among the featured groups to join the Rev. Clay Evans and his 150-voice Fellowship Radio Choir were the Rev. James Cleveland Singers, […]

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Happy 50th to the Chicago Picasso!

In the early 1960s, the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was working on designs for Daley Plaza. Architect William Hartmann helped convince Spanish artist Pablo Picasso to design a sculpture for the space. Picasso would not accept payment, making this artwork a gift to the people of Chicago. Constructed from the same Cor-Ten steel used in […]

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