Chicago History and Collections
View information about CPL's history-related collections, programs, exhibits and other resources, and how to use them for research. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicago Public Library's 150th Anniversary
Chicago Public Library turns 150 this year! Join the celebration.
Chicago Newspapers: Online and on Microfilm
Find current and historical local newspapers available online from anywhere or on microfilm at Harold Washington Library Center.
Chicago Tribune Historical Archive
Search the full text of the Chicago Tribune, including classified and display advertisements, from 1849 to 1997.
Newspapers, Sanborn Maps and More
History & Genealogy Events
History & Genealogy Events
South Side Home Movie Project: Preserving Our Memories for…Mar 29th | 6:30pm - 8:00pmOnline Event
Black Nurses in Chicago ProjectApr 1st | 12:00pm - 1:00pm
The History of Bowling in ChicagoApr 5th | 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Harold Washington Commemorative Event: Author Gordon K.…Apr 19th | 6:00pm - 7:00pm
As part of research and discovery, our Exhibits department helps develop exhibitions based on Archives and Special Collections and also helps local organizations explore exhibition or artmaking opportunities. Browse some of the recent exhibits launched at CPL.
Chicago History Blog Posts
Chicago History in the Archives
Photos of Chicago's Past
Special Collections Divisions at CPL
Special Collections at HWLC
The Special Collections and Preservation Division at HWLC showcases rare and unique materials focusing on Chicago.
Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection
The Vivian G. Harsh Collection at Woodson Regional Library is the largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest.
Northside Neighborhood History Collection
The Northside Neighborhood History Collection at Sulzer Regional Library houses historical and contemporary materials.
Municipal Reference Collection
Learn about the trove of Chicago information in the Municipal Reference Collection at Harold Washington Library Center.
In addition to the archives and special collections available at the CPL, these resources and organizations provide cultural heritage assistance and access.
Chicago Collections Consortium
Chicago Collections is a consortium of institutions with archives that work to preserve the history and culture of the Chicago region.
Black Metropolis Research Consortium
The BMRC’s mission is to connect all who seek to document, share, understand and preserve Black experiences.
Chicago Area Archivists
CAA provides opportunities for local archivists, historians, librarians and others in the Chicago metro area to discuss and learn together.