Chicago Public Library Archives
CPL's Digital Collections document life in Chicago through archival images, documents and artifacts.
On January 1, 1873 the Chicago Public Library opened its doors in a water tank that had survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. These photographs trace our history from that small structure to the development of neighborhood libraries across the city.
Questions or concerns about rights and access to this digital collection? See our Copyright and Takedown Policy.
Acknowledgment of Harmful Materials
Chicago Public Library collects images, documents and other archival materials from different communities and time periods to preserve and make available the cultural and historical record. As historical objects, some of these materials contain harmful or disturbing content. CPL presents these artifacts as an unfiltered social record and does not endorse the views expressed therein.
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