Linda Erf Swift Photographs

Dates: 2015
Size: 6 photographs, 6 captions, 1 exhibition panel
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: c00064
Provenance: Donated to the Chicago Public Library by Linda E. Swift, 2016.
Access: No restrictions. All reproductions require written permission from Linda E. Swift.
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is:Linda E. Swift Photographs, [Photograph#] Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.
Processed by: Debra Orellana, March 2017

Biographical Note

From 2007 to 2015, Linda Erf Swift photographed students from three Chicago high schools in the Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods. The goal of her Chalkboard Project was to generate dialog between students and awareness about their communities, schools and lives. Each student posed before a chalkboard with their favorite quote. The Chalkboard Project: Teens and Quotes was exhibited at the Harold Washington Library Center in 2015.

Before turning to photography, Swift raised her family and worked as a teacher and social worker. Her commitment to community engagement included assistance programs for families, teens and inmates in the Cook County Department of Corrections. In addition, Swift has been active in such social justice initiatives as civil rights, education and women. She credits these experiences as the inspiration behind her photography. “I am particularly interested in giving voice and image to those not often heard from.” Swift received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011.

Scope and Content

This collection contains 6 color portraits, exhibit captions and a text panel from The Chalkboard Project, 2015.


The photographs and corresponding captions are arranged alphabetically by students’ first name.

Subject Headings

  • Swift, Linda Erf
  • High School Students--Illinois--Chicago--Photographs
  • Hyde Park (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Kenwood (Chicago, Ill.)

Related Materials

Container List

Oversize Folder 1 Photograph 1.1 Chalkboard Project, Ahmad with quote by Kid Cudi, 2015
Oversize Folder 1 Photograph 1.2 Chalkboard Project, Angelina with quote by Harriet B. Stowe, 2015
Oversize Folder 1 Photograph 1.3 Chalkboard Project, Janelli with quote by unknown author, 2015
Oversize Folder 1 Photograph 1.4 Chalkboard Project, Jason with quote by W.H. Auden, 2015
Oversize Folder 1 Photograph 1.5 Chalkboard Project, Jiara with quote by unknown author, 2015
Oversize Folder 1 Photograph 1.6 Chalkboard Project, Martese with quote by Malcolm X, 2015
Oversize Folder 1 Envelope 1.7 Chalkboard Project, exhibit captions, 2015
Oversize Folder 1 Poster 1.8 Chalkboard Project, exhibit text panel, 2015
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