HWLC Exhibit Highlights Chicago Historical Collections

The exhibit Raw Material: Uncovering Chicago's Historical Collections runs August 7 to November 15 in the Special Collections Exhibit Hall on the 9th floor of Harold Washington Library Center.

The stories Chicagoans tell about themselves and their history are as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. But where do they find the resources and evidence to bring those stories to life? Raw Material: Uncovering Chicago's Historical Collections answers this question using letters, maps, photos, personal diaries and more pulled from 20 archival repositories across the region.

“Of course, I want visitors to be wowed by the items in the show,” says guest curator Riva Feshbach, “but I also want to inspire them to imagine what new stories these collections can help them tell.”

This exhibit is a collaboration between Chicago Public Library and Chicago Collections, a consortium of libraries, museums and other institutions with archives about the history and culture of the Chicago region. The show is supported in part by an anonymous donor and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

The exhibit marks the first public program for the consortium as it prepares for an October launch of its flagship initiative, Explore Chicago Collections, a free centralized, web-based search engine and record-finding tool. Explore Chicago Collections will allow researchers, teachers, students and the public to readily locate over 100,000 maps, photos, letters and other archival material at member institutions all over the Chicago area.