Chicago, Illinois

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''[[United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Illinois]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Cook County, Illinois|Cook County]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Chicago,_Illinois|Chicago]]''  
 
''[[United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Illinois]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Cook County, Illinois|Cook County]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Chicago,_Illinois|Chicago]]''  
  
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== Historical Facts  ==
 
== Historical Facts  ==

Revision as of 04:52, 13 May 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png Cook County Gotoarrow.png Chicago

Contents


Historical Facts

  • Incorporated as a city in 1837 after being founded in 1833 at the site of a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed
  • 1871 Great Chicago Fire - Wikipedia
  • 1893 World's Columbian Exposition (HWPL SC)
  • 1933 World's Fair: Century of Progress (HWPL SC)

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

The Great Fire of 1871

The Great Fire of Chicago and the Web of Memory - Chicago Historical Society with Northwestern University

Original marriage licenses for Cook County were destroyed by the Great Fire of Chicago on October 8–10, 1871. Marriages in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index for Cook County prior to the fire were found in the Sam Fink Index. A copy of the Sam Fink Index is available on microfilm at the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. The only additional information that this depository can provide is the name of the newspaper in which the marriage appeared. FHL film 1321939 A microfilmed copy of the Index to Chicago and Cook County Marriages and Deaths Reported in Chicago Newspapers 1834–1889, compiled by Sam Fink, is also available at the Newberry Library (microfilm 608, general collections, 2nd floor.)

Places/Localities

Community Areas

There are 77 individual community areas,
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Community Areas of Chicago
as designated by the University of Chicago Social Science Research Committee. More than 200 neighborhoods are represented in the community areas. Community areas may have unique records available, or in some instances, their own newspapers. The Archival Collections at the Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library include holdings for many Chicago community areas and ethnic groups. Community areas with collections at the Harold Washington Library Center are indicated by an asterisk (*).

The city is partitioned into four main sections: Downtown (containing the Loop), the North Side, the South Side, and the West Side.

Chicago community areas map.png




  • Far North side: Rogers Park . West Ridge . Uptown . Lincoln Square . Edison Park . Norwood Park . Jefferson Park . Forest Glen . North Park . Albany Park . O'Hare . Edgewater
  • North side: North Center . Lakeview . Lincoln Park . Avondale . Logan Square
  • Northwest side: Portage Park . Irving Park . Dunning . Montclare . Belmont Cragin . Hermosa
  • Central, Near North, and Near South side: Near North Side . The Loop . Near South Side
  • West and Near West side: Humboldt Park . West Town . Austin . West Garfield Park . East Garfield Park . Near West Side . North Lawndale . South Lawndale . Lower West Side
  • Southwest side: Garfield Ridge . Archer Heights . Brighton Park . McKinley Park . New City . West Elsdon . Gage Park . Clearing . West Lawn . Chicago Lawn . West Englewood . Englewood
  • South side: Armour Square . Douglas . Oakland . Fuller Park . Grand Boulevard . Kenwood . Washington Park . Hyde Park . Woodlawn . South Shore . Bridgeport . Greater Grand Crossing
  • Far Southwest side: Ashburn . Auburn Gresham . Beverly . Washington Heights . Mount Greenwood . Morgan Park
  • Far Southeast side: Chatham . Avalon Park . South Chicago . Burnside . Calumet Heights . Roseland . Pullman . South Deering . East Side . West Pullman . Riverdale . Hegewisch

Street Numbering System

Before 1909, the river was the north-south dividing line. In 1909, the city was divided into four sections. [1]

Prior to 1909

Prior to 1909, the river was the north-south dividing line for streets which crossed it. North Clark Street would be that part of the street north of the river. On the west side, Randolph Street was the dividing line as far as Union Park (whose western boundary was Ashland). Beyond that, Lake Street was the dividing line. The Chicago River divided the city into three parts. North Division was from the North Branch east to the Lake; South Division was from the South Branch east to the Lake, and West Division was everything west of the river's branches. In 1879, the South Division adopted the even-odd numbering system in present use.

1909 - present

In 1909, the city was divided into four sections with the corner of State and Madison as the dividing point. Madison, running east and west, divides streets running north and south. State Street, running north and south, divides streets running east and west. One hundred numbers equal a full block and eight hundred numbers equal a mile. So 800 N. State would be one mile north of Madison. 800 W. Madison would be one mile west of State. Streets that run at an angle may be numbered either way.

All numbered streets such as 18th, 31st, etc., are on the south side. 600 E. 40th St. is six full blocks or 3/4 of a mile east of State and 40 full blocks, or five miles, south of Madison. Chicago has a small east side, mostly south, because of the angle of Lake Michigan. The term "East Side" refers to the area on the far southeast side near Indiana.

  • In a street address, even numbers are on the west and north sides of a street; odd numbers are on the south and east sides. 817 W. 18th St. is on the south side of 18th, which is 18 blocks south of Madison (2-1/4 miles) and 8 blocks (one mile) west of State.
  • Not every block shown on the map is a full block numerically. For example, Madison Street from State to Dearborn is only a half a block numerically. Dearborn is 50 west. Clark Street, the street after Dearborn, is 100 West. (Numbers may extend to 100 but most street numbers go up to 60 or so)."
  • A Look at Chicago has ward and enumeration districts (ED) maps for Cook County for the 1870 through 1930 censuses. It also has ward descriptions.

Neighboring Counties

Cook | DuPage | Lake | Will

Resources

Archives

Illinois Regional Archives Depository

Ronald Williams Library; Northeastern Illinois University; 5500 North St. Louis Avenue; Chicago, IL 60625-4699; 773-442-4506
Hours:
Monday–Friday; 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. The depository is closed on all state holidays and any day that the university library is closed. It is always a good idea to call ahead before planning a visit.
Chicago City Council Proceedings Files Index 1833–1871
http://www.sos.state.il.us/departments/archives/chicago_proceedings/proceedings_intro.html
Chicago Police Department Homicide Record Index 1870–1930
http://www.sos.state.il.us/departments/archives/homicide.html

University of Illinois at Chicago

Richard J. Daley Library; M/C 234; Special Collections & University Archives; Room 3-330; 801 South Morgan Street; Chicago, IL 60607; 312-996-2742
http://www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll/
Appointments are encouraged.

University of Illinois at Chicago- Library of the Health Sciences

M/C 763; Special Collections & University Archives; Room 320; 1750 West Polk Street; Chicago, IL 60612; 312-996-8977
Appointments are encouraged.

University of Chicago Library

Special Collections Research Center; Modern Manuscript and Archival Collections (1100 East 57th Street; Chicago, Illinois 60637; 773-702-8705; Fax 773-702-3728)
http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html
Chicago & Illinois - 19th Century; http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/chilnc.html
Chicago & Illinois - 20th Century; http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/chitwen.html
Hours:
Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Contact the Special Collections Research Center before visiting. Visiting researchers need to obtain a Day Pass and register to use Special Collections at the Library Privileges Office.
Information for Visiting Researchers; http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/using/access/
Until the Winter quarter 2011, an ongoing construction project could affect hours and the availability of collections or parts of collections.

Archdiocese of Chicago

Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives & Records Center
http://archives.archchicago.org/
711 West Monroe
Chicago, IL  60661
312- 831-0711
312-831-0610 fax
info@archchicago.org
Hours:
Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Reading Room is open for researchers and the public from 9:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m., appointments are strongly encouraged.
Closed for holidays and Holy Days.
Contact for research purposes: Assistant Research Archivist: 312-831-0711, ext. 728.

The archival materials in the Archives & Records Center are housed in closed stacks. Appointments are recommended. Unprocessed collections are restricted. Materials less than 25 years old are generally closed. The vice chancellor can waive restrictions.

Sacramental Records

Research for genealogical purposes is confined to records prior to 31 December 31 1915. Pre-1916 records are available for research on microfilm. Only records of closed parishes (complete list available upon request) are held by the Archives. All open parishes keep their own records. The only exceptions are Old St. Mary’s and St. Elizabeth’s, whose earliest books are now at the Archives.

Biographies

The Chicago History Museum has a tremendous collection of online resources useful to family history researchers. Of particular interest are the Biographical Dictionary of Chicago, part of the Encyclopedia of Chicago, and a photo index of portraits taken by early Chicago photographers. The Society's collection includes tens of thousands of images from early photographers E.L. Brand and C.D. Mosher, among others, all indexed by the name of the person in the photograph, as well as by photographer and studio. Their collection can be searched at the Chicago Historical Society Research Center.

Cemeteries

Graveyards of Chicago - This list of Chicago-area cemeteries provides location information, including geographic coordinates, and a link to a page with additional cemetery information, including photos, when available.

Catholic Cemeteries Chicago - This free site helps with finding the location of graves within Catholic cemeteries in the Chicago area.

Census

Churches and Synagogues

The Newberry Library's "Guide to Chicago Church and Synagogue Records" provides information on how to find records from Chicago's churches and synagogues. It can be sorted by denomination, name, or ethnicity.

Catholic

Chicago-City Catholic Churches - This list of Chicago Catholic churches includes the address, coordinates, years open, community (neighborhood), and ethnicity. Family History Library catalog entries are linked to church names. There is also a search function to help you figure out which church your ancestors attended.

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Lutheran

Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Swedes

Synagogues

Directories

Chicago city directories were published in 1846, 1851, 1853–54, annually after 1855 until 1917, 1923, and 1928-29. With a few exceptions, they generally include heads of household (including widows) and individuals who were working. Front matter generally includes lists of government offices, churches, and civic organizations, and back matter includes business listings.

Chicago city directories can be found online at Fold3.com and the Newberry Library's ChicagoAncestors.org, under the "Tools" tab. They can also be found on Family History Library microfilm and at many research facilities in the Chicago area.

  • Chicago City Directory and Business Advertiser, 1855, Fergus, May Supplement, is available as a free Google eBook at Google Books. The text is searchable by address, as well as surname.
  • PDF format files of the Chicago city directories are available at the Newberry Library's ChicagoAncestors.org for the following years: 1866, 1870, 1871, 1880, 1885, 1892, 1900 and 1910.
  • The website DistantCousin.com has a transcription of the 1844 and 1855/56 Chicago city directories.
  • 1928/29 Polk's Directory (by street address; PDF Chicago History Museum website; loads slowly)
  • The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Yearbook, 1905 (pp. 446-454 "Old Residents of Chicago" arranged by year of arrival; at Google Books; searchable by address).
  • The Newberry Library has these unique Chicago directories on microfilm only: Cook County, IL Business 1855–1856 Business (Call # Microfiche 283 #553 – 553.7) or (Call # Graff 1727 no. 1, Cook County, IL Republicans 1900 (see Chicago, IL; Cook Counties (Northern), IL Farmers 1918 (see DuPage County), and Cook County, IL Suburban & Rural 1929.

  • Fold3.com ($) has Chicago City Directories 1843-1917, 1923 (only 3 years missing) available online.

  • The spurring metropolis that is Chicago and the directories that came out during late 1800s and early 1900s can help you find ancestors who made a pitstop in those urban records or took up long-term residence. Social registers, blue books, and other directories might be what you need to fill that gap in your timeline between the missing 1880-1900 Federal Census and assist during the 1909 and 1911 Chicago city street renumbering. Most suburbs are listed in these publications and can also be considered Cook County resources.
    1909 Renumbering
    1911 Renumbering

  • The Bon-Ton Directory of 1879 will help in locating the “most prominent and fashionable ladies” of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. 

  • The Elite City and Club lists for 1883-84 (reversed), 1885-86 and 1888-89 are available to check whether your relatives were members of clubs such as the Amateur Musical Club or other social clubs of that area and era. 

  • The Social Register, for the years 1899-1907, 1908, 1912, and 1922, offers such sections as the names of married maidens.

  • The Chicago Blue Book of Selected Names of Chicago and Suburban Towns, which has coverage from 1890-1915 on Archive.org. Using these with census records or Chicago city directories (available on Fold3.com) can establish address changes for 1909 and 1911 street renumbering.  Have a missing ancestor? Using these directories to find neighbors might help in tracking down the missing ancestors in censuses.  189018911892189318941895, 1897,
    1898, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910,
    1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915

  • A post-1930 census gem is The Selected Directory of Italians in Chicago for the years 1930 and 1933-34.

Courts

Gazetteers of Places/Localities

History

Land and Property

Many genealogy books describe how to find land records for rural America. For ancestors who lived in a city like Chicago, though, a very different set of resources is available. A number of online databases give information about historic residences in Chicago and Cook County. Armed with an address from a census, you may be able to flesh out details about an ancestor's life and get a glimpse of where they lived.

It is possible that your ancestors were responsible for the construction of the building that they lived or worked in. The Chicago Historical Society has an index to building permits issued between 1898 and 1912. The index is searchable by original owner's name, historical street name, architect, and the contractor issue date.

The historical street name field in this search hints at the fact that Chicago streets have undergone several name changes over time. The Newberry Library has three excellent documents detailing the changes. Specifically, there are PDF files for the 1909 and 1911 street renumberings and a general index to old and new street names.

With a current address for a historical property, it is easy to find and see the current structure at a location, for example by using Google Maps street view . To find out if the current structure is where an ancestor lived, a helpful tool is the Cook County Assessor's search. It is available through their webpage:. The basic search requires an identifying PIN for the property; however, an advanced search provides a more convenient search by address. In this search, be as general as possible in the street name for best results (for example, enter 59 instead of 59th Street). In addition to a description of the property, the results of this search provide a recent picture and the structure's age. This page will tell you if the building you see today is the same one that an ancestor lived or worked in many years ago.

Libraries

Carter G. Woodson Regional Library

9525 South Halsted St.; Chicago, IL 60628; 312-747-6900
Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History & Literature
Hours:
Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Harold Washington Library

400 South State St., Illinois 60605; 312-747-4300
http://www.chipublib.org/branch/details/library/harold-washington/
Hours
Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Sunday 1:00–5:00 p.m.
Microfilmed copies of Chicago city directories: 1839–1850, 1851–1855, 1855–1857, 1858–1866, 1867, 1866–1870, 1871, 1872–1917, 1923, 1928–1929, 1928–1929. Note: The quality of the film is very poor.
Microfilmed copies of Chicago telephone directories:
1878–1898, Alphabetical and Classified
1900–1901, Alphabetical and Classified
1903–1913, Alphabetical and Classified
1914–1932, Alphabetical Only
1936–1941, Alphabetical Only
1943–1944, Alphabetical Only
1946–1947, Alphabetical Only
1948, Alphabetical Only (only A-S)
1954, Alphabetical Only (only K-Z)
1955, Alphabetical Only (only A-S)
1957, Alphabetical Only (only D-Z)
1958–1971, Alphabetical Only
1914–1923, Classified Only
1925–1954, Classified Only
1956–1960, Classified Only
1962, Classified Only
1964–1966, Classified Only
1967, Classified Only (only R-Z)
1968–1971, Classified Only.
Special Collections, 9th floor; 312-747-4875; fax 312- 747-4890; specoll@chipublib.org
http://www.chipublib.org/branch/details/library/harold-washington/p/Spc/
The Special Collections and Preservation Division, established in 1975, collects, preserves, and provides access to rare and unique materials of the Chicago Public Library. Access is provided by the Library's online catalog, printed finding aids and card catalog, and increasingly, via the Internet.
Reading Room Hours
Monday & Tuesday 12:00–6:00 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 12:00–6:00 p.m., noon - 6:00 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday Closed
Chicago Public Library Archival Collections
http://www.chipublib.org/cplbooksmovies/cplarchive/archivalcoll/index.phpgo Public Library

The Newberry Library

60 West Walton Street; Chicago, IL 60610-7324; 312–943–9090
http://www.newberry.org/genealogy/collections.html
Reading Room hours
Tuesday–Friday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Items may be requested between 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and between 1:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Items may be requested between 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Genealogy Collection Guides and Research Tools
http://www.newberry.org/genealogy/guides.html
Quick Search Services: Fee $7.00 per search
http://www.newberry.org/genealogy/quicksearch.html
* Chicago Newspaper Death Notice/Obituary Search
* City Directory Search
* Chicago Ward/Enumeration District Location Search
* Chicago Church Records Search
* Birth and Death Index Searches
* Census Index Search
* Census Search
* Federal Census of Illinois: Soundex Search Request
* Ireland's Townland Ordnance Survey Maps
* Naturalization Soundex Search Library


Maps

  • Chicago Neighborhood Maps   

"Discover the past by address."  Search this site by entering the address of an ancestor. Addresses may be identified in a census, voter registration, or city directory. The search function then allows the marking of significant locations. 

For example, search for the parish churches closest to the residence of a Catholic ancestor. Click on the hyperlink for each church to identify the Family History Library microfilm number of the baptismal and marriage records with the corresponding years. Films can then be ordered through a local Family History Center. ChicagoAncestors.org is sponsored by the Newberry Library

Military History and Records

Civil War

The Harold Washington Library has several collections that may be helpful to researchers interested in Chicago during the Civil War:

  • Bass, Henry Papers (1952–1975)
  • Civil War. Army of the Potomac Collection (1863)
  • Civil War Round Table Records (1945-1975)
  • Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Collection (1895–1964)
  • Hambrecht, George F. Papers (1842–1928)

World War I

Chicago had 86 WWI draft registration districts. This Internet site helps determine which draft registration district in Chicago an ancestor probably went to.

Museums

Chicago History Museum Research Center

Newspapers

Probate Records

Cook County probate records, 1871-1975, are held by the Archives Department of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. View archive holidings for more information about the records that are available.

Taxation

Vital Records

Births

Gotoarrow.png Chicago Birth Certificates

Marriages

Gotoarrow.png Cook County Marriage Licenses

Deaths

Newspapers

Northeastern Illinois Obituary and Death Notice Collection Free from GenealogyBuff.com. From various funeral homes in the suburbs of Chicago and Joliet areas.

Societies

Ethnic Groups

African Americans

Carter G. Woodson Regional Library

9525 South Halsted St.; Chicago, IL 60628; 312-747-6900
Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History & Literature
Hours:
Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Abbott, Robert S. - John H. Sengstacke Family Papers. Dates: 1847–1997. Size: 179 linear feet. Accession #2007/06. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature Robert S. Abbott founded the Chicago Defender in 1905; his nephew, John H. Sengstacke, took over family’s newspapers on Abbott’s death in 1940. The papers trace the Abbott-Sengstacke family history from the mid-19th century in Georgia through Abbott’s move to Chicago and creation of a journalistic empire, to the death of Sengstacke in 1997. The papers are arranged in three superseries: Robert Abbott, John Sengstacke, and Myrtle Sengstacke. Extensive documentation of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier, the Michigan Chronicle, Provident Hospital, and the political history of Chicago is included. The papers feature correspondence, manuscripts, organizational and subject research files, biographical materials, programs, clippings and memorabilia.  A large collection of photographs will be opened in late 2009. [Finding aid]

Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago Archives. Dates: 1980–2003. Size: 15 linear feet. Accession #2000/12. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC) was formed to preserve and perpetuate the historic records of African American ancestors and to promote the study of history and genealogy. The collection contains organizational files, annual reports, conference files, reports, family newsletters, reunion books and funeral programs. [Partially processed]

Alkalimat, Abdul Papers. Dates: 1981–2005. Size: 33 linear feet. Accession #1983/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. This collection predominantly consists of conference papers, articles, speeches and unpublished mss. written and collected by Alkalimat while he was Director of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois-Urbana. Recent additions include a huge clipping file on Harold Washington, and materials on Black Studies and the internet. [Partially processed]

Allen, Barbara E. Papers. Dates: 2004–2005. Size: 6 linear feet. Accession #2005/04. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Barbara Allen produced the Emmy-winning documentary, Paper Trail: 100 Years of the Chicago Defender. The collection consists of research materials, original uncut video and audio interviews and complete interview transcripts from Paper Trail. [Processed]

AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization Archives. Dates: 1955–2005. Size: 5 linear feet. Accession #2006/04. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature These workers were the first African Americans allowed to work at Midway airport’s AMF postal facility. They later worked on trains, distributing mail throughout the Midwest. The AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization was founded in 1991 to document the history of African Americans in the organization. Collection contains administrative records, newsletters, photographs, reports, diagrams and memorabilia. [Partially processed]

Amos, Wally Papers. Dates: 1978–1996. Size: 2 linear feet. Accession #1979/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Wally Amos, entrepreneur, speaker, actor and writer from Tallahassee, Florida, is the founder of the “Famous Amos” chocolate chip cookie brand. Collection consists of correspondence, draft copies of manuscripts, memorabilia, awards and books. [Processed]

Anderson, Maceo Papers. Dates: 1940–1985. Size: 1 linear foot. Accession #1991/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Maceo Anderson was one of the original members of the legendary Four Step Brothers, an early African American act on television. The papers consist of a scrapbook documenting their career. [Processed]

Archdiocese of Chicago / Black History Educational Program Archives. Dates: 1966–1968. Size: 3 linear feet. Accession #1992/03. Chicago Public Library,Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Collection consists of reel-to-reel audiotapes on African American history and literature created by the Archdiocese. [Processed]

Barnett, Etta Moten Papers. Dates: 1934–2002. Size: 18 linear feet. Accession #2007/07. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature.  An internationally-acclaimed concert and musical theater singer, social activist and philanthropist, Etta Moten Barnett’s career began in the 1930s and continued past her 100th birthday. She starred in Broadway musicals and in films. Her husband was Claude Barnett, founder and president of the Associated Negro Press. She was active in the Chicago chapter of The Links, Inc. Her papers include correspondence, speech texts, clippings, programs, photographs and memorabilia. [Unprocessed]

Barrett, Brenetta Howell Papers. Dates: 1942–2006.Size: 48 linear feet. Accession #2007/08. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. A life-long Chicagoan, Brenetta Howell Barrett was a leader and political activist in West Side community organizations. She served in the mayoral administrations of Harold Washington and Eugene Sawyer. Active in housing, environmental and civil liberties issues, she was also involved in community protests in the 1960s and 1970s. Her papers include correspondence, office files, programs, clippings, photographs and memorabilia. [Unprocessed]

Berry, Leonidas Papers. Dates: 1930–1995. Size: 36 linear feet. Accession #1988/02. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Leonidas Berry, noted gastroenterologist, teacher, author, medical rights and civil rights activist, was a major figure in Chicago and nationally for over 50 years. He was president of the National Medical Association, founder of the Flying Black Medics, and successful litigant against the exclusion of African American physicians from Michael Reese Hospital. His collection includes monographs, serials, photographs, correspondence, research notes, minutes, lectures, publications, books and memorabilia. His papers are especially strong in Provident Hospital history. [Partially processed]

Bishop, Charles Papers. Dates: 1939–1963. Size: 3 linear feet. Accession #1999/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Charles Bishop, retired professor at Malcolm X College, researched early 20th century African American culture as part of his family history investigations. His family history is centered in Louisiana, Mississippi and Chicago. Collection contains theatrical posters, photographs, magazines and research materials. [Partially processed]

Black Caucus, American Library Association, Chicago Chapter Archives. Dates: 1974–2004. Size: 6 linear feet. Accession #1983/02. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The collection documents the work of the Chicago Chapter of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). The collection includes founding documents, minutes, correspondence, flyers, financial documents, photographs and memorabilia. [Processed]

Black Radical Congress Archive. Dates: 1998–1999. Size: 3 linear feet. Accession #1998/03. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Materials collected at the inaugural conference of the BRC, held in Chicago in June, 1998, and in the months that followed. Collection consists of publicity, programs, position papers, newsletters, clippings and memorabilia. [Partially processed]

Black, Timuel D. Papers. Dates: 1919–2006. Size: 172 linear feet. Accession #2003/08. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Professor Emeritus at City Colleges of Chicago, Timuel Black is a prominent historian, author, human rights activist, and expert on Chicago’s African American history. During the 1960s, he was president of the Chicago chapter of the Negro American Labor Council, and organizer of Chicago participation in the 1963 March on Washington.  Active in more than 100 organizations over seven decades, the collection includes extensive organizational files, correspondence, manuscripts, DuSable High School yearbooks, subject files, oral histories, audiovisual materials, photographs, and memorabilia. Additional papers relating to the life and work of his son, Timuel Kerrigan Black (1963-1993) were accessioned in 2007. [Partially processed]

Box, Willie Papers. Dates: 1992–2006. Size: 6 linear feet. Accession #2005/02. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Willie E. Box, educational administrator and author, donated his collection of research materials on African American museums. The papers also include pamphlets and brochures. [Partially processed]

Brooks, Sydonia / National Association of Negro Musicians Papers. Dates: c.1935–2002. Size: 9 linear feet. Accession #1995/06. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. A leader in the Chicago Music Association and in the National Association of Negro Musicians, Brooks donated a collection of CMA and NANM newsletters, proceedings and photographs. [Processed]

Brown, Ann Papers. Dates: c.1890–2001. Size: 4 linear feet. Accession #1999/07. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Ann Brown was a member of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs and longtime member of the Missionary Society of Arnett Chapel A.M.E. Church. Collection contains photographs, memorabilia, funeral programs, church programs and genealogical records relating to the Brown family. [Partially processed]

Browne, Al Papers. Dates: 1934–1938. Size: 1 linear foot. Accession #2004/07. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Collection consists of two scrapbooks from 1934-1938 from Browne’s tours around the United States as a circus clown and circus owner/manager. [Unprocessed]

Browning, Alice Papers. Dates: 1942–1985. Size: 7 linear feet. Accession #2000/08. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Alice Browning was a writer, editor, educator, publisher and co-founder of the International Black Writers Conference. With Fern Gayden, she published Negro Story magazine, and later launched the Browning Letter. Her papers include correspondence, manuscripts, serials, newsletters, photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and memorabilia. [Finding Aid Online]

Bryant, Leroy Papers. Dates: 1975–2006. Size: 132 linear feet. Accession #2004/02. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature.  Bryant served as chair and professor of History and African American Studies at Chicago State University, and was active in civil rights work.  His collection largely consists of extensive subject research files on a wide range of topics in African American studies. Many of the sources in the files are not widely available.  An especially significant collection centers on the history of African Americans in Florida. The papers also include manuscripts, monographs, serials and correspondence.  [Partially processed]

Buckley, Dick, see Dick Buckley’s Archives of Jazz.

Burns, Ben Papers. Dates: 1939–1999. Size: 177 linear feet. Accession #1981/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. At Johnson Publishing Company, Ben Burns was executive editor of Ebony and Negro Digest magazines. He was later editor of Sepia magazine. The papers center on Burns’ career in journalism and his authorship of a memoir, Nitty Gritty. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, clippings, memorabilia, and Burns’ personal library. [Finding Aid Online]

Campbell, Sylvia Photograph Collection. Dates: 1968.  Size: 1 linear foot. Accession #2008/04. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. This small collection of photographs consists of snapshots taken by Ms. Campbell’s husband on Chicago’s Westside during the April, 1968 riot following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [Fully processed]

Carter Temple C.M.E. Church Archives. Dates: 1961–2002. Size: 3 linear feet. Accession #1996/03. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature.

Cayton, Horace Papers. Dates: 1880–1970. Size: 64 linear feet. Accession #1983/03. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Cayton was a prominent Black sociologist, co-author ofBlack Metropolis and director of Parkway Community House. Collection consists of correspondence, photographs, subject research files, published and unpublished manuscripts, memorabilia and oral history audio tapes, including interviews on the life of noted Black author Richard Wright. [Partially processed]

Central Area, The Links, Inc. Archives. Dates: 1952–2004.  Size: 7 linear feet. Accession #2006/09. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The Central Area, The Links, Inc. is a regional coordinating body with nearly 60 member chapters, stretching from Michigan to Oklahoma, and from Minnesota to Virginia . Established in 1952, Central Area has kept detailed archives, including correspondence, minutes, programs, chapter histories, photographs and audio-visual materials.  [Partially processed]

Central Area, The Links, Inc. Archives. Dates: 1952–2004. Size: 7 linear feet. Accession #2006/09. Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection, Woodson Regional Library. The Central Area, The Links, Inc. is a regional coordinating body with nearly 60 member chapters, stretching from Michigan to Oklahoma, and from Minnesota to Virginia . Established in 1952, Central Area has kept detailed archives, including correspondence, minutes, programs, chapter histories, photographs and audio-visual materials. [Partially processed]

Chicago Afro-American Analytic Union Catalog Archives. Dates: 1939–1940. Size: 1 linear foot, plus card catalog. Accession #1942/04. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Horace Cayton supervised this WPA project to develop a bibliography of all resources on African Americans found in Chicago area libraries. The archive consists of the original cards created by the project and the final narrative report. [Processed]

Chicago Chapter, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) Archives.  Dates: 1961–1966. Size: 2 linear feet. Accession #2007/02.  Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. CORE, a national civil rights organization, began in Chicago in 1942, with protests to force desegregation of restaurants and other public accommodations. These archives cover the period of the early and mid-1960s, when Chicago CORE’s membership was at its height. Records include meeting minutes, correspondence, flyers, programs, news clippings, and photographs. [Fully processed]

Chicago Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library Archives. Dates: 1975–2006. Size: 74 linear feet. Accession #1975/02. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The institutional archives of Woodson Regional Library, which opened in 1975, include administrative files, programs, photographs, memorabilia and annual reports. [Partially processed]


Chicago Public Library, George Cleveland Hall Branch Library Archives. Dates: 1932–1975. Size: 33 linear feet. Accession #1932/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The Hall Branch library is named after George Cleveland Hall, African American physician, Chicago Public Library board member, and a founding member of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), who campaigned tirelessly for a full-service library in Bronzeville. Hall Branch Library, headed by Vivian G. Harsh from 1932 to 1958, was a leading cultural institution in Bronzeville during the Chicago Renaissance. The archives include administrative records, programs, correspondence, photographs, clipping files, pamphlets and research materials from its 1932 opening day until the transfer of its Harsh Research Collection to Woodson Regional Library in 1975. [Partially processed]

Chicago Public Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection Archives. Dates: 1975–2006. Size: 53 linear feet. Accession #1975/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The archives of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature document the collection’s history after it moved to Carter G. Woodson Regional Library in 1975. The collection includes manuscripts, programs, administration records, reports, photographs, audiovisual materials and memorabilia.

Chicago SNCC History Project Archives. Dates: 1961–1967.  Size: 7 linear feet. Accession #2006/02. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The Chicago SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) History Project was created in 2006 to collect and preserve the experience of SNCC during the civil rights movement in Chicago.  The archive includes correspondence, serials, photographs, flyers, clippings, financial records, newsletters, manuscripts, meeting minutes, oral histories, and memorabilia.  [Partially processed]

Childs, Josie Brown Papers. Dates: 1948–2004. Size: 5 linear feet. Accession #2004/04. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Josie Brown Childs, political and civil rights activist, aide to Mayor Harold Washington and cultural events promoter, donated her papers documenting her multi-faceted career. The scope of the papers consists of family history in Mississippi, Childs’ early political work, her campaign for an aldermanic seat, her work for Mayor Washington, and her efforts to promote African American cultural and historical awareness. Correspondence, photographs, flyers, programs and memorabilia are included. [Partially processed]

Chicago Chapter, Black Caucus, American Library Association, see Black Caucus, American Library Association, Chicago Chapter Archives

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Chicago Chapter Archives. Dates: 1972–2006. Size: 11 linear feet. Accession #1992/07. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Founded in Detroit in 1972, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists was created to address the labor, civil rights and political concerns of African Americans active in unions. Donated by Beverly Sandifer of AFSCME Local 1215, the archive includes convention documents, minutes, resolutions, programs, photographs and memorabilia from the Chicago Chapter of CBTU. [Processed]

Coalition to Save the ‘Met’ Archives. Dates: 1926–2005. Size: 10 linear feet. Accession #2007/10.  Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Founded in 1920 by Dr. William Decatur Cook, as The Peoples Church, it took the name Metropolitan Community Church in 1927. The church became a center for African American political activism and the Pullman porters union organization drive. The Coalition to Save the ‘Met’ was begun by church members determined to save the historic church building from a wrecking ball. After they succeeded, they began collecting historic documents and photographs to save the church’s history. Papers include programs, clippings, correspondence, church newsletters, and photographs. [Partially processed]

Collier, Lucy Smith Papers. Dates: 1915–1956. Size: 9 linear feet. Accession #1996/07. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Granddaughter of Chicago’s legendary Pentecostal preacher Elder Lucy Smith, Collier’s papers include church documents, programs, memorabilia and photographs of gospel at the Church of All Nations, gospel on the radio, the Lucy Smith Singers, and the Roberta Martin Singers. The papers also include a sheet music collection. [Partially processed]

Colter, Cyrus Papers. Dates: 1890–1995. Size: 10 linear feet. Accession #1995/05. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Cyrus Colter was a distinguished African American novelist, short story writer, lawyer and professor. The papers include manuscripts for his novels, correspondence, photographs, clippings and memorabilia documenting Colter’s career as an author. A smaller group of materials pertains to Colter’s legal and political career and his personal life. [Finding Aid Online]

Commodore, Chester Papers. Dates: 1914–2004. Size: 40 linear feet. Accession #2007/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Chester Commodore was the editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Defender for over 50 years. In his capacity as one of the earliest established black editorial cartoonists, Commodore offered both humor and protest by using his cartoons to highlight and fight injustice both locally and nationally. His papers include his original cartoons, including the “Accent” caricatures which ran from 1974 – 1979, correspondence, photographs, newspapers and memorabilia. [Finding Aid Online]

Dailey, Ulysses Grant Papers. Dates: 1920–1960. Size: 3 linear feet. Accession #1995/08. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Ulysses Grant Dailey was a nationally prominent surgeon. He served as president of the National Medical Association, operated his own hospital in the 1920s and 1930s, was a leader at Provident Hospital, and helped educate surgeons in Africa, Asia and Latin America. His papers consist of correspondence, clippings, photographs and memorabilia. [A draft manuscript of a biography of Dr. Dailey, The Scholar and the Scalpel, is located in the Sisi Donald Mosby Papers.] [Partially processed]

Davis, Charles A. Papers. Dates: 1950–1997. Size: 22 linear feet. Accession #2003/09. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Charles Davis was a journalist, a public relations specialist and an entrepreneur. During the 1940s, he served as the leading political reporter for the Chicago Defender. In the 1960s, he was one of the founders of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO). Davis was director of the National Insurance Association and served on the boards of several important Chicago companies. His papers include correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, programs, clippings and memorabilia. [Partially processed]

Harold Washington Library

400 South State Street, Illinois 60605; 312-747-4300
Special Collections, 9th floor; 312-747-4875; fax 312-747-4890; specoll@chipublib.org
Black Ensemble Theater Collection. Dates: 1975–1994. Size: 4.5 linear feet. Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, Chicago Theater Collection. Theater company founded by well known Chicago actress Jackie Taylor. [Processed]
Black History Educational Program Archives, see Archdiocese of Chicago / Black History Educational Program Archives.

Davis, Melvin A. Papers. Dates: 1966–1978. Size: 2 linear feet. Accession #2003/03. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Melvin Davis served as president of United Automobile Workers Local 1083. He was also active in the Black Arts Movement and in the African Nationalist Pioneer Movement. His papers include materials on the 50th anniversary of Marcus Garvey’s death, the campaign to build a Marcus Garvey memorial, and Black theater. The papers consist of manuscripts, bulletins, flyers, serials and photographs. [Partially processed]

Dungill Family Papers. Dates: 1934–1966. Size: 4 linear feet. Accession #2000/07. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The Dungill Family, a touring band based in Chicago from the 1930s through the 1960s, achieved success as a family band in which each member played a different instrument. The papers include photographs, press clippings and memorabilia. [Processed]

Dickerson, Earl B. Papers.  Dates: 1891–1985.  Size: 9 linear feet. Accession #2008/02. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature.  Attorney and business executive Earl B. Dickerson was honored for his civil rights and civil liberties work. He was general counsel at Supreme Liberty Life Insurance (an African American-owned company), a Chicago alderman, and lead attorney in Hansberry v. Lee, a landmark case challenging restrictive covenants. Dickerson’s papers include correspondence, programs, genealogical materials, clippings, serials, photographs and memorabilia. [Partially processed]

Driskell, Claude Papers. Dates: 1940–1995. Size: 6 linear feet. Accession #1995/09. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. A prominent Chicago dentist, Claude Driskell served as president of the Lincoln Dental Society, and is the author of a history of Chicago’s African American dentists. He was also the historian for the renowned “Original Forty Club,” and was the author of the club’s 75th anniversary book. Dr. Driskell’s papers include manuscripts, photographs, serials and memorabilia. [Partially processed]

Durham, Richard Papers. Dates: 1944–1984. Size: 16 linear feet. Accession #1998/02. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Richard Durham, journalist, radio and television playwright, was the author of the groundbreaking radio drama series Destination Freedom. From 1948–1950, the weekly program dramatized Black history events and individuals. Durham later wrote the television series, “Bird of the Iron Feather,” and edited Muhammad Ali’s biography, The Greatest. The papers include correspondence, research notes, play scripts, clippings, serials, photographs, page proofs and galleys. [Finding Aid Online]

Asian Americans

Harold Washington Library

400 South State Street, Illinois 60605; 312-747-4300
Special Collections, 9th floor; 312-747-4875; fax 312- 747-4890; specoll@chipublib.org
Asian American Small Business Association Collection. Dates: 1990s. Size: .5 linear feet. Chicago Public Library, Sulzer Regional Library, Neighborhood History Research Collection. Established by Charlie Soo in 1979, the Asian American Small Business Association seeks to encourage economic development in the area near Argyle Street and Broadway. Activities of the association are documented through annual reports and files on special events. [Processed]


Czech and Slovak

The Paul M Nemecek Research Library of the Czech & Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois (CSAGSI) offers an extensive ethnic collection, especially for Chicago and Cook County.

The CSAGSI Library is in the
T.G. Masaryk School
5701 22nd Place
Cicero, IL 60804

Dutch

Harold Washington Library

400 South State Street, Illinois 60605; 312-747-4300
Special Collections, 9th floor; 312-747-4875; fax 312-747-4890; specoll@chipublib.org
Brennan, George A. Papers. Dates: 1915–1934. Size: .5 linear feet. Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, Neighborhood History Research Collection, Part of the Calumet Region Community Collections. Collection reflects Brennan's personal interest in the local history of theCalumet Region and the early Dutch community in Chicago. [Finding Aid Online]

Germans

University of Illinois at Chicago

If searching for German origins of ancestors who came to Chicago, the records of the German Aid Society of Chicago (Deutsche Gesellschaft) kept at University of Illinois at Chicago may be the key. Records from 1878-1977 include surviving applications and case histories.

Located at
University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St.
Chicago, IL 60607-7113
www.uic.edu/index.html
(312) 996-7000
(information current as of September 2008)

Italian Americans

Harold Washington Library

400 South State Street, Illinois  60605; 312-747-4300
Special Collections, 9th floor; 312-747-4875; fax 312-747-4890; specoll@chipublib.org
Italians in Chicago Project. Dates: 1979–1981. Size: 4 linear feet. Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, Neighborhood History Research Collection. Oral history transcripts from interviews with Italian Americans in Chicago; the project was based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. [Processed]

Polish

The Polish Genealogical Society of America
984 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642

In addition to a wealth of historical information about Polish ancestry, culture and immigration, the PGSA has a number of free databases specific to Chicago research. (Membership entitles you to additional access to some databases)

One of the best sources is the index of the "Dziennik Chicagoski Death Notices". This was a Polish newspaper popular among the Chicago immigrants and many obituaries were posted there rather than in the English newspapers.

Other Chicago-specific databases include:
"Poles of Chicago 1837-1937"(1650 surname entries)
"Marriage Index for Polish Parishes in Chicago through 1915"
"Holy Trinity School Class 1883, Chicago IL"

  • Dziennik Zwiazkowy Historical Newspapers  This resource has 10 years (1908-1917) of a Chicago Polish newspaper, available for download as a pdf.  Please note that this is not the newspaper in the PGSA databases.

Swedes  

Websites

References

  1. Finding Your Chicago Ancestor by Margaret O'Hara, 977.311 D27o 1982