Resource Directory PDF Print E-mail



Wondering which Special Collections or Archival Repositories have holdings (primary sources) related to YOUR topic of interest? These resources might give you that exciting, untold story – or they might just help you deepen your analysis and understanding of your historical question and thesis.

Between these three search tools, students can get a good idea which special collections or archives will have material to check out.  It is a good idea to follow-up on the specific websites for more detailed information:


  • Chicago Collections Consortium - Portal to many of the special collections' holdings that can be found in the city.
  • Black Metropolis Research Consortium Survey - The Black Metropolis Research Consortium Survey serves as a database of collections pertaining to African-American topics.
  • ArchiveGrid - Available through the Chicago Public Library's "Online Resources."  You will need to log-in to use it.


Special collections and other institutions should be used once you do the basic research and have a focused historical question. The more informed a student is by the time she/he seeks these resources, the more helpful librarians and representatives of these organizations can be.

Before calling or going to the organizations, visit the websites. Their websites, especially for the special collections, will give you a lot of vital information: the strengths of their collection (topics, people, events), finding aids, hours open and accessibility (if students are allowed to use the facility and under what circumstances). Most importantly, many institutions are making PRIMARY SOURCES available on the internet so that students can download photographs, maps, and other first-hand documents. Archivists are happy to work with History Fair students.

The phone numbers, addresses, and websites are as up-to-date as possible, but we advise students to first call before going to any of these institutions and organizations. (Additionally, many research centers will be able by appointment only or have specific hours for student researchers.)

The Chicago Metro History Education Center Resource Guide to Historical Collections & Institutions is made possible by a generous grant from the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelly Foundation.




(Jane) Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S. Halsted St. (60607-7017) 312-413-5353 fax 312-413-2092
Weekdays 10-4; Sunday 12-5

American Indian Center
1630 W. Wilson (60640) 773-275-5871 fax 275-5874

Arab American Action Network
3148 W. 63rd St. (60629) 773-436-6060 fax 436-6460

Arlington Heights Historical Museum
110 W. Freemont, Arlington Heights (60004) 847-255-1225
local history library: Th 1-4, Fri. 9 am - 12
heritage exhibit gallery: Fri., Sat., Sun. 1:30-4:30

Art Institute of Chicago- Ryerson & Burnham Libraries
Michigan Ave. & Adams St. (60603) 312-443-3666
In order to gain access to libraries obtain an " Info Pass " from Chicago Public Libraries, Suburban System Library or a local college library. Check for closings around holidays.
Wed.: 12:30-4:30 pm
Th. : 12:30-7:45 pm
Fri.: 12:30-4:30
Sat. - Tues.: closed
Library checks reference messages Wed, Th, Fri.

Asian American Educators
5113 S. Woodlawn (60615) 773-535-1334 fax 534-9139

Asian American Institute
5415 N. Clark St. (60640) 773-728-7120 fax 728-7231

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Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
6500 South Pulaski Road (60629) fax 582-5133
Open 7 days a week: 10:00-4:00 pm

Black Metropolis

Blue Island Historical Society
2433 York Street, Blue Island (60406) 708-388-1078
M: 9:00 am-9:00 pm; T, W, Thur: noon-9:00 pm; F & Sa: 9:00 am-5:00pm
Located at the Blue Island Library

Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Community Center
1016 West Argyle Street  (60640) 773-989-4381 fax 773-784-2984

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Cambodian Association of Illinois
2831 W. Lawrence (60625) 773-878-7090 fax 878-5299
Hours: M-F 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Cantigny First Division Foundation
1 S 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton (60187-6097) 630-668-5185
Hours vary by season. Please call ahead to schedule research projects.

Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S. Michigan Ave (60603) 312-922-3432 fax 922-2607
City Space: M-Sat 9:30-5, Closed Sunday
Shop and Tower Center : M-Sat. 9-6:30, Sun. 9-6

Chicago Commission on Human Relations
740 N. Sedgwick, 3 rd floor (60610)
Hours: 9:00-5:00 , Mon-Fri.
(Many CCHR reports can be found in the CPL Municipal Reference Library and in the Research Center of the CHS)

Chicago Council on Urban Affairs
1 North La Salle Suite # 3030 (60602) 312-782-3511 fax 782-0748
M-F 9-5

Chicago Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1160, Chicago, IL (60690-1160) 773-725-1306
No phone # on website or address
Online: List of holdings

Chicago History Museum
Research Center- appointments required
Chicago History Museum Research Library's page for History Fair:
To view History Fair bibliographies based on CHM sources

Chicago Park District Archives
541 N. Fairbanks Ct. , 4 th floor (60611) 312-743-PLAY (7529)
Julia Bachrach, Park District Historian
Research by appointment with Ms. Bachrach, 312-742-4698
M-F, 8:30-4:30

Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street (60605)

Each of the departments below has Chicago- specific collections.
Social Sciences and History, 312-747-46160
Newspapers and Periodicals, 312-747-4100
Special Collections (including neighborhood collections),
Municipal Reference, 312-747-4526
Government Publications, 312-747-4500
Business, Technical, Science, 312-747-4400
Visual Arts & Music, 312-747-4850
Architecture & Art, 312-747-4800

CPL's regional libraries have extensive collections as well as two very important Special Collections:
Sulzer Regional Library
4455 North Lincoln Avenue (60625) 312-744-7616

Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association, 312-742-4455
located in Sulzer Regional

Woodson Regional Library
9525 South Halsted Street (60628) 312-747-6900

Vivian Harsh Collection on African American History
located in Woodson Regional, 312-747-6910
This website not only holds the CPL catalog, but is full of primary sources related to different aspects of Chicago history---some specifically related to the current History Fair theme. Each department maintains a big with specific resources too. A "must see" website!

Chicago Public Schools Multicultural Resource Center
Farhat Khan, Roosevelt High School
3436 W. Wilson Ave (60625) 773-553-1954 fax 553-1931

Chicago State University Special Collections and Archives
9501 South Martin Luther King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628
Phone: 773-995-2235

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago
238 W. 23rd St.
Fri. 9:30-1:30
Sat. & Sun. 10-5

Chinatown Chamber of Commerce
2169 S. China Place (60616) 312-326-5320
M-F 9:00-5:00

Clarke House/Glessner House
1800 South Prairie Avenue (60616) 312-326-1480

Collections by appointment
Clarke House 312-745-0040 (Call Glessner House for tours)
Wednesday through Sunday, by tours
Clark House Tours: 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, Wednesdays free
Glessner House
Tours: 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm

Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks
33 N. LaSalle St. Suite 1600 (60602) 312-744-3200

Copernicus Cultural & Civic Center
5216 W. Lawrence Ave. (60630) 773-777-8898 fax 777-6120

Council of Educators in Polonia
7551 W. Palatine (60631) 773-763-5587 fax 534-3558

Croatian Ethnic Institute
4851 S. Drexel Blvd. (60615) 773-373-4746

Czechoslovak Society of America
(Heritage Museum Library and Archives) CSA Fraternal Life
122 W. 22 nd Street , Oak Brook , IL (60523) 630-472-1100
M-F 10:00-4:00

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DePaul University Library Special Collections & Archives
2350 N Kenmore Ave, Rm 314 (60614), 773-325-7864
M-F: 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun. Closed

Dupage County Historical Museum
102 E. Wesley St., Wheaton (60187) 630-682-7343
MWFS: 1-4, Sun. 1-4
no access to research collections by website

DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place (60637) 773-947-0600 fax 947-0677

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Elgin Area Historical Society and Museum
360 Park Street, Elgin (60120) 847-742-4248
Wed.-Sat.: noon-4:00 pm. Research by appointment.

Elmhurst Historical Museum
120 East Park Avenue, Elmhurst (60126) 630-941-9310 fax630-833-1457
Galleries: Tues.-Sun. 1:00-5:00 pm; Research Tues.-Fri. 1:00-5:00 pm, appointments are recommended.

Evanston History Center
225 Greenwood Street Evanston (60201) 847-475-3410
Research: Th., Fri., Sat 2:00-5:00 and by appointment

Ethiopian Community Association
4750 N. Sheridan Rd. (60640) 773-728-0303

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Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago
5472 S. Dorchester Ave. (60615) 773-947-8696 fax 955-3635 email: By appointment

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio Foundation Research Center
951 Chicago Ave. Oak Park, IL (60302-2007) 708-848-1976

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Gay & Lesbian, Straight Educators Network (GLSEN)

Gerbert-Hart Library of Gay/Lesbian Studies
6500 N. Clark St. (60626) 773-381-8030
Thurs. 6:00 pm-9:00 pm, Sat. Noon-6pm

Glen Ellyn Historical Society
800 North Main Street, Glen Ellyn (60138) 630-790-9670
Sun., Tues., and Wed.: 1:30-4:30 pm

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Haitian American Community Association
1646 W. Howard St. (60626) 773-764-2209 fax 761-6579
No one available for interviews; No library

Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center
801 W. Adams , 4 th floor (60607) 312-655-1234
T-F: 10:00-4:00 , Sat.: 11-4

Historic Pullman Visitor Center
11141 South Cottage Grove Ave. (60628) 773-785-8901

Historic Pullman Foundation
614 East 113 th , Chicago (60628) 773-785-8181
Tours : 773-785-8901 or

Historical Society of Forest Park
7555 Jackson Blvd., Forest Park (60130) 708-366-2865
Forest Park Public Library

Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest Museum
217 Home [P.O.Box771] Oak Park, IL (60303-0771) 708-848-6755
Call for appointment for research 1day in advance.

Hyde Park Historical Society
5529 South Lake Park (60637) 773-493-1893
Sat. & Sun. 2:00-4:00
Mon.-Fri. 9:30-3:30

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Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Illinois Labor History Society

28 E. Jackson Blvd Room 10 (60604) 312-663-4107
Mon-Fri, 9:30-3:30 Prefer advance notice

Illinois Regional Archives Depository Northeastern Illinois University Library
5500 N. St. Louis Ave (60625-4699) ) 773-442-4506
M-F 9:00-4:00

Illinois State Archives

Illinois State Historical Society
Springfield , Illinois

Indo-American Center
6328 N. California 773-973-4444 (60659) fax 973-0157
Open daily, except Tuesdays, l0:00-5:00

International Sons & Daughters of Slave Ancestry
PO Box 436937 (60643)
See also the Vivian Harsh Collection at the Woodson Regional Library (CPL)

Irish American Heritage Center
4626 N. Knox Avenue (60630) 773-282-7035 fax 282-0380
Library available January 2006, Museum by appointment

Irving Park Historical Society
4200 West Irving Park Road (60641)

Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago
810 N. Pfingston Rd. Northbrook, IL 847-272-0319 fax 272-0348

Italian Cultural Center - Casa Itilia Chicago
1621 North 39th Avenue
Stone Park, IL (60165) 708-345-3842 fax 345-3891
M-F 10:00-4:00

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Japanese American Citizens League
5415 N. Clark Street Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 728-7170

Japanese American Service Committee Legacy Center
4427 N. Clark (60640) 773-275-0097 x222

[Chicago] Jewish Archives Spertus Museum, Asher Library
Spertus Museum , Asher Library
618 S. Michigan Ave (60605) 312-922-8248
Sun. 11:00-4:30 , M-W: 9:00-6:00 , Th. 9:00-7:00 , F 9:00-2:30

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Korean American Resource and Cultural Center
6146 N. Lincoln Ave. (60659) 773-588-9158

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La Grange Historical Society
444 South La Grange Road, La Grange (60525) 708-482-4248
Hours not listed on web site; there is an archive on the second floor of the museum.

Lake County Discovery Museum
Route 176 & Fairfield Rd., Wauconda (60084) 847-526-7878
No usage fee for archives for History Fair students
Gallery: M-Sat: 1:00 am-4:30 pm
Sun.: 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Archives: M-F: 9:00-12:00 , 1:00 pm - 4:30

Latin American Chamber of Commerce
3512 West Fullerton (60647 ) 773-252-5211 fax 773-252-7065

Latvia Community Center
4146 N. Elston Ave. (60618-1828) 773-588-2085 
Museum 10:00-1:00 or by appointment

Library of Congress

Loyola University Archives & Special Collections
Cudahy Library, Room 218, Lake Shore Campus
1032 W. Sheridan Rd. (60660) 773-508-2661 
M-F, 8am-12noon, 1pm-4:30pm

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Matteson Historical Museum
Matteson Historical Society
813 School Avenue, Matteson (60443) 708-748-3033

Media Burn Chicago Documentary Archives

Mexican Civic Society of Illinois, Inc.
2130-32 West 21st. St. (60608) 773-847-9653 fax 674-5838

Mexican Cultural and Educational Institute

Mitchell Indian Museum
2600 Central Park Ave , Evanston (60201) 847-475-1030
Tues.-Sat. 10:00-5:00
Thurs. 10:00-8:00
Sun. 12:00-4:00
Closed Mondays, holidays and last 2 weeks in August

Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53 Lisle (60532) 630-968-0074
7:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm , Central Standard Time
Maze Garden : 9:30 am to 5:00 pm CST

Morton Grove Historical Museum
6240 W. Dempster St. Morton Grove (60053) 847-965-0203
Sunday: 2:00-4:00
Wed.: 1:00-4:00 or by appointment

Mt. Prospect Historical Society
101 South Maple Street, Mt. Prospect (60056) 847-392-9006
Sun.-Fri.: noon-4:00 pm

Museum of Broadcast Communications
360 N. State Street, Chicago, IL (60654) 312-245-8200
Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00am-5:00pm

Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive (60637) 773-684-1414
M-F 9:30-4:00 Sat. & Sun. 9:30-5:30

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Naper Settlement
523 South Webster Street, Naperville (60540) 630-420-6010
Archive: Tues.: 10:00 am-1:00 pm and by appointment.
Museum: Tues.-Sat. 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Sun.: 1:00-4:00 pm

National Archives and Records Administration-
Great Lakes Region
7358 South Pulaski Road (60629) 773-581-7816 is the national website; be sure to visit its "Digital Classroom"
Mon, Wed, & Thurs. 8:00 am-4:15 pm
First Tues. only 8:00 am -- 8:30 pm

National Council of La Raza
203 N. Wabash , Suite 918 (60601) 312-269-9250 fax 2699260
Jaime Guzman, Assistant Director for Education

National History Day

National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 West 19th Street (60608) 312-738-1503 fax 738-1503

Native American Educational Service
2838 West Peterson Avenue (60659) 773-761-5000
Library hours by appointment; Contact Melanie Cloud at 773-361-5000

Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street (60610) 312-943-9090
Reading Room, Reference and Bibliography Centers
Tue.-Thurs. 10:00-6:00 , Fri & Sat
(except before Monday holiday) 9-5
(Students must be at least 16 years old)

Northwestern University Library Special Collections
1935 Sheridan Road Evanston (60208-2300) 847-491-7635
Check website for research admission requirements.

Norwood Park Historical Society
5624 N. Newark Ave.(60631)
Sat. 12:00-4:00 , and by appointment

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Oak Park River Forest Historical Society
217 Home Avenue, Oak Park (60303) 708-848-6755
Research by appointment

Oriental Institute Museum
University of Chicago
1155 East 58th St. (60637)

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Pakistan Federation of America
640 W. Irving Park 60613

Pan-African Association
6163 N. Broadway (60660) 773-381-9723

A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porters Museum
10406 S. Maryland (60628) 773-928-3935
T-F 11am - 4:30pm; Alt. Saturdays

Polish Genealogical Society of America
984 North Milwaukee Avenue (60622) 773-384-3352
Archives available Wednesdays between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm
Or write to PGSA

Polish Museum of America
984 North Milwaukee Ave. (60622-4101) 312-384-3352
Library hours: Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Wed. 1:00 pm-7:00 pm, Closed Thurs. and Sun.

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Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association
The collection is held at the Sulzer Library.

Ridge Historical Society
10621 South Seeley (60643) 773-881-1675
T., Th., Sat.,: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm and by appointment
No fee for students
Can submit questions by email:

Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society
1447 W Morse Ave
Chicago, IL 60645
Tel: 773-764-4078
Fax: 773-764-2824

Roosevelt University Center for New Deal Studies
Michigan Ave & Congress
Online Library
Michigan Ave. Library:
Spring and Fall Semesters Mon.-Thurs. 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat. & Sun. 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Oral histories and artifacts. RU Library also has collection of labor oral histories.

Roosevelt University Library Special & Focused Collections
Murray-Green Library 430 S. Michigan Ave. (60605) 312-341-3500
Spring and Fall Semesters Mon.-Thurs. 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat. & Sun. 11:00 am - 4:00 pm 

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Schaumburg Public Library
They have a digital archive, (specific to their library) Illinois Collection and small local history collection.
130 South Roselle Road, Schaumburg (60193) 847-984-4000
M-F: 9:00 am-10:00 pm; Sat. 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Sun. noon-9:00 pm (summer till 5:00 pm)

Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
1632 N. Milwaukee Ave. 60647 773-235-3988 fax 235-8080 call for hours

Southeast Side Historical Museum
Mailing address: 3658 E. 106 th St .
Housed in Calumet Park Field House
9801 S. Avenue G (60617) 773-747-6039 
Thursday, 1:00pm - 4:00pm

South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society
3000 West 170th Place, Hazel Crest (60429-1174)

Swedish-American Historical Society
3225 West Foster, Box 48 (60625) 773-244-6224
By appointment to archives:

Swedish American Museum & Nordic Family Research Center
5211 N Clark St (60640) 773-728-8111
Tues-Fri: 10-4
Sat-Sun: 11-4
The Nordic Family Research Center is only open Wednesdays from 1-3

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Theatre Historical Society
152 N. York Elmhurst (60126-2806) 630-782-1800
M-F 9:00-4:00
Focuses on theater architecture and buildings

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Ukrainian National Museum
2249 W. Superior (60612) 312-421-8020
Th-Su 11:00-4:00, Suggested donation $5.

University of Chicago Regenstein Library Special Collections
1100 East 57th Street (60637), 773-702-8705
M-F: 9am-4:45pm, Sat. during semester: 9am-12:45pm

University of Illinois at Chicago
Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections
801 S. Morgan Street (60607) 312-996-2726
M-Th. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
In addition, primary sources (maps, architecture aim particular neighborhoods) may be found at

United States Historical Census Data Browser



Villa Park Historical Museum
220 S. Villa, Villa Park (60181-2656)
T-F 1-5pm, Sa 10am-4pm

Vliet Center for Lake Bluff Area History
127 E. Scranton Ave. Lake Bluff (60044) 847-484-1571

Volkening Heritage Farm
201 S. Plum Grove Rd. Schaumburg (60194) 847-985-2102
April 1-Oct. 31: Tu-Fr 9am-2pm, Sa-Su 10am-4pm
Nov. 1-Mar. 31: grounds open, by appointment


Warrenville Historical Museum
35 530 2nd St Warrenville (60555-0311) 630-393-4215
Sep-Nov/Jan-May: Su 1-4pm; Jun-Aug: Su, W 1-4pm. Closed holidays. Donations welcome.

Waukegan History Museum
1917 N Sheridan Rd Waukegan (60087-5131) 847-336-1859
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-4pm,  Saturdays 1pm-4pm), Free

Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University Chicago
Piper Hall, Third Floor, Lake Shore Campus
1032 W. Sheridan Rd. (60626) 773-508-8837 
M-F, 9am-4pm


Sources Used to Create the Guide

Congress of Illinois Historical Societies and Museums, Historical and Cultural Agencies and Museums in Illinois 1989-1990, Springfield, 1989.

Danilov, Victor J., Chicago's Museums, (Revised Edition). Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1991.

Reithmaier, Tina M., A Guide to the Cultural Resources in Illinois, Springfield, Office of the Secretary State, 1988.

Szucs, Loretto Dennis, Chicago and Cook County: A Guide to Research, Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1996.

World Wide Web


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