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Chicago Public Library Archival Collections

Our migration to this new archives tool is in process. Please note that information about some collections is only available in our old system.

Search or browse our finding aids to find unique, archival material about Chicago history.

Finding aids are detailed documents that describe archival collections and their contents. In order to view our materials in person, please make an appointment at one of our locations.


Chicago Public Library's Archives and Special Collections Division (ASCD) strengthens communities and sparks passion about the City by providing access to our unique resources and special collections. We support community-based and scholarly research, document Chicago's life and neighborhoods and provide primary sources to tell our stories.

ASCD's mission is to collect, describe, catalog, preserve and provide access to digital and physical collections and exhibitions, in order to foster primary source literacy, community engagement, and support a more accurate reflection of Chicago history for generations to come.
ASCD's vision is that people have equitable access to historical materials that reflect a wide range of communities and experiences in order to help deepen people's understanding of the world around them.

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