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Suburbia Collection

Identifier: spe-nhrc-sub

Scope and Contents

This collection covers several Chicago suburbs but by no means comprehensively documents any community. Oak Park, a town that borders Chicago to the west, is most heavily represented in the collection.


  • 1856 - 1975

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

The City of Chicago has grown over time by annexing smaller, surrounding communities. Those communities that remained independent form a vast network of suburbs. The greater metropolitan Chicagoland area spans at least six counties and three states.


3 Linear Feet (in 4 boxes, (including 13 photographs), plus 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of ephemera, pamphlets and photographs about Chicago suburbs.


Material is arranged in two series:

  • Series 1: Documents, 1856-1975
  • Series 2: Photographs, 1868-1941

Custodial History

Those items donated by the Kenilworth Historical Society were collected by one of its founders, author Colleen Browne Kilner.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The material comes from many sources. Some items were found in the collection. Items were donated in 1987 and in 1992 by the Kenilworth Historical Society. Some items were donated in 1996 by Alexander Walter.

Guide to the Suburbia Collection
Original author unknown. Processed, July 1990. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.
1990 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875