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Harold Washington Archives and Collections. Illinois State Representative Records

Identifier: spe-h00020

Scope and Contents

This collection reflects Washington's activities in the Illinois State Assembly, most notably the legislation noted above. Formats include reports, copies of House Bills, minutes, memos, news clippings and correspondence. For photographs, please see the Pre-Mayoral Photograph Collection.


  • Creation: 1957 - 1976
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 - 1976


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Historical Note

Harold Washington was sworn in to the Illinois House of Representatives on January 6, 1965, representing the 26th district of Illinois. He served there until 1976 when he was elected to the Illinois Senate. Harold Washington had a reputation as an outstanding legislator. As a State Representative, Washington is credited with the Consumer Credit Reform Act of 1965, the Witness Protection Act of 1972, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Law of 1973, the Public Contract Laws of Fair Employment Practices Commission of 1974 and the Medical Malpractice Insurance Revision of 1975.


3.25 Linear Feet (in 7 boxes and 2 artifacts)

Language of Materials



Reports, minutes, press releases, speeches, newsletters and news clippings from Harold Washington’s tenure as State Representative for the 26th District of Illinois. Major topics covered in this collection include the creation of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Law and the Medical Malpractice Act.


Where possible the original organization has been maintained. The records are arranged into seven series:

  • Series 1: Legislative, 1971-1976, undated
  • Series 2: Committee and Caucus, 1957-1976, undated
  • Series 3: Constituent, 1972-1976
  • Series 4: Campaign, 1974
  • Series 5: Press and Publicity, 1964-1976
  • Series 6: Administrative, 1970-1975, undated
  • Series 7: Artifacts, 1974, undated

Physical Location

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least 24-hours prior to your research visit to coordinate access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were acquired by the Chicago Public Library after Harold Washington’s death.

Related Materials

  • Harold Washington, Illinois State Senate Records
  • Harold Washington, U.S. Congressional Records
  • Harold Washington, Mayoral Campaign Records
  • Harold Washington, Pre-Mayoral Photograph Collection
  • Harold Washington, Asian American Advisory Committee Records
  • Harold Washington, Central Files Records
  • Harold Washington, Chief of Staff Records
  • Harold Washington, City Council Proceedings Records
  • Harold Washington, Community Services Sub-Cabinet Records
  • Harold Washington, Development Sub-Cabinet Records
  • Harold Washington, Finance and Administration Sub-Cabinet Records
  • Harold Washington, Infrastructure Sub-Cabinet Records
  • Harold Washington, Intergovernmental Affairs Records
  • Harold Washington, Office Manager/Supervisor of Clerical Staff Records
  • Harold Washington, Press Office Records
  • Harold Washington, Public Safety/Regulatory Sub-Cabinet Records
  • Harold Washington, Real Estate Committee Records
  • Harold Washington, Schedules and Evaluations Records
  • Harold Washington, Videotapes
  • Harold Washington, Commemorative Year Archives
  • Harold Washington, Political Education Project Records

Guide to the Harold Washington Archives and Collections. Illinois State Representative Records
Morag Walsh, circa 1995. Updated and ingested into ArchiesSpace by Sarah Zimmerman, 2021
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