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Brighton Park Community Collection

Identifier: spe-nhrc-bpcc

Scope and Contents

Local historian and reporter, Joseph Hamzik created most of the material in the Brighton Park Community Collection during the 1960s. Hamzik wrote articles for several community newspapers, including Brighton Park Life, Back of the Yards Journal, Southwest News Herald, and the Bridgeport News. Copies of many of these articles are in the collection. A smaller amount of information relates to schools and religious institutions in the area.


  • 1927 - 1992


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

Brighton Park is located southwest of Chicago’s Loop, between Central Park Avenue to the west, Western Avenue to the east, the Stevenson Expressway to the north, and 49th Street to the south. Settlers first located in this area (at that time swampy land) in the 1830s. The fledgling town had aspirations to become Chicago’s livestock trading center but these plans were dashed when the Union Stock Yards opened in 1865 in another Chicago neighborhood. Brighton Park continued to be an industrial area with the establishment of the Santa Fe Railroad’s Corwith Yards at 35th Street and Central Park Avenue. The developing rail network in Chicago ensured Brighton Park’s future growth as both an industrial and residential neighborhood. The community of Brighton Park, part of Lake Township, was finally annexed into Chicago in 1889.


1 Linear Feet (in 2 boxes including 1 audiocassette, plus 4 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



The Brighton Park Community Collection contains information about neighborhood schools and religious institutions as well as a 100-page manuscript, “Gleanings of Archer Road” by local historian and reporter, Joseph Hamzik.


Brighton Park Community Collection is organized into two Series: Series 1: Documents, 1927-1992, undated and Series 2: Photographs, undated

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Chicago Public Library, Brighton Park Branch in 2004. Additional materials are added occasionally through transfer and donation. The contents of Box 2, Folders 1-3 were added in 2018.

Related Materials

Back of the Yards Community Collection

Back of the Yards Newspaper Collection

Separated Materials

Two publications have been cataloged as part of the book collections:

Hundred Years of the Chicago School History, by John Howatt, Chicago, 1940, LA269.C4H83 1940

McKinley Monument Memorial, prepared by the South Park Commissioners, Chicago, 1905, E711.6 .C45 1905

Guide to the Brighton Park Community Collection
Original author unknown, 1989. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 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