Ellsworth-Arnold Photograph Albums
Scope and Contents
The three-volume Ellsworth-Arnold Photograph Albums consist of over 800 photographs of the sights and scenes at the World’s Columbian Exposition. Like the larger C.D. Arnold Collection, the images included in the Ellsworth-Arnold Albums document the progression of Jackson Park from a mossy landfill into one of the most beautiful and fleeting architectural gems of the 19th century.
Volume I documents the construction of the fairgrounds, with views of most of the Exposition structures under construction, close-ups of “staff” (the temporary building materials), as well as details of the statuary and bas reliefs on and/or near the buildings.
Volume II continues with construction photographs, but also includes photographs of the completed buildings and grounds.
Volume III includes completed sculptural and building details, and also provides a striking visual record of the buildings and grounds after the close of the Exposition. Much deterioration can be seen in these photographs. Volume III also includes photographs of the Cold Storage Building fire, as well as the building remains from the fires that swept the fairgrounds in 1894.
- 1892 - 1894
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 Ellsworth-Arnold Albums were photographed by official Fair photographer C.D. Arnold and presented to James W. Ellsworth, a member of the Exposition's Board of Directors.
The Fair’s directors commissioned Arnold to be the Exposition’s official photographer. Arnold documented the Exposition from its construction, beginning in 1891, to its closing and aftermath in the winter of 1893-1894.
James William Ellsworth (1849-1925), a member of the Board of the World’s Columbian Exposition, was an American coalmine owner, banker, and art collector.
5.5 Linear Feet (in 3 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Ellsworth-Arnold Photograph Albums were created by official Fair photographer C.D. Arnold for James W. Ellsworth, a member of the Exposition's Board of Directors. The images document the progression of Jackson Park from a mossy landfill into one of the most beautiful and fleeting architectural gems of the 19th century.
The photographs are arranged in the albums by C.D. Arnold. They are indexed in the collection inventory by subject.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The albums formed part of the James W. Ellsworth Collection that was transferred to the Chicago Public Library from Western Reserve Academy in 1946.
- Ellsworth, James W. (James William), 1849-1925 (Person)
- Western Reserve Academy (Organization)
- Guide to the Ellsworth-Arnold Photograph Albums
- Original author unknown. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2022
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
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