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Drawing and Print Collection

Identifier: spe-art00097

Scope and Contents

The Drawing and Print Collection brings together a selection of 2-dimensional artworks that have been gifted to the Library from multiple donors, acquired directly by Chicago Public Library as part of the permanent art collection or transferred as historic resources to Special Collections from the Library’s Visual and Performing Art department. The artworks span multiple styles and dates from as early as 1756 to as recent as 2016. The artists are equally diverse with some being world renown, some locally known and some with little to no biographical information.


  • Creation: 1756-2016, undated


Language of Materials

Materials are primarily in English, with a few items in Estonian, French and Japanese.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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


15.25 Linear Feet (in 11 boxes, 15 folios, 55 Oversize Folders, includes 34 drawings and 717 prints)


The Drawing and Print Collection brings together a selection of 2-dimensional artworks that are part of Chicago Public Library’s permanent art collection. The collection contains works on paper that use drawing media such as charcoal, ink, pastel, pencil or watercolor or one of the printmaking processes such as collography, drypoint, etching, lithography, screen printing or woodcut.


The artworks in this collection are arranged into three series based on the mediums of creation: Series 1: Drawings, circa 1910-1987, undated; Series 2: Prints, 1756-2003, undated and Series 3: Prints, Chicago Subjects, 1899-2016, undated.

Physical Location

Some 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 materials were acquired by purchase, from various donors and transferred from various Chicago Public Library locations.

Related Materials

Albers, Josef. Formulation, Articulation, 2 portfolio volumes with 127 screen prints, New York, H.N. Abrams, 1972 ND 588.A35 A45

Albers, Josef. Interaction of Color, set of 80 screen prints, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1963 ND 1489.A4 1963

Chester Commodore Papers

Chicago Artist Files

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative: Resistance Materials

Chicago Printers Guild Records

John T. McCutcheon Cartoons

Guide to the Drawing and Print Collection
Michelle McCoy, 2018. Updated and reformatted for ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 2022.
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