Chicago Collection of Kenan and Carol Heise
Scope and Contents
The materials in this collection reflect Heise’s work in journalism, bookselling and social justice and many items were likely used as sources in his writings. His belief that “genuine creativity and authentic culture come not from the elite, but from the people,” guided his selection of these documents and photographs.1
The collection includes a wide range of materials: advertisements, articles, catalogs, directories, event programs, flyers, guides, government publications, literary journals and chapbooks, maps, memorials and historical sketches, newsletters, pamphlets, photographs, reports, serials, souvenir publications and speeches. Most of these materials provide a snapshot of activities undertaken by Chicagoans or local organizations at a various times.
1. Heise, Kenan. “Chicago: City of Chaos, City of Creativity,” paper for the Symposium on Chicago sponsored by the University of Hamburg, June 2000. Kenan Heise Papers, Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.
- Creation: 1812-circa 2005
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1893 - 1980
- Heise, Kenan, 1933- (Collector, Person)
Language of Materials
Materials primarily in English, with some publications in German.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restriction.
Conditions Governing Use
Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Biographical / Historical
Kenan Heise (1933-) has spent his life working as a Chicago author, bookseller and publisher, journalist and social advocate. In addition to articles and columns for news media, Heise has written over 35 books on Chicago history as well as fiction and poetry. From 1985 until 2002, he owned Chicago Historical Bookworks in Evanston where he participated in the antiquarian book trade as well as acted as a publisher for new Chicago titles. His numerous awards include the induction into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame.
Carol Heise, his wife, has been a registered nurse, human rights advocate and partner with the Midwest Center for Justice. For 20 years she defended people on Death Row in the last stages of their appeals.
33 Linear Feet (in 66 boxes, including 417 photographs, 14 contact sheets and negatives, 3 oversize folders)
The Chicago Collection of Kenan and Carol Heise includes a wide range of materials: advertisements, articles, catalogs, directories, event programs, flyers, guides, government publications, literary journals and chapbooks, maps, memorials and historical sketches, newsletters, pamphlets, photographs, reports, serials, souvenir publications and speeches. Most of these materials provide a snapshot of activities undertaken by Chicagoans or local organizations at various times and reflect Heise’s belief that “genuine creativity and authentic culture come not from the elite, but from the people.”
The collection is arranged into 23 subject series:
Series 1: Art and Culture, 1872-1996
Series 2: Biographical Data, 1861-1993, undated
Series 3: Business Establishments, circa 1860s-1988, undated
Series 4: Cemeteries, 1908-1977, undated
Series 5: Clubs and Organizations, 1871-1987
Series 6: Crime and Law Enforcement, 1882-circa 1996, undated
Series 7: Fairs and Expositions, 1889-1950
Series 8: Guide and View Books, 1869-1984
Series 9: Health and Hospitals, 1843-1987
Series 10: Historical Sketches, 1812-1986
Series 11: Illinois, 1836-1975
Series 12: Journalism, 1862-circa 1986
Series 13: Military and Wartime Activities, 1860-1987
Series 14: Municipal and Government, 1837-1992, undated
Series 15: Native American, 1901-1984
Series 16: Neighborhoods, circa 1917-1982
Series 17: Parks, 1886-circa 2005, undated
Series 18: Political Activity, 1879-circa 2005, undated
Series 19: Religious Institutions, 1858-1994
Series 20: Schools, 1857-1979
Series 21: Sports, circa 1910-circa 1987
Series 22: Transportation, 1826-1980, undated
Series 23: Street Scenes - Photographs, 1888-1986.
When both documents and photographs are available on a series topic, they have been separated into two subseries. Some items relate to multiple subjects and could feasibly be placed in more than one series. The archivist has attempted to place these in the series that exemplifies the bulk of an item’s content.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The items were purchsed from Kenan Heise in 1988.
- Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-1934 : Chicago, Ill.) -- Guidebooks (Organization)
- Kroch's & Brentano's -- Photographs (Organization)
- World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.) (Organization)
Genre / Form
- Business enterprises -- Illinois -- Chicago
- Cemeteries -- Illinois -- Chicago
- Chicago (Ill.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
- Chicago (Ill.)--Guidebooks
- Local transit -- Illinois -- Chicago
- Municipal government publications -- Illinois -- Chicago
- Parks -- Illinois -- Chicago
- Religious institutions -- Illinois -- Chicago
- Guide to the Chicago Collection of Kenan and Carol Heise
- Michelle McCoy
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
- 2021: Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy,
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