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Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection

Identifier: nnhc-rlvcc

Scope and Contents

The Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection documents daily life on the North Side of Chicago from the mid nineteenth century to the present day. Its focus is on the Ravenswood and Lake View communities, but other Northside communities are also represented. The collection contains photographs, biographical and historical sketches, reminiscences from local residents, advertisements and promotional material, newspaper clippings, programs and brochures, postcards, catalogs, yearbooks, maps and other material. There is a particularly large amount of material on schools, businesses, religious institutions, and local organizations.


  • Creation: 1848-circa 2022

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Historical note

Indigenous tribal communities lived on the land that is now Ravenswood and Lake View for many generations before the first Europeans arrived. In 1857, Lake View Township was formed. It covered the area that is now east of Western Avenue, south of Devon Avenue, and north of North Avenue. In 1868, the Ravenswood Land Company purchased 194 acres of land in Lake View Township. They aimed to create a subdivision for people commuting to Chicago on the Chicago & North Western Railroad. The community grew over the years, and in 1889 Lake View became part of Chicago, allowing for infrastructure improvements. The annexation, along with the construction of an ‘L’ stop in 1907, made the area accessible to more people.  

Today, Lake View is one of Chicago’s 77 community areas, and it includes neighborhoods such as Northalsted, Lakeview East, and Wrigleyville. Most of Ravenswood is officially part of Chicago’s Lincoln Square community area. However, the name Ravenswood is still widely used by local residents and community groups. It generally refers to the area roughly bounded by the Chicago River to the west, Clark Street to the East, Foster Avenue to the North, and Montrose to the south.


28 Linear Feet (in 39 boxes and over 1600 photographs, plus 35 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



The Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection documents daily life on the North Side of Chicago from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. It mostly covers the areas of Chicago that were previously part of Lake View Township, such as Lake View, North Center, Lincoln Square (Ravenswood), Uptown, and Edgewater. It also contains small amounts of material related to other Northside communities. The collection includes photographs, news clippings, programs, certificates, letters, ephemera, maps, directories, newsletters, reminiscences, and biographical and historical sketches. 


In two series: 

Series 1: Documents, 1848-circa 2022

Series 2: Photographs, circa 1860-1988 

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association and members of the community from the early 1930s to the present. 


Guide to the Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
Original author unknown. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Allyson Smally and Julie Lynch, 2022-2023. 
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 Northside Neighborhood History Collection Repository

Sulzer Regional Library
Chicago Public Library
4455 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60625 United States
(312) 742-4455