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Albany Park Community Collection

Identifier: nnhc-00045

Scope and Contents

The Albany Park Community Collection contains historical sources related to the demographic, economic, cultural, social, political, and religious development of Chicago’s Albany Park community. The collection contains biographical information on some of Albany Park’s residents, as well as information on clubs and organizations, community surveys and reports, historical sketches, religious institutions, schools, streets, and wartime activities.


  • Creation: 1919 - 2001

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 Albany Park Community Area is located eight miles northwest of Chicago’s Loop. Community number fourteen of Chicago's seventy-seven official communities, Albany Park was annexed into Chicago in 1889. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Native American people such as the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi Nations lived, traveled, and traded in the Chicago area for many generations. The Miami, Ho-Chunk, Sac and Fox, Menominee, Kickapoo also lived the area. Chicago continues to be home to a large Native American population.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Albany Park was a small farming community with a brickyard and popular horse racing track established by local entrepreneur Richard Rusk. In 1893, a group of investors purchased nearby land for development and brought transportation lines into the area. Albany Park saw rapid commercial and residential expansion when the Ravenswood El line train terminal was built at intersection of Lawrence and Kimball Avenues in 1907. After 1912, many European Jews migrated to the Albany Park from Chicago’s West Side. Albany Park remained a predominantly Jewish community through the 1950’s. Following World War II, many of the community’s residents moved to nearby suburban cities. Their departure led to a high percentage of vacant properties and decreased property values.

In 1978, community organizations such as the North River Commission and the Lawrence Avenue Development Corporation collaborated in their efforts to stimulate the economy in Albany Park by beautifying the neighborhood and encouraging redevelopment. Through the 1980s and 1990s, Albany Park once again attracted residential and commercial investment, with home sales to increasing by 125 per cent. In the 1990s, Albany Park had the largest Korean, Filipino, and Guatemalan immigrant communities in Chicago. Today, the Albany Park community continues to be home to a large immigrant population. It known for being one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse neighborhoods in the United States.


2.5 Linear Feet (in 5 boxes plus 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials




The Albany Park Community Area is located eight miles northwest of Chicago’s Loop. Community number fourteen of Chicago's seventy-seven official communities, Albany Park was annexed into Chicago in 1889. This collection documents life in Albany Park from 1919 to 2001.


The collection is organized into nine sections. Within each section, materials are arranged alphabetically by topic, and then roughly chronologically by date. In some cases, sections begin with a “General” folder containing individual items.

Section 1: Biographical, 1940-1980, undated

Section 2: Clubs and Organizations, 1924-2001, undated

Section 3: Historical Sketches, 1928-1980

Section 4: Maps, 1959-1995, undated

Section 5: News Clippings, 1942-1988

Section 6: Religious Institutions, 1921-1962, undated

Section 7: Schools, 1924-1987, undated

Section 8: Streets, 1919, undated

Section 9: Surveys and Reports, 1929-1994

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in collection; no documentation concerning the provenance of these materials exists.

Guide to the Albany Park Community Collection
Nadiri Saunders, supervised by Allyson Smally
August 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