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Books and Other Published Materials

Books and other published materialsThe Chicago History Museum's holdings of books and other published materials includes both primary and secondary sources that provide insight into Metropolitan Chicago's past, present, and future, as well as documenting and interpreting key aspects of U.S. history.


Most of the books and other published materials in the Museum’s collection are available to the public for research through the Research Center.

The staff also welcomes written and email requests for information about materials in the collection. Please allow several weeks for a reply.

> Contact the Research Center

Types of Materials

In addition to books, periodicals, and newspapers, the published materials holdings include:

  • Theater programs
  • City directories and telephone books
  • Maps and atlases
  • Sheet music
  • School yearbooks
  • Newsletters
  • Department store and manufacturers’ catalogs
  • Guidebooks
  • Chicago building permits 1872–1955
  • Menus
  • Newspaper clipping files

Subject Strengths

These materials complement the archive and manuscript, print and photograph, and architectural holdings of the Museum. Researchers will find useful materials related to metropolitan Chicago’s residents and communities; its businesses, cultural and social service institutions, and religious groups; and its geography, transportation, and architecture. Collection strengths include coverage of events such as the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893, A Century of Progress International Exposition, 1933–34, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Chicago neighborhoods, and a strong representation of materials on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

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