Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum MORE


About the Collection

The Museum’s collection of more than 23 million objects, images, and documents records the evolution of Chicago, one of the nation’s most significant cities, from fur-trading outpost to modern metropolis. The collection reflects our commitment to share Chicago’s stories by serving as a hub of scholarship and learning, inspiration, and civic engagement. The collection also includes historical materials that document the rise of America from colonial possession to independent nation to divided country engulfed in civil war.


Research the Collection

The Chicago History Museum welcomes scholars, students, genealogists, filmmakers, journalists, and the general public to access the Research Collection, which includes prints and photographs, archives and manuscripts, architectural drawings and records, books, and other published materials. The Museum Collection, which consists of architectural fragments and models, costumes, textiles, paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and other artifacts and works of art, is also available to researchers on a more limited basis due to specialized storage and handling requirements.


Rights and Reproduction

Visit Chicago History Museum Images to search thousands of historic images from the collection. Images can be purchased and downloaded for a variety of personal and professional uses, including home and office décor, publications, documentary films, websites, and more.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories