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CHM will be open on Monday, July 4 more

Creating a Disability Studies LibGuide

In this blog post, Ariel Robinson, Chicago History Museum Research Center page and recent library school graduate, writes about her experience designing a Disability Studies LibGuide for CHM. At CHM, Gretchen Neidhardt, cataloging and metadata librarian, and Elizabeth McKinley, technical services librarian, have worked on developing LibGuides (subject guides) for various ethnic and BIPOC groups More

The Ethics of Language in Cataloging

CHM technical services librarian Elizabeth McKinley and cataloging and metadata librarian Gretchen Neidhardt outline how Research Center staff have been updating the language describing its holdings to reflect a viewpoint that is ethical, modern, and ultimately more humanizing. For the past several months, Chicago History Museum librarians have been working behind the scenes to critically examine the More

The Chicago Reporter

In this blog post, CHM collections intern Chris Johnson writes about his experience processing the collection of The Chicago Reporter under the supervision of senior archivist Julie Wroblewski. Last summer, I interned at the Chicago History Museum via the Black Metropolis Research Consortium’s Archie Motley Archival Internship Program. The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) is a More

Bertha Baur: Civic Leader, Feminist, Republican Party Powerhouse

Known today as a Democratic Party stronghold, Chicago has ties to the Grand Old Party dating to Abraham Lincoln’s times. One twentieth-century GOP stalwart was Bertha Baur, who long made her home at 1511 Astor Street in the Gold Coast. National Republican Committeewoman for Illinois from 1928 to 1952, Mrs. Baur had a groundbreaking career More

Inside the Collection – Garden of Eden Serpent Skin

  Inside the Collection is a video series that invites you into the Chicago History Museum’s storage spaces to explore unusual, interesting artifacts from our vast collection. In this installment, senior collection manager Britta Keller Arendt shows us the skin of the serpent that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. This artifact came to More

Searching for African American Voices in the Research Center

To cap off Black History Month, CHM cataloging and metadata librarian Gretchen Neidhardt writes about her search for the voices of African American servicemen in our archives. While in the process of digitizing the last of our paper card catalog for 6,000 small manuscript collections, I noticed that several items mentioned “Negro Troops.” (Our card More

The Raeburn Flerlage Collection

Collections volunteer Robert Blythe writes about photographer Raeburn Flerlage, who captured the blues and folk scenes in 1960s Chicago. If you’re a fan of American roots music, then the Chicago History Museum’s Raeburn Flerlage collection is a must-see. Ray, as he was known, spent much of the 1960s taking candid photographs in Chicago’s premier blues More

The John A. McDermott Papers

CHM archives intern Ashley Clark worked with archivist Julie Wroblewski to process the papers of John A. McDermott, a local leader in race relations and urban affairs from the 1960s into the 1990s. This past fall, I had the opportunity to process the John A. McDermott papers at the Chicago History Museum. I had processed More

A Card Catalog for the 21st Century

CHM cataloging and metadata librarian Gretchen Neidhardt explains how the Museum is undertaking the monumental task of digitizing the last of its paper card catalog for 6,000 small manuscript collections. The Chicago History Museum is excited to utilize an IMLS Museums for America grant to fund the digitization of our final batch of manuscript collection More

Preserving Nitrate Negatives

To kick off Monday Night Nitrates, our new weekly photograph series, M. Alison Eisendrath, CHM’s Andrew W. Mellon Director of Collections, describes the effort to assess, preserve, and digitize our collection of approximately 35,000 nitrate negatives. In 1889, the Eastman Kodak Company introduced the first commercially available cellulose nitrate film as an alternative to the more More

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