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

Race: Conversations with the Future

Candace Bey is one of the Museum’s gallery engagement associates for Race: Are We So Different? In this blog post, she reflects on the thoughtful interactions she has had with our young visitors. I spend my days listening. People ask me simple things like “Where’s the bathroom?” and muse about what the Museum should offer More

A Reminder of a Tragic Fire

On the anniversary of a Chicago tragedy, CHM collections volunteer Robert Blythe uses one of our artifacts to tell the story of a highly respected fire chief who was killed in action. A white leather fire helmet with a noticeable repair sits in the Museum’s collection as mute testimony to one of the greatest disasters More

Getting Information in Formation

As part of Monday Night Nitrates, our new weekly photograph series, the Chicago History Museum collections staff is blogging about the process of digitizing approximately 35,000 nitrate negatives. In this post, CHM rights and reproductions manager Angela Hoover writes about the painstaking task of transferring and recording metadata. In September 2016, the Chicago History Museum More

Ron Gordon Visual Materials, 1971–2016

CHM collections volunteer Robert Blythe writes about photographer Ron Gordon’s background and approach to capturing images. “Photography is about your own life. The story that you ultimately tell with a camera is your own story.” This is Ron Gordon’s take on his passion: photography. His images tell his story as well as a host of More

A Quiet Start to the Atomic Age

For the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, CHM assistant editor Esther D. Wang recaps the events leading up to that moment, highlighting the youngest and only female member of the team. On December 2, 1942, a team of scientists at the University of Chicago silently sipped Chianti from paper cups More

Stories from a Real-Life Treasure Hunter

CHM collections intern Catrien Egbert recaps her work cataloging the Museum’s massive Decorative and Industrial Arts collection and highlights some memorable finds. If you’re like me, you’ve always wondered what treasures a museum’s collection might hold. Last summer, I had the opportunity to find out as the collections team continued its endeavor to catalog the 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

New at CHM: “Race: Are We So Different?”

CHM director of curatorial affairs Joy L. Bivins introduces our newest exhibition, explaining its objectives and approach, as well as its significance to Chicago history. On Saturday, November 11, Race: Are We So Different?, a traveling exhibition that explores the concept of race and the ways that it has shaped American society, opens at the 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

New Additions to an Old Favorite

CHM curator Petra Slinkard takes you through one of our recent gallery rotations, a practice that helps us preserve artifacts and refresh exhibitions. The Chicago History Museum’s permanent exhibition Chicago: Crossroads of America is a 15,000-square-foot installation in the heart of the Museum dedicated to our city’s rich and complex past. It opened in September More