Open today 9:30 am - 4:30 pm


About the Collection

Comprising approximately 100,000 artifacts, more than 100,000 books and other published materials, 2 million photographic items, and 20,000 linear feet of architectural drawings and other archival material, the collection of more than 23 million objects, images, and documents records the evolution of Chicago, one of nation’s most significant cities, from fur trading outpost to modern metropolis. 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

Researchers representing a wide variety of humanities disciplines and numerous professions use the Chicago History Museum’s collection in their work.  The collection is especially significant for research in urban history that focuses on Chicago’s evolution as a city.  Architectural drawings and records, prints and photographs, archives and manuscripts, and books and other published materials are accessible in the Research Center.  Academic historians, independent scholars, university and college students, History Fair students, genealogists, filmmakers, journalist, and the general public are welcome to use the Research Center free of charge.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter!

Get updates on what’s happening at the Chicago History Museum from exhibitions and programs to special events and more.

What interests you most? Select all that apply.