ARCHIE Online Catalog
Search ARCHIE for information on the Museum’s holdings that are served through the Abakanowicz Research Center. Please note that while this resource is extensive, it is not exhaustive. For assistance researching materials that are not yet available in the online catalog, we recommend contacting the Abakanowicz Research Center for additional guidance.
Materials described in ARCHIE include:
- Manuscripts cataloged since the mid-1980s
- Books and periodicals
- Photographic materials
Chicago History magazine archive (1970–present)
Chicago History, the magazine of the Chicago History Museum, publishes articles on various aspects of the history of Chicago: cultural, political, economic, social, architectural, and other topics. Chicago History has been published continuously since 1945, and in its current form since 1970.
Collections Online Portal
Search or browse the Museum’s Collections Online Portal to access images and information on some of the Museum’s most significant and frequently requested collection materials—plus a growing number of sound recordings.
Information that can be found in the portal includes:
- Highlights of the Museum collection (Architecture [models and fragments], Costumes and Textiles, Decorative and Industrial Arts, and Paintings and Sculpture)
- Highlights of the Prints and Photographs collection
- Finding aids for a portion of the Archives and Manuscripts and Prints and Photographs holdings (these finding aids are also available as attachments to the records in the ARCHIE online catalog)
- Oral histories conducted by the Chicago History Museum (including images, transcripts, and audio recordings)
Note that the vast majority of the collection is not yet online, and new resources are added to the portal on an ongoing basis.
Digital Chicago is a collection of more than twenty digital projects about forgotten or at-risk aspects of Chicago’s history and culture. This collection was originally developed at Lake Forest College as part of a four-year initiative to involve students and faculty in research into Chicago’s history through innovative digital projects, urban archeological digs, and complementary coursework in various disciplines.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago
The electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago, which is built on the printed volume published in 2004, is a comprehensive scholarly collection of entries, essays, maps, images, charts, and special features that covers all aspects of the history of metropolitan Chicago. It features maps, photographs, prints, drawings, and other items from the Chicago History Museum’s collection.
CHM Images is the Museum’s most comprehensive visual resource. Search and browse more than 330,000 images from CHM’s collection. License and download high-resolution images for publications, documentaries, home/office décor, websites, social media, and other uses. Highlights include:
- The Chicago Sun-Times photography collection spanning 75+ years of Chicago history. As of April 2023, you can access approximately 175,000 of the 5+ million images the Museum acquired in 2018. To access the remainder of the digital portion of this collection visit Sun-Times collection research guide. An additional 2.4 million physical negatives will be available to view in person, by appointment and advance request, at the Abakanowicz Research Center
- Other significant photograph collections including Chicago Daily News, Hedrich-Blessing, Raeburn Flerlage, and Vivian Maier
- Objects from the Museum collections, including Art Deco and modern-style furniture, world-famous designer garments, souvenirs from Chicago’s two world’s fairs, and burnt objects from the 1871 Great Chicago Fire
- Paintings and drawings, including fashion sketches by Antonio Lopez, portraits of early Chicagoans, and courtroom sketches by Franklin McMahon