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

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods with each one featuring distinct buildings and residences. It’s no surprise, then, that house history has long been a popular topic for the Museum’s Research Center visitors, from academics to architects to curious homeowners.

Now that more of our house history resources are available online, you can get a personalized walk-through of them with Ellen Keith, CHM director of Research and Access. Learn how to read Sanborn fire insurance maps, search building permits, and find historical addresses prior to the 1909 renumbering. If you’re interested in a specific neighborhood, just let us know.


Please send in your request at least four weeks before the desired session date in order to ensure availability.


Ellen Keith is the director of Research and Access and chief librarian at the Chicago History Museum, where she has worked since 2012. Prior to joining the Museum, she held library positions at Johns Hopkins University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Columbia College Chicago, and Saint Xavier University. She received her BA in Victorian Studies from Vassar College, her MLIS from Dominican University, and her MLA from Johns Hopkins University.


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