Open today 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Welcome to the Research Center

We’re open! Please read the Museum’s safety guidelines prior to your visit.

To best serve our Research Center patrons, we will make reservations available one month at a time. Reservations will be made available the week before the start of a new month.

Research Center capacity is limited to 6 people per day. Reservations need to be received at least 48 hours in advance and only one admission can be reserved per order. We encourage you to email [email protected] before making a reservation to ensure that an on-site visit is best for your needs.

If you have traveled from another state to visit the Museum, the Chicago Department of Public Health has issued an Emergency Travel Order directing travelers entering or returning to Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. Please check the city’s list to see if your state is covered by the order.

Research Center tables at CHM

The Research Center holds the printed material, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, architectural drawings, and assorted ephemera of the Chicago History Museum. Explore our Research Collections.

Please note: Archives and manuscripts, with the exception of some small collections, will be unavailable to researchers from December 24, 2020, through January 1, 2022. The Research Center will remain open. Expand to learn more.


Free. Visitors to the Research Center are asked to register in advance. We encourage you to email [email protected] before making a reservation to ensure that an on-site visit is best for your needs.

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Upon successfully registering, you will receive an email confirmation with an order number, which all Research Center visitors MUST have in order to enter.

Please note that the Research Center is observing reduced capacity to allow for safe social distancing among researchers and staff. Six (6) spots will be made available per day. Reservations need to be received at least 48 hours in advance.

Upon arrival, visitors will be asked to scan their ticket at the Front Desk and check oversized belongings in the Museum’s free coat check. The Research Center has free lockers available for bags and coats. Children under 6 will not be admitted.

Quick Links

Guide to the Research Center

An in-depth guide to the Chicago History Museum’s Research Center, including hours, access, policies, subject guides, and other useful resources.


ARCHIE Online Catalog

Search ARCHIE for information on the Museum’s holdings that are served through the Research Center. Materials described in ARCHIE include manuscripts; books and periodicals; and photographic materials. Please note that while this resource is extensive, it is not exhaustive.


Please note: The Research Center’s hours are different from the Museum’s. Material will not be paged after 2:30 p.m.

Fall Hours
Tuesday–Friday: 12:00–3:30 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can visit the Research Center?

How do I page materials?

Can I make photocopies or take pictures?

What if I'm unable to visit the Research Center?

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