The place to discover the history and culture of Chicago.
When searching the Explore Chicago Collections portal, you will pull up records for various types of materials, including individual items (e.g. images, photographs, manuscripts) or descriptions of entire collections housed at archives and libraries in the Chicago area. Some items are viewable online and others are physically located at local libraries and archives. The libraries and archives with collections listed in this portal have different policies for using materials, so you will need to visit the websites of individual libraries or archives to determine how to utilize a particular collection, and whether you can request certain materials online or if you will need to plan a visit to the collection.
If you are new to using archival collections, you may encounter unfamiliar terminology in the portal associated with archival research. The glossary below provides definitions of key concepts in archival research and research using primary resources.
For further guidance, see Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research by the Society of American Archivists.