Over thirty local archives, research centers, and cultural institutions in the Chicago area will offer special events open to members of the public on October 6-8, 2016. Chicago Open Archives: Yours to Explore is an opportunity to discover unique historical materials and engage with archivists, librarians, and museum curators. You won't want to miss this opportunity to see sites, spaces, and materials that are normally not open to the public!
Visitors will enjoy activities such as behind-the-scenes tours, film screenings, and exhibit talks designed to showcase each site’s collections, programs, and services. See below for a map of all locations, as well as a succinct list by date. Clicking on the institution name will give you more information about each specific site and clicking on the event name will take you to the detailed event page for each activity.
Please note that some sites require advance registration. Sites reserve the right to cancel an activity 24 hours prior to the scheduled event due to low registration. If a site requires an admission fee, the fee will be collected on the day of the activity by site staff. Details about required fees are provided in the registration information, if applicable. Registration closes Tuesday, October 4th, at midnight.
This year we are excited to offer Vamonde adventures for many of our sites. Vamonde is an app that helps tell site-specific stories, available for iOS and Android. These experiences are available at any time, not just during Chicago Open Archives. Links to site-specific adventures are included on their respective event pages. The sites offering these adventures are Illinois Institute of Technology, Media Burn, the Studs Terkel Archive. More to be added soon!
If you have additional questions about Chicago Open Archives, send an email to email@example.com. Scroll down to see our participating sites by date or click on the arrow icon on the top left of the map to quickly get to a drop down list of all sites.
Chicago Open Archives: Yours to Explore - Activities by Date
Chicago Open Archives: Yours to Explore - Activities by Site
Location: 53 N. Broadway, Aurora, IL 60505
Located in Aurora's old Central Fire Station, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum tells the history of the Aurora Fire Department, fire history, and fire safety.
Location: 618 S Michigan Avenue, 6th Floor, Chicago, IL 60605
Founded at Columbia College Chicago in 1983, the Center for Black Music Research is the only institution of its kind. The Library and Archives offer both a safe haven and access hub for materials relating to music from the African diaspora.Open the Door Chicago: A Great Migration Musical Journey - Friday, October 7th: 10 AM - 4 PM
Location: Multiple locations including Northwestern University, DePaul University, and the School of the Art Institute.
Chicago Collections is a consortium of libraries, museums, and other institutions with archives that collaborate to preserve and share the history and culture of the Chicago region.
Location: 329 W. 18th Street, Suite 610, Chicago, IL 60616
Chicago Film Archives is a regional film archive dedicated to identifying, collecting, preserving, and providing access to films that represent the Midwest.Film Screening - Thursday, October 6th: 3 - 4 PM
Location: 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
The Chicago History Museum is a research center and exhibition space focused on collecting and telling Chicago's stories. In addition to exhibitions on Chicago’s history, the Chicago History Museum houses a Research Center which serves the research collections of the museum—archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, published material, and architectural drawings.
Location: Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St., 9th floor, Chicago, IL 60605
The Chicago Public Library opened its doors January 1, 1873. Special Collections at Harold Washington Library Center features significant and unique archives about Chicago, with a focus on the city's neighborhoods, local theaters, the 1893 and 1933 World's Fairs, Mayor Harold Washington and Chicago parks, as well as rare books and Illinois in the Civil War.
Location: 4455 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
The Northside Neighborhood History Collection at the Sulzer Regional Library highlights historical and contemporary materials about Northside neighborhoods.
Location: 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60628
The largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest, the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature documents the black experience with a strong focus on Chicago.
Location: 5925 N Ravenswood, Chicago, IL 60660
Creative Audio Archive (CAA) is an audio archive that specializes in the preservation, cataloging and dissemination of Chicago's vibrant experimental and improvisational jazz scene. Housed at Experimental Sound Studio, it offers transfer services to surrounding cultural heritage sites in Chicago, commissions artists that engage with the collections and seeks to expand its holdings as the scene grows.
Location: 2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Suite 314, Chicago, IL 60614
DePaul Special Collections and Archives collects, preserves, and shares primary source materials in support of engaged teaching, active student learning, and scholarly and community research. Archival collection strengths include Chicago and Lincoln Park history; social justice; university archives; and the archives of the Western Province of the Vincentian order.
Location: Paul V. Galvin Library, 35 W. 33rd St., Chicago, IL 60616
University Archives amd Special Collections (UASC) collects Illinois Institute of Technology records and those of its predecessor schools, the Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute. UASC also houses materials related to the New Bauhaus and Institute of Design, the development of IIT’s Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed campus, and the Bronzeville neighborhood.
Location: 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60610
The International Museum of Surgical Science is located in one of the few remaining historic mansions open to the public on Lake Shore Drive. It boasts four floors of exhibits that range from topics of medical history, ophthalmology, gynecology, and much more. The Museum is home to over 20,000 artifacts and 4,000 rare medical texts.
Location: 37 S Wabash Ave, 5th floor, Chicago, IL 60603
The Flaxman Library Special Collections house an array of personal and business papers, amongst them the archives of Randolph Street Gallery and Three Walls Gallery, in addition to rare films, artists’ books and other unique materials that support SAIC’s curriculum and allow for in-depth research with original source materials.
Location: Cudahy Library, Room 218, Lake Shore Campus, 1032 W. Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660
The Loyola University Chicago Archives & Special Collections is home to the University's historical records as well as collections pertaining to Samuel Insull, Catholic History, Chicago entertainment, and a 14,000 item rare book collection.
Location: 865 N. Sangamon St., Suite 405, Chicago IL 60642
Media Burn Archive is a nonprofit organization founded in 2003 to collect, preserve, and make available documentary video and television created by artists, activists, and community groups. Media Burn Archive makes more than 3,000 hours of footage available online for use by scholars, educators, students, and the general public.
Location: 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Since 1967, the MCA has been in the vanguard of contemporary art, making history with provocative and engaging programming. The Library and Archives collection keeps that history alive and makes it accessible to researchers and MCA staff alike. The archival collections tell the story of the MCA's exhibitions and programming through a rich variety of materials, including publications, photographs, exhibition records, ephemera, videos, and audio tapes.
Location: 7358 S Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60629
The National Archives at Chicago has over 120,000 cubic feet of historical records created or received by U.S. Government offices and federal courts in six Midwestern states dating from 1800 to the 1990s. Among subjects of local interest are: the Great Lakes and inland waterways, Native Americans, the environment, immigration and naturalization, inventions and technology, railroads, the automotive industry, and domestic conditions during World Wars I and II.
Location: 430 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.1 million members, including NAR’s institutes, societies and councils involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The NAR Archives documents the history and development of the association and the evolution of the real estate brokerage industry in the United States.
Location: 610 Farragut Avenue, Building 42, Great Lakes, IL 60088-2618
The National Museum of the American Sailor collects and preserves artifacts and personal archival materials about the United States Navy’s enlisted Sailors from 1775 to the present. The museum’s historical collections reflect the global travels of naval enlisted personnel. Donated personal materials include personal letters, photo albums, and scrapbooks of Sailors and WAVES; the largest public collection of recruit group photographs and yearbooks; uniforms, flags, and personal artifacts; and pamphlets, postcards, and rare printed materials, including the Great Lakes Bulletin, the Navy’s oldest continuously published base newspaper.
Location: 60 W. Walton St., Chicago, IL 60610
A world-renowned independent research library in Chicago, the Newberry offers readers an extensive, non-circulating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material spanning six centuries.
Location: 834 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301
The Oak Park Public Library's Special Collections contain rare books, manuscripts, correspondence, and photographs from Oak Park authors and other notable residents. Also included are early records of the Library. The Foundation's archives contain manuscripts, photographs, and correspondence from the Hemingway family. Also included are secondary sources on Hemingway and original movie posters.
Location: 11111 S Forrestville Ave, Chicago, IL 60628
The Pullman State Historic Site is comprised of the Pullman Factory complex and the Hotel Florence in the Pullman neighborhood in Chicago.
Location: 6760 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60649
Rebuild Foundation is a nonprofit organization that endeavors to rebuild the cultural foundations of underinvested neighborhoods and incite movements of community revitalization that are culture based, artist led, and neighborhood driven.
Location: Regional History Center (Rm 400), Founders Memorial Library, 217 Normal Road, DeKalb, IL 60115
The Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University houses three related sets of historical records: University Archives, Regional Collections, and the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (local government records). The University Archives documents the history of NIU back to its founding in 1895. The Regional Collections has materials related to the eighteen Northern Illinois counties, excluding Cook, dating back to 1800.
Location: 1926 N. Halsted Street, Chicago IL 60614
The Roger Brown Study Collection (RBSC) is a house museum, special collection, and archive of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Located in Brown's former home and studio, the RBSC features works by Chicago Imagists, self-taught artists, folk and tribal art and objects from material and popular culture, costumes, textiles, furniture, travel souvenirs, and a Ford Mustang in the garage. The archive holdings are a rich reflection of Brown’s creative life.
Location: 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, 60603
The Ryerson and Burnham Archives collect artists’ and architects’ papers, with emphasis on 18th-20th century architecture and 19th century painting, prints, drawings, and decorative arts, with particular depth in Chicago and the Midwest.
Location: WFMT Archives, 5400 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
The Studs Terkel Radio Archive is home to Terkel's 45 years of broadcasts from WFMT. Our aim is to create a free online repository that allows for interactivity, creative re-use and streams of his legendary conversations. The Terkel Archive is housed at the WFMT Archives, which documents WFMT’s long, rich history in classical music and fine arts programming.
Location: 65 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604
Established in 1879 to uphold the sacred obligations of citizenship, to promote honesty and efficiency in government, and to support cultural institutions and the beautification of the city, the Union League Club of Chicago is a private club that has been a contributing partner in the growth and development of Chicago. Through the efforts of its membership, the Club is a catalyst for action in the political, economic and social arenas—focusing its leadership and resources on important social issues.
Location: Joseph Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th St., Chicago, IL 60637
The Special Collections Research Center is home to the University of Chicago Library's rare books, archives, and manuscript collections.
Location: Daley Library, 801 S. Morgan, Room 3-330, Chicago, IL 60607
The Special Collections and University Archives Department at the Richard J. Daley library houses collections of rare books, manuscripts, maps, and photographs, with particular strength in the social, political, and cultural history of Chicago. UIC's University Archives is the repository for historical records of the University of Illinois at Chicago and its predecessors as well as selected papers of prominent faculty, alumni, and administrative staff. See more information at http://library.uic.edu/home/collections/special-collections-university-archives.
Location: 112 S Michigan Ave, Chicago IL, 60603
Video Data Bank (VDB) is a leading resource in the United States for video by and about contemporary artists. The VDB Collection includes the work of more than 550 artists and 6,000 video art titles.
Location: Piper Hall, Loyola University Chicago, 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660
Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects and makes available permanently valuable records of women and women's organizations, which document women's lives, roles, and contributions.
Behind the Scenes Tour - Thursday, October 6th: 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM; Friday, October 7th: 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM; Saturday, October 8th: 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM