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 info@chicagoarchivists.org. 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

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Chicago Open Archives: Yours to Explore - Activities by Site

Aurora Regional Fire Museum
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. 

Cabinet of Curiosities - Friday, October 7th: 5 - 7 PM

Preservation Presentation - Saturday, October 8th: 1 - 2 PM

Center for Black Music Research
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
Chicago Collections
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.

#BigShoulders Edit-a-thon - Friday, October 7th: 2 - 5 PM @ Fisk Hall, Northwestern University

#BigShoulders Edit-a-thon - Saturday, October 8th: 1 - 5 PM @ Flaxman Library, School of the Art Institute

#BigShoulders Edit-a-thon - Saturday, October 8th: 2 - 5 PM @ Richardson Library, DePaul University

Chicago Film Archives
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
Chicago History Museum
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.

Sports Collections Tour - Thursday, October 6th: 10 AM - 12 PM

Conversation with Bill Siegel, Documentary Filmmaker - Thursday, October 6th: 1:30 - 3 PM

Chicago Public Library, Special Collections
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.

Chicago Theater Show and Tell and Talk - Saturday, October 8th: 10 AM - 1 PM

Chicago Public Library, Sulzer Regional Library
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.

Northside Neighborhood History Collection Show and Tell - Thursday, October 6th: 1 - 1:30 PM

Chicago Public Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection
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.

Behind the Scenes Tour - Saturday, October 8th: 10 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM

Creative Audio Archive
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.

Audio Digitization Tour - Saturday, October 8th: 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM

DePaul University Special Collections and Archives
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.

Behind the Scenes - Saturday, October 8th: 10 AM, 11 AM

Lincoln Park Stories - Saturday, October 8th: 11 AM - 1 PM

Personal Digital Archiving - Saturday, October 8th: 1 - 2 PM

Illinois Institute of Technology, Paul V. Galvin Library, University Archives and Special Collections
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.

Show and Tell - Thursday, October 6th: 5:30 - 6:15 PM


International Museum of Surgical Science
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.

Behind the Scenes - Thursday, October 6th: 6 - 7 PM

John M Flaxman Library, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
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.

Introduction to the Archive - Thursday, October 6th: 12 - 1 PM; Friday, October 7th: 12 - 1 PM; Saturday, October 8th: 12 - 1 PM

Loyola University Chicago Archives & Special Collections
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.

Collection Sampler - 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

Media Burn Archive
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.

Behind the Scenes Tour - Friday, October 7th: 11 - 11:30 AM

Vamonde Adventure - CROSS TOWN CLASSIC

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - Library and Archives
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.

Tour, Show and Tell, and Screening - Friday, October 7th: 10 - 11:30 AM

National Archives at Chicago
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.

Show and Tell - Thursday, October 6th: 1 - 2 PM; Friday, October 7th: 1 - 2 PM

National Association of REALTORS® Library and Archives
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.

Highlight Tour - Thursday, October 6th: 10 - 10:45 AM; Friday, October 7th: 10 - 10:45 AM

National Museum of the American Sailor
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.

Guided Exhibit Tour - Saturday, October 8th: 10 - 10:20 AM CANCELED

Researching Naval Personnel Workshop - Saturday, October 8th: 10:30 - 11:45 AM CANCELED

Newberry Library
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.

Behind the Scenes and Archivist Discussion - Thursday, October 6th: 5 PM, 6 PM

Oak Park Public Library / Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park
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.

Behind the Scenes Tour - Thursday, October 6th: 5:30 PM, 6:30 PM; Friday, October 7th: 2 PM, 3 PM

Pullman State Historic Site
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.

Exhibit Plus - Thursday, October 6th: 10 AM; Friday, October 7th: 10 AM

Rebuild Foundation
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.

Community Cataloging - Saturday, October 8th: 2:30 - 3:30 PM

Regional History Center, Northern Illinois University
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.

Behind the Scenes Tour with Show and Tell - Saturday, October 8th: 10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM

Roger Brown Study Collection
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.

Sampler - Thursday, October 6th: 10 AM, 11:30 AM, 1 PM, 2:30 PM

Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago
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.

Show and Tell - Saturday, October 8th: 11 AM - 3 PM

Studs Terkel Radio Archive/WFMT Archives
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.

Sampler - Thursday, October 6th: 5 - 7 PM


Union League Club of Chicago
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.

Presentation on the History of the ULCC - Saturday, October 8th: 9 AM, 10:30 AM, 12 PM, 1:30 PM, 3 PM

University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center
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.

Behind the Scenes Tour and Gallery Talk - Friday, October 7th: 3 - 6 PM

University of Illinois at Chicago
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.

Chicago Design History Guided Tour - Thursday, October 6th: 3 - 4 PM

Video Data Bank
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.

Behind the Scenes Tour - Friday, October 7th: 3:30 PM

Women and Leadership Archives, Loyola University Chicago
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

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