Friday, January 13, 2006

Practical Guide: Chicago Historical Society

For visitors to Chicago of a genealogical bent, the Chicago Historical Society would normally be a "must see" place.
Continue Reading Chicago Historical Society

Regrettably, throughout 2006, the Society's galleries are undergoing a massive renovation project! The museum's galleries were closed in December 2005, and are not scheduled to reopen until autumn.

The Society's research facilities will continue to be available to scholars and researchers on a very limited basis. The Research Center houses an extensive collection of finding aids for those with Chicago-area roots. Early city directories, telephone books and similar items are available. The Center also houses an extensive manuscript collection for significant families and businesses associated with the city.

The Society's photographic collection is impressive. Historical figures of note to Chicago and Illinois are included, but also materials related to the Civil War and the life of Abraham Lincoln are held by CHS. With Chicago's central location, it served as the nation's transportation hub for decades. Your family may well have passed through the city; images worth including in your materials may be found there.

Given the renovation work, anyone hoping to visit the CHS is advised to contact the Society prior to coming, as construction may interfere with some access. Many of the holdings are in storage due to the renovation. They may be reached by telephone at 312/642-4600.

Reaching the Chicago Historical Society is simple by public transportation. The Blue Line from O'Hare to downtown will connect with the No. 22 bus (Clark/Dearborn), which will bring you to the CHS. Be sure to call ahead--but if you have family with Chicago connections, even with the inconvenience of renovations, a special trip may be worthwhile!

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