Search the Digital Collections

CPL Revamps Digital Collections Website

We’ve updated our site to make it easier for you to find thousands of images, documents and artifacts from CPL’s special collections.

African Americans

Remembering Harold Washington

Chicago’s first African American mayor served from 1983 to 1987, and his legacy endures.

African AmericansCivil War

Philip David Sang Collection

The Philip David Sang Collection contains unpublished and published works and ephemera united by its focus on the struggle of Africans and African Americans through the Middle Passage to the Civil Rights movement.

Chicago Theater

Playbills and programs for drama, opera, vaudeville, dance and music at early Chicago theaters, 1848-1922.

African Americans

Chicago Renaissance

African American community leaders, performers, artists, writers and activists on Chicago’s South Side, 1930-1950.

Civil War

Civil War: Wayne Whalen Digital Archive of the Grand Army of the Republic and Civil War Collections

Camp equipment, weaponry and uniforms used on the homefront and the battlefield.


Chicago Examiner

Chicago Public Library’s 10-year run of the Chicago Examiner extends from 1908 to 1918 and represents the longest run of the Hearst newspaper still available.


Robert W. Krueger Photograph Collection

Local photographer Robert Krueger documented Chicago’s North Side with photographs of community events, buildings and people.


Henry D. Green Photograph Collection

Photographs by Henry Green of businesses, community groups, neighborhood celebrations and school events on Chicago’s North Side, 1943-1951.

Libraries & Education

Esther A. Barlow Collection

Family photographs of CPL Librarian Esther Barlow and images of her work at the former Hild Regional Library and Lake View Branch Library from 1927 to 1976.

Libraries & Education

Chicago Public Library Archives

Photographs trace CPL’s history from a small water tank that survived the Great Chicago Fire to the extensive network of neighborhood libraries that span the city today.