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Chicago Park District transfers historic archival material to CPL’s Special Collections

7/4/2018, noon | Updated on 7/4/2018, noon

Chicago Park District transfers historic archival material to CPL’s Special

Collections

Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Chicago Park District (CPD) recently announced the addition of more than 161,000 photographs and drawings of

public parks to CPL’s Special Collections. The transfer of CPD’s historic archival material to CPL’s Special Collections enriches the telling of Chicago’s story, particularly with regard to how the demographics and populations served by the city’s parks have changed over time.

“Housing the archival history of Chicago’s parks through our partnership with Chicago Park District is central to our mission of strengthening communities,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon.

“This collection holds a wealth of information for those interested

in Chicago’s community history, our green spaces, and the residents who have enjoyed them for over a century.”

The collection boasts more than 61,000 photographic prints processed and digitized to archival standards, covering the over 500 parks in the Chicago Park District system. These photographs are high resolution

and fully searchable in the Special Collections Reading Room.

The physical prints are also available upon request. 10,000 selected images are available on Chicago Public Library’s website, representing 91 parks. Funding for this project was provided by the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

CPL will host an exhibit of the collection in fall 2019 at Harold Washington Library Center.