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Research Center  

A guide to the Research Center at the Chicago History Museum, including hours, access, policies, etc.
Last Updated: Dec 1, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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September 6-December 23

Tuesday through Friday: 1-4:30

Saturday: 10-4:30

Closed December 24, 2016-January 2, 2017 and January 18, 2017

Please note, we stop paging material at 3:30 pm.

Advance appointments available on Friday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to noon for researchers looking through large archival collections, large runs of microfilm, etc. During these hours, we cannot accommodate photo researchers. No additional materials can be retrieved, reference assistance provided or photocopying until the Research Center re-opens at 1:00.





Registration required at the Visitor Services Desk.

* Children under 6 not admitted



Freelance Researchers

If you require a detailed or time-critical response, we may suggest that you hire a freelance researcher.


About the Research Center

The Research Center holds the printed material, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, architectural drawings, and assorted ephemera of the Chicago History Museum.

Visitors include authors, university and college teachers; independent scholars; photo researchers; members of the press; elementary and secondary school students; undergraduate and graduate students, including PhD candidates; architects; building developers; family and house historians.

The Research Center is a popular destination for History Fair students. Please note that appointments are required for History Fair research (grades 6-12).  Please direct inquiries regarding this collection to We regret we cannot take phone calls.

For licensing or reproduction inquiries related to the Museum’s holdings, contact Rights and Reproductions.


Museum Artifacts

Due to the extensive resources required to handle and retrieve the Museum’s artifact collections (including costumes and textiles, decorative, industrial, and fine arts, and architectural fragments and models), access to these materials is available by appointment only and is limited to researchers who are able to demonstrate that in-person access is required to support substantive research and that the results of that research will be disseminated widely.

To request information about the Museum’s artifact holdings, including how to access them go to the Artifact Research Inquiry Form. You will be contacted by the Museum within two weeks, but please note that reviewing your request, making a determination as to whether access can and will be granted, and scheduling an appointment may take several additional weeks.

If you would like to donate an artifact to the Museum, please submit an Artifact Donation Form.


Search the Research Center Collection


Swift and Company Packers

Swift and Company Postcard, 1893

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