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Chicago Sun-Times Collection

A guide to the Chicago Sun-Times Collection at the Chicago History Museum.

Quick Link to Digital Images

Browse a selection of digital images from the Chicago Sun-Times collection here: 

Sun-Times on CHM Images

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If you encounter language in this collection that you find offensive or harmful, or if you have questions about our policies, please contact us at so that we can learn and adjust our practices. We welcome your thoughts and feedback.

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If you identify factual errors, misrepresentations, or additional information about the images, you can let us know by filling out this form:

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CHM staff will review your submission and may email you to inquire further. Please note that, due to staffing constraints, we may be unable to address some issues at this time.

History and Scope of the Collection

This collection consists of images produced by Chicago Sun-Times (CST) staff photographers from roughly 1940-2000. Most of the images date from 1960-2000 and have not been published. The collection is arranged by series, including both analog images and digital images.  

The different series do not vary much in overall scope but were created as a way to manage the acquisition and processing of this large collection. Each series contains approximately 2.5 million images, both digital (JPG) and analog negatives (35 mm and medium format, in black-and-white and color.) With exceptions, Series 1 is made up of mostly undigitized material, while Series 2 is mostly digital. To access the original negatives from either series, visit the Undigitized Images page of the research guide.

Due to the volume and complexities of this collection, CHM has published online inventories via Airtable, in lieu of a traditional finding aid, where you can browse and search the collection. This LibGuide will provide tips for navigating the Airtable inventories. If you are still having trouble finding what you need, please reach out via email: 

Sun-Times Airtable Inventories

Below are the links to the Sun-Times images inventories, which are available through Airtable. Inventory records include links to digital images, if available. You do not need an Airtable account to access and search the inventories. Though all the information in this guide will be useful when working with the Sun-Times collection, we recommend reviewing Search Strategies and Accessing Images before beginning your research with the Airtable Inventories.

Please note that, due to the volume of the collection, loading times for the inventories in Airtable vary and may require several minutes.

Descriptive Metadata for much of this collection is unverified and/or incomplete. Some descriptions have been transcribed from the original Sun-Times negative envelopes or tear sheets and have not been vetted by CHM.

Content Warning

Historical material often contains violent acts, offensive language or negative stereotypes reflecting the culture and language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record.  

Some images in this collection may contain graphic depictions of death, injury, violence, or nudity. Some descriptions have been transcribed from the original negative envelopes or tear sheets and may include outdated or harmful language. 

The Chicago History Museum has an institution-wide initiative to critically consider the language used to describe people and materials, and we invite you to read more about our related projects. 

Critical Cataloging Initiative 

Tutorial for Searching the Chicago Sun-Times Photography Collection

This video provides a brief overview of this guide and demonstrates how to find and access Sun-Times images.