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Chicago Sun-Times Collection

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

Collection Terminology

Job: The collection is arranged chronologically at the folder (“job”) level. A job is defined as a distinct event being photographed; a job contains images taken at a specific event and filed together by Sun-Times staff. The number of images per job varies—some jobs contain just a single image, other jobs contain hundreds of images. Each job is assigned a unique number, called a “job number”. 

Airtable: Airtable is a cloud-based spreadsheet that incorporates database features. Data in Airtable is organized into bases, similar to workbooks in a traditional spreadsheet, and tables, similar to sheets. Airtable bases act as the inventories for the Sun-Times Collection. 

Views: Views are unique configurations of the bases, filtering out certain records. There are three main views in the Sun-Times Batch Images Inventory in Airtable: 

  • All images: Contains all records/jobs in the base but may load and search slowly. 
  • Digitized images: Contains all records/jobs for which images exist online.
  • Undigitized images: Contains all records/jobs for which one of the following is true:
    1. Digital images exist but have not been published.
    2. Digital images do not exist but CHM owns the negatives.
    3. Digital images and negatives do not exist. See the Undigitized Images tab for more information.

A screenshot of the views in the Sun-Times Airtable base.







If you prefer not to use Airtable to access the collection’s metadata, you can download the metadata as a CSV. Click on the three dots next to the view name in the toolbar and select download CSV.

A screenshot of Airtable with the option to Download CSV selected.

Field Descriptions: Mouse over the information icon in each field header to view a description of the field. A screenshot of Airtable with the field description icon.






Row Height: You can also adjust row height at any time to see more records at once (shorter) or more information per record (taller). You can always expand an individual record to view information for all fields at once. 

A screenshot of the row height options in Airtable.