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Chicago Sun-Times Collection

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

Airtable Support

Finding Images of Chicago Neighborhoods

Chicago is divided into 77 official community areas. Each community area may contain one or multiple neighborhoods. The name of a community area may be different from the name commonly used for a neighborhood. If you are searching the collection for images of a specific neighborhood, we recommend first using the City of Chicago Official Community Areas Map to find the name of the community area. In the Airtable Inventory, there is a “Location (Chi) - Community Area” field to label the official community area associated with the location depicted in the images. 

To search the collection for images associated with a specific community area, use the Airtable filter feature. Select “Show records where Location (Chi) - Community Area has any of” and select relevant Chicago community areas from the drop-down menu.

Please note that metadata for the collection is incomplete. Not all jobs with identifiable locations will have community areas listed under "Location (Chi) - Community Area." You may also want to search the headline and description fields for building, street, and neighborhood names.

Search Strategies

Sort: By default, records in the base are sorted by date. Click Sorted by in the view toolbar to pick another field to sort by.

A screenshot of Airtable with Date sorted from A to Z.


  • Find in View: Select the magnifying glass icon on the right side of the view toolbar to open a search bar. Type your search here and then press enter. Each instance will be highlighted in yellow in the base, and you can scroll through using the arrows in the search bar.  
  • Search Extension: The search extension allows you to view your results in a filtered list of records. Click the Extensions option near the top right of the base to open or close this search bar. Select which table you would like to search using the drop-down menu next to the search bar. Type your search in the bar and hit enter. Due to the volume of the collection, the search extension tool may be slow or unresponsive. If so, we recommend using filters to search more quickly. 

Filter: Filter out records from a view according to conditions you set to search more quickly and efficiently. You can also use Filter to search within specific fields. Combine multiple conditions to get more specific results. Select “and” from the dropdown menu between conditions for results that include both of your conditions. Select “or” from the dropdown menu for results that include either of your conditions. 

  • Description: Select “Show records where description contains” and then enter your search terms.  
  • Date: Select “Show records where date contains” and then enter the year or date you would like to search, such as 1985 or 1985-01 or 1985-01-26.  

A screenshot of Airtable with a view where description contains strike and date contains 1985. 

  • Topic: Select “Show records where topic has any of” and select relevant topics from the drop-down menu.  

  • Location: Select “Show records where Location (Chi) - Community Area has any of” and select relevant Chicago community areas from the drop-down menu. You can view a map of the official Chicago community areas on the Chicago Data Portal.

 A screenshot of Airtable with a view where has Performing Arts and Location is New City.

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

Still having trouble? Please reach out to us via and our staff will gladly assist you with your search. 

Common Searches

Below are links to views in Airtable that are filtered to include results for common search topics. These links will not show which filters have been set or allow you to change them. To see and/or change filter settings in these views, click the Sun-Times Airtable Inventory - Batch Images link, or the Sun-Times Airtable Inventory - Single Images link. Under views, find the "Common Searches" header and select a topic below. 

A screenshot of the view options in Airtable, with a box drawn around Common Searches, and Settlement houses selected.