Curious about Al Capone, Illinois state parks, Abraham Lincoln, or local ghosts? These subjects and many more can be found in our Illinois Collection, curated by Local History Librarian Jane Rozek and found on the Central Library's second floor.
There you'll find historical scrap books, municipal code, immigrant stories and biographies of the people who shaped Illinois ... for better or for worse. Peruse the shelves for topics on all things Chicago, from its famous river and vibrant music scene to its immigrants, politicians and architecture. Or, wander into the Prairie State's small towns via country histories and photo books of picturesque barns and farms.
"Records, videotapes, the Don Brannon Humor Corner, and paintings have all come and gone as special collections at the Library, but the Illinois Collection remains," Rozek said. "If you're looking for books on Illinois travel, architecture, true crime, Chicago and its suburbs, TV, radio and theater, then you'll definitely want to explore this special collection."
Three of our popular books are Chicago Eternal, which explores the cemeteries of Chicago in a full-sized, photo-filled book. Pizza City U.S.A. by Steve Dolinsky, aka "The Hungry Hound," takes you on a tour of some of the area's best pizza spots. The pictures alone will leave you ravenous. The Break Away by Bryan Smith is an inside look at the Wirtz family and their ownership of the Chicago Blackhawks.
This is just a sampling of what you'll find as you browse the fascinating histories, biographies, records, and photos of the Library's Illinois Collection.