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Doing some research on the Chicagoland area? Here are some places to start.

Library Databases


Read full-text articles from academic journals, books and primary sources across many different fields, including the arts, humanities and sciences.


Research your family history with primary documents from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I and World War II.

Chicagoland and Illinois Resources

Chicago Collections

Explore this collaboration of many Chicago-area organizations, archiving the city's history and culture.

The Newberry

Use research materials on the history of Chicago and the Midwest, including settlement, growth and politics.

Chicago Public Library

Visit Chicago Public Library in person to access its four special collections or use their online resources.

Chicago History Museum Image Archive

Discover over 200,000 images from the History Museum’s renowned collection.

Chicago History Museum Online 

Access their online catalog, the content of the magazine Chicago History and The Encyclopedia of Chicago, as well as portals to some of their collections.

Mapping the Stacks

Find tips on where to find collections about Black Chicago between the 1930s and 1970s.

University of Illinois at Chicago's Image Collections

View more than 60,000 digitized images from the university library's archives.

Illinois Digital Archives

Learn Illinois history through archived photographs, letters, postcards and posters.

Illinois Digital Heritage Hub

View the digital image collections of Illinois universities all in one site.

CARLI Digital Collections

Explore special collections digitized over the past decade by academic and research libraries.

More Resources

Google Scholar

Search full text or metadata of scholarly literature across a variety of publishing formats and disciplines.

Library of Congress Research Guides

A new guide from the Library of Congress with tips on research inspiration, definitions for primary and secondary sources (with examples), strategies for searching those sources, and suggestions on citing resources appropriately. If you're feeling stuck or need extra help, you can contact a Library of Congress reference specialist. 

Internet Archive Scholar

Explore this index that includes over 25 million research articles and other scholarly documents preserved in the Internet Archive.

Project Gutenberg

Find free eBooks, including older works for which copyright has expired.

Google Books

Read books and magazines, download them, cite them and translate them. Some books are provided by publishers, while others are scanned as part of a Google project.

Hathi Trust

Access cultural records digitized through a partnership of major research institutions and libraries.

Internet Archive

View an archive of numerous formats — web pages, books, audio recordings, videos, images and software programs.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Search the Library of Congress for newspapers from 1789-1963, or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. 

Black Freedom Struggle

A curated selection of approximately 1,600 primary sources for anyone studying U.S. Black history.

Digital Public Library

Explore texts, images, videos and sounds from across the United States.

DocsTeach (National Archives)

Primary documents (letters, photographs, speeches, posters, maps, videos and more) spanning the course of American history.

Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives

Access descriptions of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, films and more from the Smithsonian Institution.