Obscura Society IL: From the Vault - Atlas Obscura
Free iron-on Atlas Obscura badge when you preorder our new kids’ book. Shop now.

Chicago

Obscura Society IL: From the Vault

Discover the treasures of Chicago Public Library's Special Collections including rare objects, photographs, and ephemera

Tucked away on the 9th floor of the Chicago Public Library, the Special Collections and Preservation Division houses a fascinating collection of materials focused on the history of Chicago and the Civil War.

Join the Illinois Obscura Society and Field Agent Cheryl Defranceschi as we explore this unique collection with the head of rare books and manuscripts, Glenn Humphreys. Highlights of this visit include: lithographs of Chicago in the 1860s, Civil War letters from Illinois soldiers, “hardtack” from the Civil War, photographs from the 1893 World’s Fair, scripts from the Goodman Theatre Archives, Harold Washington’s speech that kicked off his campaign to become Chicago’s first African American Mayor, and a glass brick from Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.

Notes for this adventure:

- Meet on the 9th floor of the Harold Washington Library Center located at 400 S State Street, Chicago, IL, 60605.

- Public Transportation: Washington Library is a stop on loop trains (State/Van Buren).

Parking Information

Advance tickets only. All sales are final.