Library Digital Content Access

Picture Chicago

Picture Chicago is a collection of images originally published in books about Chicago that were digitized by the University of Illinois' Urbana and Chicago campus libraries through our participation in the Open Content Alliance, a collaborative effort of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world to help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia material. Much of the pictorial and graphic content of these books have been brought together in this image collection with URLs linking back to the digitized texts. Here you can see photographs of Chicago gangsters, politicians, and early famous Chicagoans; the first taxicab in the city; the early pneumatic tube system installed in the the Chicago Post Office; the devastating fire at the Iroquois Theater in 1904 that took the lives of hundreds of Chicagoans; the reference room of the Chicago Public Library in 1911; Michigan Avenue before it was widened; stately North Shore residences; the famous Keeley Institute for the treatment of alcoholism; the draft plans to straighten the Chicago River; and much, much more! Within the description of each image you will find a link back to the original digitized text.

Picture Chicago is a joint project of the libraries of the Urbana and Chicago campuses of the University of Illinois. Funding to support building this image collection was provided by a 2009 Collections Enhancement and Access Award from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI).

Browse By

Image of a political cartoon

"Union League Club of Chicago" (1888)