E-mail: Contact Form.
- Research Center
Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Research Center Hours: Tue-Fri 1-4:30, Saturday 10-4:30.
Map, directions, parking, and public transportation click here.
Internet sites and databases:
- Chicago History Museum about us, exhibitions, events, the collection, Encyclopedia of Chicago, blog, collection online, visit, research, education.
- ARCHIE online catalog by keyword, title, author, or subject. Also available in WorldCat.
- Encyclopedia of Chicago metropolitan history of Chicago.
- Street numbering guides, and street name changes.
- Certificates births 1878-1938, marriages 1763-1900, deaths Cook Co. 1878-1939, 1959-1995, and Illinois pre-1916; and 1916-1950.
Formerly known as the Chicago Historical Society, their archives hold more than 20 million manuscripts such as letters, account books, birth-marriage-death certificates, diaries, genealogical charts, journals, licenses, log books, membership lists, memoirs, minutes, muster rolls, research notes, scrapbooks, sermons, speeches, subscription lists, and telegrams. They are strong in U.S. history through the American Civil War, especially in early Chicago history and social conditions, building and house history, city directories, and Chicago church and cemetery histories and locations. 
- They stop paging material at 3:30 pm.
- Advance appointments are available on Friday mornings from 9:30 am to noon for researchers looking through large archival collections, and large runs of microfilm.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Chicago History Museum, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.
- Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana, premier periodical collection, including Midwestern genealogies, local histories, databases, military, censuses, directories, and passenger lists.
- National Archives at Chicago old federal court and agency records for Illinois and Midwest U.S. federal censuses 1790–1940; military service and pension indexes, passenger lists, naturalizations, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, Fold3.
- Newberry Library, Chicago, a large repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records mostly from the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.
- University of Chicago Library plentiful historical records, including Durrett Collection of historical Kentucky and Ohio River Valley manuscripts of early people in the Ohio Valley.</ref>
- Cook County Clerk births, marriages, and deaths online
- Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court recent probates, civil, criminal records.
- Cook County Recorder of Deeds land records, military discharge DD-214s.
- Cook County Medical Examiner suspicious or unusual deaths.
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois recent civil and criminal court records.
- Arlington Heights Memorial Library a huge collection, with printed genealogies, manuscripts, periodicals, newspapers, special aids, surname folders—a great overall genealogy collection.
- Asher Library, Chicago, Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies 500,000 books, and films.
- Chicago Public Library reference books, how-to-guides, histories, biographies.
- Chicago Title and Trust for a fee they will search property records prior to the Chicago fire.</ref>
- Pritzker Military Museum and Library, Chicago, 45,000 military history books, unit histories, photos, uniforms, equipment, insignia, and ships of many world militaries. They help genealogists.
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago Archives parish records, priest biographies, sacramental, school, or orphanage records.
- South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society, Hazel Crest, a very good collection with local histories, genealogies, naturalizations, Pullman Car Works personnel, obituaries, church histories.</ref>
- University of Illinois at Chicago, biography, periodicals, newspapers, oral history, ethnic studies.
- Repositories in surrounding counties: in Illinois: DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will; and in Indiana: Lake.
- Illinois Dept. of Health Vital Records, Springfield, birth, marriage, death, adoption, and divorces.
- Illinois State Archives, Springfield, county/state records, pre-Chicago fire sources, indexed vital records, early land grants, military records, all fed/state censuses, surname card index.
- Illinois State Library, Springfield, state/federal records, federal censuses to 1920, plat books, IL county histories, Sanborn fire insurance maps, Rev. War pensions and bounty land warrants.</ref>
- Illinois State Genealogical Society, Springfield, research guidance, teaching via webinars and the ISGS blog for free, death certificates 1916-1947 for a fee. No research requests.
- Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), Springfield, HQ of 7 regional archives of local Illinois county/town records: birth, marriage, death, land, tax, voting reg., probate, naturalization, civil & criminal court, coroner, poorhouse. For Cook County see IRAD-Northeastern Illinois University.
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, genealogy, plat maps, atlases, oral and county history, cemeteries, census, vital records, naturalizations in many counties.
- John A. Logan College Library, Carterville, this library is a focal point of Southern Illinois genealogy. Their collection is huge.</ref>
- Lincoln Library, Springfield, indexed obituaries, city directories, the Sangamon Valley Collection has photos, yearbooks, histories, and maps for studying Sangamon and surrounding counties.</ref>
- Peoria Public Library enjoys a large genealogy and local history department, including many indexes, DAR files, and basic genealogy resources for the plains states.</ref>
- Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Lovejoy Library best library in southern IL with a large genealogical collection of newspapers, biographies, county histories, family folders, and maps.</ref>
- Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Rock Island, IL, Swedish church records, census, passenger lists, lodges, newspapers, directories.
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Main Library one of the best book collections in America, including county histories, and farmers registers. Think of it as another archives for Illinois.</ref>
- Urbana Free Library their strength is Champaign County history, but they have good basic genealogy for the entire United States including printed genealogies, manuscripts, family folders.</ref>
- Brethren Historical Library and Archives, Elgin, IL, cultural, socio-economic, theological, genealogical, and institutional history of the Brethren.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives, Elk Grove Village, IL, serves historians, congregations, synods, genealogists and others interested in Lutheran history.
- Repositories in surrounding states: Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin
- National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), St. Louis, MO, military and civil services personnel records. For servicemen and servicewomen discharged from 1912 to 1953. 
- Polish Genealogical Society of America, Milwaukee, WI, 60,000 books on Polish history, art, culture, reference.