Musings of a Museum Fanatic: Chicago Open Archives 2016

10.24.2016

Chicago Open Archives 2016

Earlier in October Kevin and I got the chance to enjoy one of Chicago's newer cultural happenings, Chicago Open Archives hosted by Chicago Area Archivists. This newbie program enjoyed it's second year this month and both Kevin and I were happy we took advantage this year. Since it was going on Thursday thru Saturday Kevin and I didn't end up with too much of a choice as to what day we could go, Saturday! Unfortunately it limited which institutions we were able to visit as there were several I would have enjoyed that were only open during the week day. 

I decided that we would head to two of the archives that I had heard about but never had a chance to visit or connect with their archivists. So we headed to the north side of Chicago to visit the DePaul University Special Collections and Archives and Loyola University Chicago Archives & Special Collections.





I really enjoyed seeing the collections at DePaul. We got a full blown tour of the special collections, yea I know the photos above are boxes and books museum nerd here! The collections at DePaul were actually quite surprising. I never realized or would have thought how much the collection has for the Lincoln Park area. They contain a number of the papers for local Lincoln Park associations as well as a number for larger Chicago associations and institutions.



 Next we headed north to Rogers Park and the Loyola University Chicago Archives & Special Collections. I have actually been in their library once before for a job interview a number of years ago but didn't have the chance to actually look around.


At this stop they had some best of documents, photographs and other artifacts from the collections out for people to get up close and personal with. Kevin really enjoyed this stop because two of the photo books contained photographs from all moments of several building constructions on campus in the 1920s. I couldn't have planned it any better for him if I tried! Perfect mesh of my interest and his.




After making friends with the Assistant University Archivist she did let us have a quick peek at the actual storage for the archives. Again museum nerd moment. I loved all of the rare books that the Loyola collections had as well.



Kevin and I both had such a great time seeing parts of Chicago and it's history that you don't normally get to see thanks to Open Archives Chicago 2016. We can't wait until next October so we can get the behind the scenes look at more Chicago area archives!

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