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American Archivists

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Preconference Events

ARCHIVES / Chicago 2007

Repository Tours and Open Houses

Your colleagues in Chicagoland represent every imaginable type of repository: academic, association, corporate, cultural, ethnic, governmental, medical, museum, religious – you name it, we collect, preserve, and provide access to it.  ARCHIVES / CHICAGO 2007 offers a great opportunity to take advantage of this archival abundance by visiting a sampling of these repositories during Open Houses and Repository Tours on Tuesday, August 28, and Wednesday, August 29.

Open Houses welcome SAA visitors at any time during specified open hours. Repository Tours are more structured:  They take place at a specified time, set a maximum number of attendees, and require reservations in advance (made directly with the repository).  Several of the Open Houses and Repository Tours are grouped around a common theme, such as Cultural, Journalism, or Photographic; others are grouped by location.  Many are convenient to the Fairmont Chicago, but some will require venturing farther afield by public transportation or car.

Repository Tours on Tuesday, August 28

The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Tuesday, 9:30 – 11:00 am and 10:30 am – Noon.
Capacity: 15 per tour
For reservations and information, contact: Bart Ryckbosch at or 312-443-4777.

Please join staff of the Art Institute of Chicago for tours of the Museum's Institutional Archives, the Ryerson and Burnham Archives, and the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' Conservation Department. Institutional archivist Bart Ryckbosch will walk you through some of the current ongoing projects in the institutional archives (digitization of old exhibition catalogues, intranet based services and records management), Architectural specialist and archivist Mary Woolever will delight the tour participants with a show-and-tell of highlights from the Special Collections of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, and Library Collections Conservator Christine Fabian will bring you into the rarely seen world of book conservation, where the real magic happens...

Directions:  Tour participants should meet their guide on the front steps of the Art Institute promptly at the start of their tour time.

The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR)
Columbia College Chicago
623 South Wabash Avenue, 6th Floor
Tuesday, 10:00 am – Noon
Capacity:  25
For reservations and information, contact:  Suzanne Flandreau at or 312-344-7586.

The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR), founded in 1983, supports and originates study of all idioms in black music of the United States and the African diaspora,  including  blues, black rock, samba, ragtime, jazz, gospel music, rhythm and blues, musical theater and dance, opera and concert music, reggae, merengue/méringue, bomba y plena, salsa, calypso and other genres from the Caribbean, traditional and contemporary music from Africa, and hip-hop and other contemporary music. Tour the archives, see and hear excerpts from its soul interview collection, and browse the library and displays.

Directions:  From the Fairmont Chicago, walk west one block to Michigan Avenue, turn left, and continue eight blocks to the corner of Michigan Avenue and Harrison Street. Turn right onto Harrison and walk west one block. Turn left and walk to 623 South Wabash. Public transportation is also available.  From the hotel, walk to Upper Columbus Drive across from the Fairmont and take the CTA bus #4 labeled Cottage Grove Southbound. This bus will drop you at the corner of Harrison and Michigan; then walk one block west down Harrison, turn left, and proceed to the building.

American Medical Association and Archives of the American College of Surgeons
Tuesday, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Capacity:  25
For reservations and information, contact: Heather Stecklein at or 312-942-7214.

Join the Chicago Area Medical Archivists (CAMA) for a combined tour of Chicago-based medical archives. CAMA members will accompany tour participants to each location. Tour begins at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Archives, located one block west of Chicago's Magnificent Mile. The ACS Archives holds approximately 300 linear feet of materials documenting the organization's history since its inception in 1913. The group will proceed to the American Medical Association (AMA) Archives in the heart of Chicago's Loop. Composed of more than 50 major collections, the AMA Archives preserves documents, photographs, films, memorabilia, and artifacts that cover a wide range of AMA initiatives. The group may visit one or more medical archives, repositories willing.

Directions:  Tour participants should meet their guide in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel promptly at 1:00 pm. The tour will travel as a group by foot and public transportation between tour destinations.

The Rosenthal Archives of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
220 South Michigan Avenue
Tuesday, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Capacity:  30
For reservations and information, contact: Frank Villella at or 312-294-3054.

Formed in 1990 during the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s centennial season, the Rosenthal Archives house an extensive collection of audio-visual materials, music (printed and manuscript), architectural plans, programs, photographs, and administrative records documenting the activities of the CSO and Chorus, Civic Orchestra, and Orchestra Hall and Symphony Center events.  This offering will showcase items from the archival collections, including those of Orchestra founder Theodore Thomas and Chorus founder Margaret Hillis, as well as touring activities, recordings, and artifacts.

Directions:  Just a half-mile walk from the Fairmont Chicago (south on Columbus, west on Randolph, south on Michigan).  Please meet the guide promptly at 2:00 pm in the Symphony Center lobby at 220 South Michigan Avenue.

The Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street
Tuesday, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Capacity:  15
For reservations and information, contact: Martha Briggs at or 312-255-3606.

Founded in 1887, the Newberry Library is an independent research library with book, map, and manuscript collections focusing on the humanities. The tour will begin in the Library’s state of the art conservation department, where staff will discuss how treatment decisions are made and show examples. Particpants will then tour the manuscript stacks to see the extensive Ann Barzel Dance Research Collection, which consists dance-related materials in many formats. The tour will conclude with a visit to the NEH-funded project to preserve, arrange, and describe Midwest Manuscript collections related to newspaper journalism, most of which relate to the legendary writers’ newspaper, the Chicago Daily News.

Directions:   From the Fairmont, walk west to Dearborn St. (3 blocks west of Michigan Ave.). Catch the northbound No. 22 bus. This bus stops directly in front of the entrance to the Newberry on Walton St. Distance from the Fairmont: 1.6 miles.

Playboy Enterprises, Inc
680 North Lake Shore Drive, 15th Floor
Tuesday, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Capacity:  20
For reservations and information, contact: Jessica Riddle at or 312-373-2812.

Join members of the staff of Playboy Enterprises for a special presentation of materials from the Playboy archive, including photographs, magazine illustrations, manuscripts, and correspondences. Founded by Hugh Hefner and associates in 1953, Playboy magazine remains one of the most historically important adult entertainment magazines in the nation. Tour participants will also be invited to tour the Playboy offices, view holdings in its art collection, and take a peek inside its photo-library.

Directions:  Tour participants should meet their guide at Playboy Enterprises, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, in the 15th Floor lobby.  From the Fairmont Chicago, walk north on Congress Drive to Ohio Street; turn right (east) on Ohio Street to Lake Shore Drive; turn left (north) on Lake Shore Drive to 680, located between Erie and Huron Streets. Walking distance:  Approximately one mile.

Repository Tours on Wednesday, August 29

The Hull-House Museum and Special Collections Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Richard J Daley Library

800 South Halsted Street
Wednesday, 9:30 am – Noon (reception including coffee and pastries, 9:30 – 10:00 am)
Capacity:  20
For reservations and information, contact: Valerie Harris,, 312-996-2742.

This tour will begin at historic Hull-House, a social settlement house established by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in 1889.  Soon after its founding, the Hull-House became world famous for the services it provided Chicago’s Near West Side immigrants and its progressive ideas on civil rights.  Today, the Hull-House operates as a museum as part of UIC College of Architecture & the Arts.  Tour participants will make their way across campus to the Daley Library, Special Collections Department, notable for its collections of Hull-House records and the Jane Addams Memorial Collection of photographs. Materials held in the Special Collections and Archives of the Richard J Daley Library document the social, cultural, and political history of Chicago and the impact of the modern urban campus on its historic neighborhood.  Other notable holdings include the James S Parker photographic archive, which contains images of Chicago from the mid-nineteenth through the twentieth centuries, photographs documenting the 1933 World’s Fair: A Century of Progress, and the monumental Comer Archive of Chicago in the Year 2000 (CITY2000), which contains images by Chicago-based photographers documenting  life in the city during the year 2000.

Directions:  Tour participants should meet their guide in the historic Hull-House residents' Dining Hall, 800 South Halsted Street, which is walking distance from the UIC/Halsted stop of the westbound CTA Blue Line.  From the CTA stop, walk east to Halsted and approximately two blocks south to 800 South.  To reach the CTA Blue Line from the Fairmont Chicago:  Walk north on Columbus to Upper Wacker/Upper Columbus Drive. Take the CTA southbound no. 6 Jackson Park Express bus to the corner of State and Lake and walk west on Lake to Clark Street. The CTA subway station is accessible through the James R Thompson State of Illinois Center, designed in 1985 by Chicago architect Helmut Jahn.

The Illinois Institute of Technology, Paul V Galvin Library, IIT Archives and Campus Tour
35 West 33rd Street
Wednesday, 10:00 am – Noon
Capacity:  25
For reservations and information, contact: Matthew Cook at, or 312-567-8830. 

Join IIT staff for a tour of the IIT Archives and discussion of the school’s history and importance to the architectural and design heritage of Chicago. Tour participants will also take a guided tour of IIT’s campus, largely designed by Mies van der Rohe, including his architecturally significant S R Crown Hall, as well as more recent additions to the campus, such as the new the Rem Koolhaus designed McCormick Tribune Campus Center and Helmut Jahn’s State Street Village.

Directions:  By public transportation, take the CTA Green Line train to the 35th/IIT/Bronzeville stop. From there it’s a short walk to the Galvin Library. Tour participants should meet promptly at 10:00 in the Galvin lobby.

Harold Washington Library Center Special Collections and Preservation Division and Roosevelt University Performing Arts Library Collection
Wednesday, 9:00 am – Noon
Capacity:  25
For reservations and information, contact: Heidi Marshall at or 312-344-8689.

Join us a tour of performing arts holdings.  The Harold Washington Library Center,  the main library for the Chicago Public Library system, houses the Special Collections and Preservation Division.  Tour its conservation lab and explore some of its exciting holdings: the Chicago Theater collection, the World’s Columbian Exposition collection, and the Millennium Park collection. Then we’ll walk to Roosevelt University and view its performing arts library. Recently renovated in 2005, its music collection has 75,000 books and scores, 25,000 sound recordings, 95 current periodicals titles, and archival material relating to the history of the Chicago College of Performing Arts.  End the tour with a peek at the Center for New Deal Studies at Roosevelt where a small portion of its vast ephemera collection relating to FDR is on display that includes clocks, plaques, busts, political buttons, campaign textiles, toys, dolls, glass, tinware, china, paintings, and other artifacts.

Directions: Tour participants should meet their guide in the lobby of the Fairmont Chicago promptly at 9:00 am. Tour participants will walk together to the Harold Washington Library and Roosevelt University.

The Museum of Contemporary Photography
Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Wednesday, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Capacity:  20
For reservations and information, contact: Rod Slemmons at or 312-663-5554.

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) presents projects and exhibitions that embrace a wide range of contemporary aesthetics and technologies and strives to communicate the value and significance of photographic images as expressions of human thought, imagination, and creativity.  This special tour will include a discussion of the Midwest Photographers Archive and an opportunity to view the special exhibition, Spectral Landscape, curatedby the MoCP’s Associate Director, Natasha Egan. The MoCP is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Directions: From the Fairmont Chicago, walk west one block to Michigan Avenue, then turn left and continue eight blocks to 600 South Michigan on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Harrison Street.  The Museum is on the first level.  Public transportation is also available. From the hotel, walk to Upper Columbus Drive across from the Fairmont and take the CTA bus #4 labeled Cottage Grove Southbound. This bus will drop you at the corner of Harrison and Michigan. Interested in walking as a group? Meet the tour guide in the Fairmont Chicago lobby promptly at 12:30 pm.

The Center for Book & Paper Arts
Columbia College Chicago
1104 South Wabash Avenue, 2nd Floor
Wednesday, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Capacity:  20
For reservations and information, contact: Heidi Marshall at  or 312-344-8689.         

Established in 1994, the Center for Book and Paper Arts has a threefold mission: educate, exhibit, and publish in the realm of book and paper arts. A tour of its operations includes the letterpress studios, Bookbinding and Hand Papermaking studios. Also on display is It’s in the Fold-More than just Origami  in The Gallery, free and open to the public from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Directions:  By foot from the Fairmont Chicago, walk west one block to Michigan Avenue, then turn left and continue walking 12 blocks to Michigan and 11th Street.  Walk one block down 11th Street; the Center is located on the west side of the street at 1104 South Wabash, 2nd Floor. Public transportation is also available. From the hotel, walk to Upper Columbus Drive across from the Fairmont Chicago and take the CTA bus #4 labeled Cottage Grove Southbound. This bus will drop you at the corner of Michigan Avenue and 11th Street. Walk one block west to Wabash and turn left; the Center is the second building in from the intersection of Wabash and 11th Street.

Special Collections Research Center and Chicago Jazz Archive, University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Wednesday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm (two tours)
Capacity: 15 people per tour
For reservations and information, contact: Maija Anderson at or 773- 834-8583.

As the principal repository for and custodian of the Regenstein Library's rare books and manuscripts and the University archives, the University of Chicago Special Collections acquires, provides for discovery and use, preserves, and publicizes distinctive and unique collections in all formats. Within the same facility, the Chicago Jazz Archive is a special collection of the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library. Established in 1976, the Archive was originally intended to collect and preserve materials from the late 1910s through the 1920s, documenting the birth of "Chicago style" jazz.  While the original donations concentrated on this period and on musicians born here or who spent significant creative time here, the Archive now takes into account the ease with which musicians and influences travel. All jazz styles from oldest to newest are regularly played in Chicago, and the Archive collections reflect this diversity. 

Directions:  Take the Metra Electric train from the Randolph Street station in Millennium Park to the 55-56-57th Street station in Hyde Park.  Walk one mile west on 57th Street to the Regenstein Library.

Repository Open Houses

Downtown Chicago

Columbia Fashion Study Collection
Columbia College Chicago
1006 South Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor
Wednesday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
For information, contact: Virginia Heaven at or 312-644-6283.
The Columbia Fashion Study Collection, associated with the Fashion Design and Fashion Retail Management programs, established in 1989, advances the study of textiles and clothing, past and present, for post-World War II women's fashions, menswear fashions, and ethnic costumes. Drop by and see its collections. Have any questions about fabric care? Ask the curator, Virginia Heaven.  The collection is housed at 1006 South Michigan Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets.

Directions: From the Fairmont Chicago walk west one block to Michigan Avenue, then turn left and continue walking 12 blocks to 1006 South Michigan Avenue.  Public transportation is also available.  From the hotel, walk to Upper Columbus Drive across from the Fairmont and take the CTA bus #4 labeled Cottage Grove Southbound. This bus will drop you at the corner of Michigan Avenue and 11th Street. Walk north to 1006 South Michigan Avenue.

Evanston Area

Evanston Area Open Houses are located within walking distance of each other. To reach Evanston by public transportation from the Fairmont Hotel, walk east on Lake Street to the State/Lake Red Line CTA station.  Take the Red Line to the north terminus, Howard Avenue, and transfer to a Purple Line train to the Dempster Street station.  Walk north on Chicago Avenue one block to Greenwood Street.  Walk four blocks east on Greenwood to the Evanston Historical Society at 225 Greenwood Street.  The Frances Willard House is three blocks east and four blocks north on Chicago Avenue.  The Northwestern University Archives is about a half mile north of the Frances Willard House in the Deering Library on the Northwestern campus. Evanston-area open houses are also accessible via the Metra train (Union Pacific North Line) from the Ogilvie Transportation Center, Madison and Canal Streets (near Union Station). Tickets: $3.05 each way. Get out at the Davis Street station. The train trip lasts about 25 minutes.

The Evanston History Center
225 Greenwood Street, Evanston
Wednesday, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
For information contact: Lori Osborne at 847-475-3410.

The Evanston History Center (formerly the Evanston Historical Society) is a private, non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1898 to preserve and share Evanston history. The Center collects, preserves, and tells the story of Evanston's past through the Charles Gates Dawes House, interactive and engaging museum exhibits, research room and collections, educational programs, and book publishing.  The tour will focus on the Center’s research collection, which includes records, manuscripts, blueprints, photographs, and artifacts. The Center’s exhibitions document the history and growth of Evanston from Indian times to the present.

The Frances Willard House
1730 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
Wednesday, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
For information, contact: Janet Olson at

The Frances Willard Historical Association invites you to visit the Frances Willard House, built by Willard’s father in 1865.  Frances Willard (1839-1898) lived and worked here as president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), then the largest women’s organization in the US. Today the Frances Willard House (a museum since 1900) and the Willard Memorial Library and Archives document the life of a prominent social reformer and the history of an international organization.

The Northwestern University Archives, Deering Library, Northwestern University
1970 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston
Wednesday, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
For information, contact: Janet Olson at

The Northwestern University Archives, established in 1935, holds material pertaining to every aspect of the history of Northwestern. The Archives serves as the repository for both non-current official University records and a wide variety of other records, including the papers of individual faculty members, the records of student organizations, materials pertaining to alumni, publications, photographs, scrapbooks, and artifacts.

North Side of Chicago (Vicinity of Loyola University)

North Side Open Houses are located within walking distance of the Loyola Stop of CTA’s Red Line (with the exception of the Gerber/Hart Library, which is closer to the Granville Stop, one stop South of Loyola). From the Fairmont Chicago, walk east on Lake Street to the State/Lake Red Line station. 

The Loyola University Chicago Archives, in the Cudahy Library
6525 North Sheridan Road
Wednesday, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
For information, contact: Kathy Young at 773-508-2661.

The University Archives serves as the institutional memory of Loyola University Chicago by collecting, preserving, and making accessible non-current official records and ancillary materials of enduring value. In addition, the University Archives is the home to the Samuel Insull papers, the Richard A. McCormick, S.J., papers, and the Carrigan Theatre collection.

The Women and Leadership Archives
Piper Hall, 6525 North Sheridan Road
Wednesday, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
For information, contact: Beth Myers at 773-508-8837.

Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects, preserves, organizes, describes, and makes available materials of enduring value to researchers studying women's contributions to society. The collection includes the records and papers of women's organizations and women recognized as leaders in their respective fields. Included in the WLA are the records of Mundelein College – the first self-contained "skyscraper college" for women in the world and the last four-year women's college in Illinois.  The WLA is located in Piper Hall. 

The Gerber/Hart Library
1127 West Granville Avenue
Wednesday, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
For information, contact: Karen Sendziack at or 773-381-8030.

Founded in 1981, the Gerber/Hart Library is a depository for the records of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) individuals and organizations. The library also collects other resources that bear upon the lives and experiences of the LGBT community in American society. Gerber/Hart is the Midwest's largest LGBT circulating library, with more than 14,000 volumes, 800 periodical titles, and 100 archival collections.  Gerber/Hart hosts programs and events aimed at dispelling homophobia, increasing knowledge and information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, and fostering pride and self-confidence within the LGBT community.

Directions: The Gerber/Hart Library is located a few doors west of the Granville Stop of the CTA Red line, between Broadway Street and Sheridan Road.

The Leather Archives and Museum
6418 North Greenview Avenue
Wednesday, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
For information, contact: Rick Storer at or 773-761-9200.

The Leather Archives and Museum houses a unique sexuality collection about the history and culture of fetishism, sadomasochism, and leather.  The museum exhibits include art, artifacts, and information on alternative sexuality from Marquis deSade to the contemporary fetish community and lifestyle.  The archives include papers and records from individual fetish practitioners and organizations associated with alternative sexuality.  The institution was founded in 1991 and moved into its permanent 10,000-sq-foot home in 1999.  The LA&M is open to individuals 18 and over and houses sexually explicit exhibitions.

Directions:  The LA&M is about a 10-minute walk from the Loyola Stop of the CTA Red Line.  Walk south (under the L tracks) on Sheridan Road.  At the second stoplight (Devon Avenue), turn right.  Walk about 6 blocks to Greenview Avenue.  Turn right at the corner of Devon and Greenview to 6418 North Greenview.  There's a large "LA&M" above the front door.  By bus from the Loyola stop, board the #155-Devon bus westbound to the corner of Devon and Greenview Avenue



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SAA thanks the following ARCHIVES / Chicago 2007 sponsors for their generous support:

2007 International Archives & Information Technology Exposition Exhibitor List