Today: Chicago Genealogy:
Chicago and Illinois Digital Collections.

For links to other Chicago resources, click here.

Please note: This list is meant to include resources in addition to the ones found at the traditional genealogical sites like FamilySearch, Ancestry, Fold3, and the like. And the lists are by no means exhaustive, so if you know of other digital collections on Chicago and Illinois that you’ve found useful in your research, please let me know.

Organizations & Collections

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Oral History Program – “Dedicated to preserving the stories and memories of Illinois’ citizens, not just those of the famous and prominent among us, but of people from all walks of life.”

Chicago Genealogical Society

Chicago History Museum (formerly Chicago Historical Society) Online Resources

  • Includes Chicago Daily News photo database, online exhibitions for the Chicago Fire, Haymarket Riot, and other seminal city events
  • Genealogy resources page

Chicago Imagebase – Maps, photos, and indexes documenting the built environment of Chicagoland

Chicago Public Library Digital Collections – Images from throughout Chicago history

Digital Illinois – Portal to digital collections from Illinois libraries, historical societies, museums, and other cultural institutions

Encyclopedia of Chicago – A joint effort by the Chicago History Museum, the Newberry Library, and Northwestern

Homicide in Chicago – Chicago Police Department Homicide Record Index, 1870 – 1930; searchable database, publications, and interviews

Illinois Alive! – Early Illinois Heroes and Heroines: A Multimedia Montage – photos and stories

Illinois Digital Archives  – “Developed to provide access to primary source materials in Illinois libraries, archives, museums, historical societies and other cultural institutions.” Some overlap with Digital Illinois and Illinois Harvest

Illinois State Genealogical Society – Many membership benefits including exclusive lists:

Illinois Harvest – “A free public gateway combining search, aggregation, and discovery services. We provide organized and thematic access to digitized and born–digital resources about Illinois, created by Illinois scholars, and from the digital collections of The University of Illinois Library.”

Newberry Library – World-class special collections and research library with stellar genealogical collections – information on neighborhoods, churches, events, and more

Northern Illinois University Libraries Illinois Historical Digitization Projects