View full finding aid (PDF)
  • Collection ID ARCHIVES P00001
  • Creator Names Chicago Park District (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Title Chicago Park District records : photographs.
  • Physical description 90 linear ft. (approximately 61,000 photographic prints)
  • Collection arrangement The collection is arranged into two series. The contents of Series 1 are organized alphabetically by park name, while the contents of Series 2 are organized alphabetically by subject.
  • Access and usage restrictions Available for research in the Special Collections and Preservation Division, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library. Materials from this collection must be paged 24 hours in advance.
  • Collection summary Representing more than 500 parks from the late nineteenth century to the present, this collection documents site development, park facilities, features (such as gardens, fountains, playgrounds and sculptures), park staff, programmatic activities, special events, the lakeshore and shore protection efforts and road construction and re-development. Photographs of people engaged in activities and events also appear in great numbers. The photographs show how the demographics and populations served by the city's parks have changed over time. They also document the history of and changes in American leisure activities and the use of public spaces.
  • Biographical or Historical Note The earliest parks were created in Chicago between the 1830s and 1860s. The Lincoln, South, and West Chicago Park Commissions were established in 1869. An 1895 state act allowed voters within newly annexed areas to create their own park districts. By 1930, a total of 22 independent agencies operated simultaneously in the city. In 1934, to reduce duplication of services, streamline operations and gain access to New Deal funding, voters approved the Park Consolidation Act of 1934, which established the Chicago Park District.
  • Acquisition information The collection was transferred to the Chicago Public Library by the Chicago Park District in 2017.
  • Geographic coverage
    • Chicago Park District (Chicago, Ill.) Archives.
    • Chicago Park District (Chicago, Ill.) Photographs.
    • Burnham Park (Chicago, Ill.) Photographs.
    • Garfield Park (Chicago, Ill.) Photographs.
    • Grant Park (Chicago, Ill.) Photographs.
    • Lincoln Park (Chicago, Ill.) Photographs.
    • Michigan, Lake, Coast (Ill.) Photographs.
  • Names
    • Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-1934 : Chicago, Ill.)
    • Garfield Park Conservatory (Chicago, Ill.) Photographs.
    • Lincoln Park Zoo Photographs.
    • Soldier Field (Chicago, Ill.) Photographs.
    • United States. Works Progress Administration.
  • Subjects
    • Handicraft Illinois Chicago Photographs.
    • Community theater Illinois Chicago Photographs.
    • Flower shows Illinois Chicago Photographs.
    • Leisure Illinois Chicago Photographs.
    • Outdoor recreation Illinois Chicago Photographs.
    • Parks Illinois Chicago Photographs.
    • Playgrounds Illinois Chicago Photographs.
    • Sports Illinois Chicago Photographs.
    • Swimming pools Illinois Chicago Photographs.
  • Finding aid URL https://www.chipublib.org/fa-chicago-park-district-records-photographs Finding aid