Manuscript collections at the University of Illinois Chicago Library document the social, political, economic, and cultural history of the Chicago metropolitan area, with a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries.

Collection strengths include the history of social service reflected in the records of several settlement houses, including Hull-House, the Juvenile Protective Association, the Immigrants Protective League, the Chicago Urban League, and the Metropolitan Planning Council. Collections relating to women's issues and advocacy include YWCA -- Chicago, ERA Illinois, and the Chicago chapter of NOW.

Political collections include the papers of former mayors Martin Kennelley and Michael Bilandic, prominent local politicians, and the League of Women Voters. Chicago's economic history can be explored in the Chicago Board of Trade and the the Chicago Mercantile Exchange records.

Cultural collections include A Century of Progress World's Fair, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and the records of graphic design firms and individuals. The history of the city is visually represented int eh Chicago Photographic Collection, the James S. Parker Collection documenting Chicago's built environment, the Italian-American Collection, the Comer Archive of Chicago in the Year 2000, and aerial photographs of metropolitan Chicago. The University Archives document the history of the campus, as well as selected professional and personal manuscripts of faculty, staff, students and alumni.