Encyclopedia of Chicago
The Encyclopedia of Chicago is a joint production of the Chicago Historical Society, the Newberry Library, and Northwestern University. The online web site includes thousands of historical resources, including articles, photographs, maps, broadsides, and newspapers, all related to Chicago’s colorful and complex history.
I found it very easy to navigate. Of course, the test of any online web site of historical information is its contents. Indeed, the Encyclopedia of Chicago has thousands of pages of information for all to see. I found items about the Labor Unrest in Chicago from April 25 – May 4, 1886, maps of Prairie Avenue where many of Chicago’s wealthiest citizens lived in the 1880s, including George M. Pullman (of the Pullman railroad cars), Marshall Field (Chicago’s richest man), John G. Shortall among others. The map is fully interactive; you can zoom in and out as well as move north, south, east, or west with the mouse. Other items I noted included many historical photographs, essays on ice fishing, essays on Chicago’s gangsters of the 1930s, descriptions and maps of cemeteries, and much more.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago is a great resource for Chicago residents as well as anyone with Chicago ancestry. While it doesn’t provide lists of births, marriages, and deaths, it does give great insights into the world in which your ancestors lived.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago is available free of charge to everyone. To access it, go to http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org.