• 26 Apr 2013 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    The Chicago Public Library’s Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection presents a new exhibition recognizing the life and work of the late Reverend Addie L. Wyatt. Wyatt served as co-pastor of Chicago’s Vernon Park Church of God and was one of the leading human rights activists in 20th century America.


    Wyatt donated her papers to the Chicago Public Library in 2007. Faith in the Struggle tells her amazing story with more than 100 items, including photographs, manuscripts, awards, correspondence, and memorabilia.


    Rev. Wyatt was part of the “Great Migration” of African Americans to Northern cities. She became a leader in diverse struggles including fighting for civil rights, women’s rights, and labor.  As a local president of United Packinghouse Workers of America union, she worked directly with civil rights and labor rights icons including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Phillip Randolph, and Congressman Charles Hayes. In addition, she was founder of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, an early supporter for the National Organization for Women (NOW), and a national campaigner for the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1975, Rev. Wyatt was named one of Time magazine’s “Women of the Year.”


    Faith in the Struggle: Rev. Addie Wyatt’s Fight for Labor, Civil Rights and Women’s Rights runs through February 2014 at Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago IL 60628. For more information about the exhibit or collection, visit  

    UPDATE, 08 December 2013: The Chicago Public Library website now indicates the exhibit will be open through 15 March 2014.

  • 17 Apr 2013 10:15 AM | Janet Olson (Administrator)

    IL State Historical Records Advisory Board Announces 2013 Historical Records Preservation Grant Program

    The Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB), using funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), is offering grants of up to $5,000 to Illinois historical records keepers to develop and/or carry out projects to identify, preserve, access and use historical records in Illinois. Information about this grant program is listed below.

    Grant Amounts and Requirements

    Minimum grant request: $500

    Maximum grant request: $5,000

    All grants require a one-to-one ($1 for $1) in-kind and/or cash match

    Application Period: May 15, -  May 31, 2013

    All grant projects will run for one year.

    Guidelines and Application Form: The grant guidelines which includes the application form is available on-line at or you may request the guidelines be mailed to you. The application must be printed, filled out, and mailed. It cannot be submitted on-line.

    The Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board is made up of representatives from different archives, museums, universities and libraries from around the state and seeks to facilitate cooperation among historical records depositories and other information agencies within Illinois.  The Illinois State Archives serves as the coordinator of the ISHRAB.          

    For additional information or to request the grant guidelines and application form, contact David Joens at 217-782-3492 or email

  • 01 Apr 2013 11:52 AM | Janet Olson (Administrator)
    A long-time member of the Chicago archives community, Richard Seidel, died on March 25, 2013. He will be missed. Please read the memorial on the CARA blog: 
  • 19 Mar 2013 10:05 PM | Scott Pitol

    Thanks to everyone who attended tonight's CAA Members Meeting.  Voting
    took place on the open Steering Committee seats, changes to the by-laws,
    and an increase in membership dues.

    Congratulations to the four members elected to the Steering Committee, who are:

    • Rob DeLand
    • Amber Dushman
    • Jessica Farrell
    • Andy Steadham

    A big thank-you to Aaisha Haykal, Megan Poepping and Diane Pugh who stood for election and enabled the organization to elevate this election to a
    democratic process.

    The amended changes to the by-laws were passed nearly-unanimously.  See the revised by-laws on the Reports and  By-Laws page.

    Dues for 2014 were increased from $10.00 to $15.00, also by a
    nearly-unanimous vote.  [For those who have not joined for 2013, there is still time to join for $10.]

    The Steering Committee will be meeting soon to elect new officers and plan
    for the coming year.  Stay tuned for that announcement.  Let me know if
    you have any ideas, issues or concerns that you would like the Steering
    Committee to address.

    Scott Pitol
    Immediate Past Vice-Chair
    Chicago Area Archivists

  • 11 Mar 2013 9:27 AM | Anonymous member

    On 12 February, 2013, the CAA Events Subcommittee organized a behind-the-scenes tour of the Chicago History Museum archives.

    CHM Archivist, Peter Alter, took time out of his busy schedule to provide a short history of the museum (formerly known as the Chicago Historical Society) and its current collecting policy. He then led a tour down to the closed-to-the-public basement where the collections are held. The tour included an examination of a few items pulled by Alter that highlight the collecting strengths of the museum. Alter emphasized the impact late Archie Motley had on the growth of collections, and the way that impact influences the growth of collections today. Finally, Alter answered a few questions about CHM's holdings and access to the collections.

    Chicago Area Archivists would like to thank Peter Alter for being so generous with his time. This was a popular repository tour, so Peter has graciously offered to lead another in early May. Watch the CAA website and the listserv for an announcement with more details.

    Did you know? You can follow updates to Events on the CAA website via RSS feed. If you are unfamiliar with RSS feed managers, Google Reader is a free, easy to use option. This video tutorial is a quick introduction.

  • 10 Mar 2013 6:41 PM | Stephanie Giordano (Administrator)
    Register for the next CAA sponsored SAA Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) webinar at any one of the following 4 convenient locations on March 20th, 21st  and 22nd. Register online now!

    “Standards for Digital Archives” 

    Wednesday, March 20th
    4:00 PM – 5:30 PM at Wheaton College
    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM at the offices of the Medical Library Association 

    Thursday, March 21st
    6:00 PM – 7:30 PM at Chicago State University

    Friday, March 22nd
    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM at Northwestern University, Evanston

    About the Webinar

    Do you know the most important standards a digital archivist needs to know? What are the options, which ones apply to your work, what are the benefits, and what is practical for your particular situation?Get started with this foundation on standards as a stepping stone to courses that focus and discuss in more detail specific standards for particular archival functions and the applications of those standards, including accession, arrangement and description, access, and outreach.For more information about this webinar, see the course description on the SAA website


    Space is limited to 20 participants at each webinar, so register quickly with convenient payment by credit card for the location and date of your choice. 

    CAA members: $15
    Non-members: $20 (You can easily become a member of CAA first to get the member rate!)

    On-site registration:
    CAA members: $20
    Non-members: $25

    NOTE: For those webinar participants who wish to pursue DAS certification and to take the online exam after the webinar, SAA will charge a separate exam fee of $35. 

    Interested in More Digital Archives Specialist Webinars? Can't make the March webinars? “Information Architecture” is the next scheduled Web seminar to be offered in Spring 2013. Check in and stay tuned! 

    This webinar is sponsored by the Chicago Area Archivists (CAA). CAA is offering a series of webinars from the Society of American Archivists’ Digital Archives Specialist curriculum.
  • 10 Mar 2013 11:50 AM | Anonymous

    “Commerce in Human Souls” presents historic letters, diaries, ledgers, and drawings to tell the dark story of the Atlantic slave trade. On display are rare 18th and 19th century documents that dramatically represent a vast, 300-year long international enterprise that shaped many of the economic, political, racia,l and social beginnings of our contemporary world.


    The exhibit is the result of a collaboration between Nancy Cirillo, Valerie Ann Harris, Peggy Glowacki, and many others. Drawing on UIC’s Atlantic Slave Trade Collection, Sierra Leone Collection, and Carberry Collection of Caribbean Studies, they created an exhibit that demonstrates how the Atlantic slave trade fueled the economies of most of the western European nations and their colonies in the New World.


    “Commerce of Human Souls: The legacy of the Atlantic Slave Trade” is on display through 31 May 2013 at UIC’s Richard J. Daley Library, Special Collections and University Archives. Library hours and information are available at

  • 27 Feb 2013 4:12 PM | Morgen MacIntosh Hodgetts
    The agenda, 2012 meeting minutes, draft revisions of by-laws, and candidates for the CAA Steering Committee openings are posted in the Member's Only Forums Section

    CAA Members will need to be logged into the website to access the Forum.  Click "Forgot password" if you do not remember your login information and a message will be sent to the email we have on file via your member registration information.

    Stay tuned for RSVP information for the CAA Members Meeting on Tuesday, March 19th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at DePaul University, John T. Richardson Library, Room 400, 2350 N. Kenmore Avenue.

    Send questions or comments to
  • 10 Feb 2013 10:32 AM | Anonymous

    Do you like learning about Chicago history? Would you enjoy supporting motivated students that want to share their exhibits, performances, websites, documentaries, or papers with you?

    Each year, Chicago Metro History Fair students in grades 6-12 select a topic related to Chicago history, then dive deep into research to develop their own interpretation or argument which they then present for evaluation by community-minded judges. Through this research and evaluation process, students gain skills and knowledge that will carry them through high school and prep them for college work.

    Please consider volunteering as a History Fair judge this year. Many CAA members (and non-members) have volunteered in the past and found it to be a very rewarding experience. There are several evening and weekend judging opportunities in March and April. No prior experience is necessary. The Chicago Metro History Education Center provides orientation on the day of the event and pairs new judges with veteran judges.

    For more information and to volunteer, visit the History Fair website.

  • 10 Feb 2013 10:09 AM | Anonymous
    Historic photos of the Union League Club of Chicago were featured in the December issue of Sciprophily, the Journal of the International Bond & Share Society.

    This past fall, the journal contacted Union League Club archivist Anita Mechler about a photo it found on eBay. In response, Mechler provided the journal with information about one of her favorite pieces of ULCC historical lore: the Million Dollar Room. This room was wallpapered by member’s “useless” stocks and bonds in 1934. The name was derived from the value of the items before the stock market crash of 1929 and further decline of the market in 1932 and 1933. The room was decommissioned in 1936 when members decided to see if their “wallpaper” was worth anything after the economy briefly recovered.

    The result was an article featuring these historic photos from the Union League Club’s archives.
    All images Courtesy of the Union League Club of Chicago.

    Top: Union League Club of Chicago member Harry Dougherty and a workman named Jake hang "wallpaper" in the Million Dollar Room.

    Middle: The first meeting of Union League Club members in the Million Dollar Room, May 1934.

    Bottom: The Million Dollar Room undergoes transformation to the Gold Room, May 1936.

    All images Courtesy of the Union League Club of Chicago.

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