Harold Washington Library Free Genealogy Workshops
The Harold Washington Library Center offers an ongoing History and Genealogy series of workshops and lectures to help people research their family history.
Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State Street, (312) 747-4300. Always call to confirm. Subject to cancellation.
Andrew Schneider: Logan Square Social Clubs Tuesday, May 11, 2021 6:30PM – 7:30PM
Logan Square was once home to many social clubs serving different populations. The Logan Square Preservation President gives an overview at some of this neighborhood’s cultural history.
The Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook with Martha Bayne Wednesday, May 19, 2021 6:00PM – 7:00PM Register
The Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook, explores community history and identity in a global city through literature, photos, and art articulating the lived experience of its residents.
Strange Illinois Tuesday, May 25, 2021 4:00PM – 4:45PM Register
Hear about the weird roadside attractions in Illinois. This is a repeat of a program from last August with a look at a few new locations.
How to Attend
This event takes place on Zoom. No registration is necessary. Click here to attend. By doing so, you agree to abide by the Library Use Guidelines.
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Questions about attending online events? Check out our Events FAQs.
Harold Washington Library Free Genealogy Workshops – Related
About the Chicago Public Library
1871: After the Chicago Fire, Thomas Hughes, a member of British Parliament organized the donation of 8,000+ books to Chicago. Chicago citizens petitioned for a free public library. Previous libraries were private membership-only organizations. The Children’s Library at Harold Washington Library Center is named after Thomas Hughes.
1872: The Illinois Library Act of 1872, authorized cities to establish tax-supported libraries throughout Illinois. In April, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance establishing the Chicago Public Library.
1873: The Chicago Public Library opens at the southeast corner of LaSalle and Adams streets in a circular water tank that survived the fire. The library moved several times during its first 24 years, including an 11-years on the fourth floor of City Hall.
1874: A delivery station system (you request a book and they delivered it via horse-drawn carriage it to a set location) served Chicago’s neighborhoods mostly in stores. This accounted for two-thirds of the circulation of the Chicago Public Library by the early 1900’s.
1897: October 11, the Central Library, on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Randolph streets, opens in what is now the Chicago Cultural Center. The building cost about $2 million, was designed by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge. The building was designed to be practically fireproof. Preston Bradley Hall, contains a dome and hanging lamps by Tiffany Glass.
1904: Isabella N. Blackstone (the widow of a wealthy president of the Chicago and Alton Railroad from 1864 to 1899) donated funds to construct the first branch library, located in the Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods. The library was modeled after the famous Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
1916: Chief Librarian Henry E. Legler created a library plan calling for an network of neighborhood library locations. The plan included several regional libraries with more comprehensive collections. The first regional library, the Henry E. Legler Regional Library, opened in 1920 in West Garfield Park.
1918: Carl B. Roden, who began work as a library page(book shelver) in 1886, was appointed chief librarian. Over 32 years (1918-1950) he increased staff, holdings, circulation and total expenditures exponentially. The Carl B. Roden Branch in Norwood Park, where he resided, is named in his honor.
1960s: CPL added a significant number of neighborhood branch libraries, via new construction or leasing storefronts or reading rooms. By 1985, there were 76 branches.
1991: The new main library the Harold Washington Library Center opened October 7.
1995: Chicago Public Library established its website.
1996: A three-year, $65 million capital improvement plan begins building or renovating 52 neighborhood libraries.
2000: $44 million in neighborhood library construction begins.