Collection Essays

Indians in the Archives

What do historical images of American Indian peoples tell us about the evolving relationships between Indians and non-Indians? What valuable information about our past and ourselves can we glean from artworks that portray indigenous peoples and also the materials that artists used?

The Anti-Slavery Movement in Chicago and Illinois

What motivated the actions of abolitionists in Illinois? How did abolitionists attempt to transform public opinion on the issue of slavery? How did the abolitionist movement evolve and respond to national events that shook the nation in the 1850s?

The New Deal in Chicago and the Midwest

What did the New Deal look like in Chicago and the greater Illinois region? Who were its champions and opponents? How did different types of people make sense of new welfare programs in the midst of the Great Depression?