Scope of the Collection
Over 22 Million Chicago and U.S. History Artifacts
The Museum's collection of over 22 million artifacts is a rich source for the study of Chicago history, both as urban center and as part of the larger United States.
The Museum's collecting scope currently emphasizes five areas.
Living in the Metropolitan Area
This includes demographics, domestic life, family, community, neighborhoods, local history, religious life, sports, recreation, leisure, crime, and education.
Working in the Metropolitan Area
This includes the changing economic base of the city, business, manufacturing, labor, transportation, and scientific and technological development.
Governing the Metropolitan Area
This includes electoral politics, citizen action movements, urban planning, and education.
The Built Environment:
This includes architecture in its broadest social and economic context, going beyond great buildings, and architecture.
Individuals and Ideas
This includes art, literature, music, and philosophy produced by individuals in the metropolitan area, particularly as reflections on the interpretations of this area.