May 4th 2023

Chicago Area Archivists and Chicago Collections Consortium are excited to announce an upcoming panel discussion, Public Records in Chicago: Acquisition and Accessibility. This event is a follow up to the 2021 panel Chicago Municipal Records: Access and Accountability. In it, we will further explore the archival sources of public records and government activity in the Chicagoland area. We are pleased to welcome representatives from Chicago Public Library, the office of the City Clerk of Chicago, the Inspector General of Chicago, and the National Archives at Chicago.

As our previous panelists discussed, Chicago has a history of decentralized and inconsistent public record retention. While much progress has been made in the last several years, these historical policies have made the process of accessing records about public services, like housing, policing, and education, complicated and burdensome. In this panel, representatives of these local institutions will shine a light on the public records in their holdings. We will learn about their retention policies, how they navigate access roadblocks, and highlight some of their underused records. We hope by learning more about these individual institutions and drawing connections between them, we can illuminate various paths to access public records in Chicago.

Public Records in Chicago: Acquisition and Accessibility will be presented via Zoom webinar on Thursday, May 4th from 3-4pm CST. We are delighted to host this panel during Preservation Week, the theme of which this year is Building Resilient Communities. We hope you will join us in building resilience through awareness of Chicago’s public records!

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