Collections for Election Day

Editors Note 06/2021: broken Museum Collection and Prints and Photographs Collection links removed.

Election Day brings to mind the history of democracy in the state of Illinois. One of the richest sources of this legacy is the Chicago History Museum. Marking the week of Election Day, the Illinois Digital Heritage Hub features material from two of the Museum’s digital collections that are also available in the DPLA, the Museum Collection and the Prints and Photographs Collection.

The Chicago History Museum’s collections include some of the earliest campaign material in the state, including posters for Abraham Lincoln’s and Ulysses S. Grant’s election bids. The Museum exhibits technologies essential for the electoral process, such as a ballot box used to gather votes sometime between 1890 and 1932. Other materials chronicle the campaigns of more recent elected officials, such as former mayor, Harold Washington.

Banner featuring black-and-white etching of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln’s election campaign banner. 1864. Chicago History Museum. Museum Collection. Permission to display was given by Chicago History Museum.
Photograph of a ballot box
Ballot Box. 1890-1932. Chicago History Museum. Museum Collection. Permission to display was given by Chicago History Museum.
Former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington at a voting booth.
Harold Washington voting on election morning in Hyde Park. 1983. Chicago History Museum. Prints and Photographs Collection. Permission to display was given by the Chicago History Museum.

The DPLA features many of the Chicago History Museum’s digital items, including those featured here. See also the full range of IDHH institutions’ materials pertaining to elections or voting.

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