Chicago Public Library Adds Two New Collections: George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives and Illinois Writers Project!

Chicago Public Library has added two new collections to the IDHH: the George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection, and the Illinois Writers Project collection. The collection we have chosen to highlight, the George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection, contains annual reports, programs, branch bulletins, fliers, and memos from the George Cleveland Hall Branch of the Chicago Public library, dating from 1932 to the 1970s.  

Named for prominent Black physician, activist, and leader George Cleveland Hall, the Hall Branch was opened in 1932. It became a magnet for Black writers, scholars, and activists throughout the 1930s and 1940s, and launched a semimonthly event, the Book Review and Lecture Forum, which was designed to bring library patrons together with speakers on topics such as African American literature, history, and current events.  

Here are a few of our favorite items from the George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection: 

Book Review and Lecture Forum, Wednesday October 19 1938. circa 1938. Chicago Public Library. George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection. Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library. 
Program of the annual meeting and the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. circa 1935. Chicago Public Library. George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection. Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library. 
Library use card. circa 1949. Chicago Public Library. George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection. Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library. 
Invitation to Hall Branch first anniversary celebration. circa 1933. Chicago Public Library. George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection. Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library. 
Negro History Week. circa 1942. Chicago Public Library. George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection. Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library. 
Flyer for Hall Branch 20th anniversary. circa 1952. Chicago Public Library. George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection. Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library. 
Negro and his achievements in America: a list of books compiled for the American Negro Exposition. circa 1940. Chicago Public Library. George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection. Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library. 

View the full George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives collection on the IDHH.  

View more items from the Chicago Public Library on the IDHH. 

Modeling the Settlement House: 132 Years of Chicago’s Hull House

In 1889, Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr co-founded Hull House on the West Side of Chicago. Based on the model of Toynbee Hall in the East End of London, Hull House was a secular settlement house, where middle-class women would volunteer their time to provide social and educational opportunities for working-class people, many of whom were newly-arrived European immigrants.  

Aside from offering educational and artistic programs to the community, Hull House also offered medical care and social services. In fact, Hull House continued providing social services in multiple locations throughout Chicago up until 2012, even when the organization moved from its original location in the 1960s. Hull House became the model upon which other settlement houses were based, and influenced legislation on child labor laws, occupational health and safety provisions, education, immigration rights, and pension laws. Though most of the original complex was demolished in the mid-1960s for the construction of University of Illinois-Chicago, the Hull mansion still stands, and was designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark on June 23, 1965. 

To celebrate the accomplishments and legacy of Hull House, the IDHH would like to share a few of our favorite related items from Eastern Illinois University and University of Illinois at Chicago: 

Hull House, Chicago. June 1, 1915. Eastern Illinois University. Booth Library Postcard Collection. Courtesy of Eastern Illinois University. 
Two girls on the Hull-House playground. circa 1895. University of Illinois at Chicago. Seven Settlement Houses-Database of Photos. Courtesy of University of Illinois at Chicago. 
Girl sketching on pad near Hull-House. circa 1920s. University of Illinois at Chicago. Seven Settlement Houses-Database of Photos. Courtesy of University of Illinois at Chicago. 
Mothers and children in a Hull-House entranceway. circa 1920s-1930s. University of Illinois at Chicago. Seven Settlement Houses-Database of Photos. Courtesy of University of Illinois at Chicago. 
Adult folk dancing class at Hull-House. circa 1950s. University of Illinois at Chicago. Seven Settlement Houses-Database of Photos. Courtesy of University of Illinois at Chicago. 
Boys and girls waiting at the Hull-House. circa 1960. University of Illinois at Chicago. Seven Settlement Houses-Database of Photos. Courtesy of University of Illinois at Chicago. 

View the full Booth Library Postcard Collection and the Seven Settlement Houses-Database of Photos Collection on the IDHH.  

View more items related to Hull House on the IDHH.