On September 15, 2018, the UIC University Library will begin working with a vendor to digitize its Chicago Building Permits collection. During the digitization process the collection will be unavailable at the Richard J. Daley Library. However, users can still access Chicago building permits on microfilm at the Chicago History Museum’s Research Center. Visit the Chicago History Museum website for hours, location and contact information.
The UIC University Library’s Chicago Building Permits collection includes permits issued from 1872-1954. It is heavily used and contains crucial data about Chicago’s built environment and history. The microfilm was created in 1969, and shows the wear and tear of decades of use. Digitization will preserve this important collection and make it available online to many more people for years to come.
At the completion of the digitization project, researchers will be able to look up an address in an index and then locate a permit in ledgers online. In a future phase, the Library plans to enhance digital access so that the collection is fully searchable by address, builder, owner or other data. The UIC University Library will work with the institutions and organizations that use this collection to plan for future improvements for access to this material.
The Library anticipates that the digitization of the Chicago Building Permits collection will be completed by early 2019. Updates on the project will be announced on library.uic.edu.