The UIC University Library and the Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC) have contributed to the “Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots” citywide initiative organized by CCC member The Newberry Library and 13 other Chicago institutions participating in public conversations about the legacy of the most violent week in Chicago history. The “Chicago 1919” initiative aims to “heighten the 1919 Chicago race riots in the city’s collective memory, engaging Chicagoans in public conversations,” as detailed on chicago1919.org. The initiative is funded by National Endowment for the Humanities. The UIC University Library contributed to the project by curating a Chicago Collections digital timeline exhibit entitled “Race Riots and Chicago in 1919” that examines the racial tension that took place during the riots through the lens of local and global events of the year.
For the timeline, the UIC University Library contributed materials from its Aldis Family Papers and the Lea Demarest Taylor Papers. Arthur Aldis was a Chicago realtor, his papers include reports on conditions in Black neighborhoods, efforts by The Chicago Urban League (the records of which are also in the Library’s holdings) to work with recently arrived migrants and Aldis’ correspondence with groups who were organizing to stop racial violence in the South. Lea Demarest Taylor was part of the settlement house movement in Chicago. Her papers include items from a conference of social service agencies that met to discuss the riots and reports about its causes like labor conflicts and housing conditions, as well as notes about how the riots unfolded. More information about these and other materials held in the Library’s Special Collections and University Archives can be found on the Library’s website.
The “Race Riots and Chicago in 1919” exhibit was curated by:
David Greenstein, PhD
Lecturer, Special Collections and University Archives, UIC University Library
Megan Keller Young
Instructor and Special Collections Librarian, Special Collections and University Archives, UIC University Library