Austin Community Collection

Institution: Chicago Public Library - Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-747-4300
Date: 1860-1981
Extent: 17 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Austin, originally called Sandy Ridge in reference to the prominent moraine running through the area, was a vast prairie, punctuated by swamps and bountiful numbers of waterfowl. Its principal attraction was the area's few Indian trails on the high ground and its convenient location as a resting spot between Galena, Illinois and Chicago. In 1890, Austin had a population of over 400 people and by 1920, the area boasted a population of 74,000. Further transportation developments such as the Lake Street Elevated, the Garfield Park Elevated to Cicero, and the Madison Street and Chicago Line, stimulated additional growth in Austin.

Scope and Content Note:
The Austin Community Collection (ACC) emerged as the most significant collection of those originating from the Austin Branch Library. It is an excellent historical source for researchers concerned with the demographic, economic, cultural, social, political, and religious development of Austin. The collection contains biographical information on some of Austin's residents, as well as information on business establishments, churches, clubs and organizations, hospitals, municipal agencies, parks, residences, schools, streets, transportation, and war time activities. The collection also includes over 300 photographs.

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