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Research Room

The Evanston History Center’s Archival Collection is extensive and offers a comprehensive view of Evanston over time.

The archives hold a significant amount of material related to people and houses in Evanston. In addition, our staff has years of experience interpreting the primary sources and assisting people with figuring out the stories of their families and their homes.

See below for upcoming research hours.

  • Archival collections documenting many Evanston schools, churches, civic and social organizations, businesses, and residents, including correspondence and organizational records.
  • Building records, including: house files with city records and real estate listings for every house in Evanston and some commercial structures; Sanborn fire insurance maps; blueprints and plat surveys for many structures; and documentation for historic districts and local landmarks.
  • Records of the town, village, and city of Evanston, and Ridgeville and Evanston township, from the 1840s to the present
  • Newspapers, and clipping files from local newspapers, including the Evanston Index, Evanston Press, Evanston News, Daily News, Evanston News-Index, Evanston Review, and Evanston Roundtable.
  • Books and publications on various subjects, including:
    • Evanston history and Evanston authors
    • Evanston City Directories from 1879-1963 (some including Rogers Park and other North Shore communities)
    • Evanston Telephone Directories from 1926 through the present
    • Evanston Architecture
    • Family history
    • Maps of Evanston and vicinity
  • Photographs (biographical and subject files), film, videotapes, and DVDs.
  • Oral history interviews and other audio recordings
  • The Research Room is open for in-person research on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 1 – 4 pm.
  • In-person research costs $10/ to visit. Contact the Archivist for other research services and costs associated.
  • District 65 and District 202 educators receive free admission to the Dawes House, including docent-led tours and access to the research room during regular business hours.
  • Reservations are not necessary.
  • Please make sure there hasn’t been a last-minute closure before visiting.
  • Closures will be posted on our Calendar of Events.
  • Educators can register in advance by clicking here or simply show up during regular hours and register onsite.
  • All educators must show their school photo IDs at the door.


  • The research room is only accessible via the exterior side staircase.
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