April 7, 2016

New Season, New Members,
New Findings


Image courtesy of the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

While winter continues to hang on here in the Midwest, Chicago Collections has entered a new season. This past month, we welcomed three new members, officially doubling our member base from twelve founding organizations at our inception, to today’s twenty-four member institutions. Please join us in welcoming  Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Experimental Sound Studio's Creative Audio Archive, and the Frances Willard Historical Association.

Did you know the Chicago Academy of Sciences, founded in 1857, is one of America’s oldest scientific institutions? Their scientific collections have been built since that time and used to help define human understanding of nature, ecology, and the diversity of life in the United States. From specimen data to field notes, photographs, and so much more, the Academy is used widely by historians, authors, and scientists as they document the past, interpret the present, and imagine the future. “We are absolutely thrilled to have such a major and influential new member among our ranks,” said Chicago Collections Executive Director Jaclyn Grahl. “We are inspired by their participation and reminded again how incredible this collaboration can be. Without a doubt, the Chicago Academy of Sciences represents a huge part of Chicago's story, and we're grateful for the opportunity to connect and share that story more broadly.” Learn more about the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's holdings here.

Documenting Chicago’s vibrant improvisational and experimental music scene, the Creative Audio Archive (CAA) was an initiative formed in response to growing concerns over the general state of historical preservation of non-mainstream audio, in particular, recordings, print, and visual ephemera related to avant-garde and exploratory sound and music of the last five decades. Part of the Experimental Sound Studio, a Chicago based center for the preservation and investigation of innovative and experimental sonic arts and music, CAA currently has five audio based collections that document Chicago's vibrant experimental and improvisational jazz scene. Find out more about these collections here.

Also joining us are the holdings of the Frances Willard Memorial Library and Archives containing the history and impact of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Their collections document the life of Evanston resident and world-famous social reformer Frances Willard (1839-1898), and the history of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Headquartered in Chicago and Evanston from 1885 to 1992, the WCTU administered a global organization of women who promoted not only temperance and prohibition but women’s rights, social justice, health, and education. “The Frances Willard Historical Association in Evanston is very happy to be a member of the Chicago Collections!" said Janet Olson, archivist and longtime supporter of the organization. "Like our Chicago Collections partners, we tell a local story that has national and international impact. We look forward to sharing the resources of the two components of the FWHA—the House Museum and the Library & Archives—with new researchers in the Chicago area and around the world.” Learn more about these exceptional collections at the Frances Willard Historical Association here.

Each of these institutions adds new dimension to our collaboration and we can’t wait to begin revealing it all in EXPLORE Chicago Collections soon! In the meantime, please join us in welcoming our terrific new members.