Archives and Special Collections

About Us

Chicago State University’s Archives and Special Collections is responsible for preserving historical materials from the University’s past and present. We are located on the 3rd floor of the University Library. Students and researchers are encouraged to use the collections to enliven their coursework and explore new interests. Our Special Collections encompass four major areas:

  • The Progressive Education Collection contains materials on the early history of Chicago State (first known as the Cook County Normal School), including writings by some of the early leaders—Francis W. Parker, Arnold Tompkins, and Ella Flagg Young—who made the school an internationally renowned center of progressive education.
  • The Illinois Leadership Collection features the papers of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and several of its members who served in the Illinois General Assembly.
  • Our Rare Books section contains the Thomas H. Wirth Collection of 18th and 19th century African-Americana. Included are rare first editions by authors like Phillis Wheatley, John Marrant, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Henry O. Flipper, Sojourner Truth, and many others. Also in rare books are ex-Senator Paul Douglas’ personal library and the Raeburn Flerlage book collection.
  • The Neighborhood History Collection includes material of interest to social historians, sociologists, and anyone interested in Chicago’s past. Some highlights are records from the CSC Oral History Project records, The Book Circle (a reading group), and the Illinois Commission on the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.


R. Eugene Pincham and Alzata C. Pincham Collection

A developing site showcasing papers and art from the Hon. R. Eugene Pincham and Alzata C. Pincham collections features short biographical statements, histories, and a display of art.

The collection at the library can be viewed on the third and fourth floors beginning June 23, 2011.


Guide to Special Collections at Chicago State University (PDF)

  1. The Book Circle Records
  2. Cook County Normal School 1867-1896
  3. Chicago Normal School 1896-1913
  4. Chicago Normal College 1913-1938
  5. CSC oral history research program
  6. Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC)
  7. Illinois Commission on the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education [related site]
  8. Guide to the Thomas H. Wirth Collection (PDF)
  9. Phi Delta Kappa, (ϕΔϰ), Records