Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark Street
312-642-4600

Mission Statement
The Chicago History Museum is a privately endowned, independent instiation devoted to collecting, interpreting and presenting the rich multicultural history of Chicago and Illiois, as well as selected areas of American history to the public through exhibitions, programs, research collections and publications.

The Chicago Historical Society collects, exhibits, and interprets documents, images, and artifacts related to the history of the United States and metropolitan Chicago.

Its mission is:

To expand audiences for history
To be a leader in history education
To be a premier research institution

We recognize the contribution that historical understanding can make to American democracy and to contemporary life.

We recognize the contributions of all Chicagoans to the history of the city.

We respect the unique viewpoints, beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences that our visitors bring to the process of making meaning of the past.

We value the relationship we have with our diverse publics and respect the importance of forging and maintaining partnerships to help advance our mission.

We value truth-seeking through civil discourse and historical inquiry.

We value openness, honesty, and integrity in our professional relationships and respect our colleagues' unique perspectives, talents, and abilities.

We value excellence and strive to meet the highest professional standards in everything we do.


Upcoming Events at Chicago History Museum

Recent News

'Lincoln's Undying Words' Exhibition Opens at the Chicago History Museum

Chicago, IL -- What does your candidate stand for? This election year, revisit Abraham Lincoln’s legacy and discover how his evolving views on slavery transformed America in “Lincoln’s Undying Words,” opening Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Ch…

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Chicago History Museum’s Annual Chicago Hot Dog Fest Expands for Third Year

Relish in Even More Food, Music & Hot Dog HistoryChicago, IL - Let your taste buds run wild at the Chicago History Museum’s third annual Chicago Hot Dog Fest that sprawls out this August to include a full lineup of bands, hot dog history speake…

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Celebrate Two Grand Openings and Film Premier at Chicago History Museum’s Fourth of July Celebration

Family-friendly activities, face painting, crafts, speeches and more on Museum’s plaza Chicago, IL - Paint the town red, white and blue at the Chicago History Museum’s 56th Annual Fourth of July Celebration and witness the launch of the newly ren…

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Exhibition Chronicling Disabilities Rights Movement Opens at Chicago History Museum

Museum launches first descriptive audio tour for visitors who have low-vision or are blindChicago, IL - Access for All: Tom Olin's Photographs of the Disability Rights Movement opens at the Chicago History Museum on Saturday, June 6, 2015, in honor o…

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Vienna Beef To Be Lead Sponsor Of 2015 Chicago Hot Dog Fest

he Chicago History Museum expands its annual event to three daysChicago, IL -- Nothing says ‘Chicago hot dog’ like Vienna Beef. The Chicago History Museum is pleased to announce Vienna Beef as the official lead sponsor for the 2015 Chicago Hot Do…

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Exhibition - Vivian Maier's Chicago

See Chicago through the eyes of Vivian Maier and witness the life work of a photographer who wowed the world with breathtaking images of everyday life in urban America. Maier’s Chicago collection will be presented at larger than life scale vividl…

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Links to Chicago’s Past Emerge with The Secret Lives of Objects

New exhibition at the Chicago History Museum uncovers hints to objects’ mysterious roles in historyChicago, IL - What spark led to the deadliest fire in Chicago history? How did a pair of eyeglasses crack the case of one of the city’s most notori…

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The Chicago History Museum Announces Presidents’ Day Celebration Highlights

Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum will celebrate Presidents’ Day with live music, crafts, storytelling, and appearances by First Lady Mary Todd and President Abe Lincoln.Like Independence Day, Presidents’ Day is traditionally viewed as a t…

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Chicago History Museum Awarded The Knot Best of Weddings 2015

Museum honored fifth consecutive yearChicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum has been selected as a 2015 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, rated by local brides and grooms as one of the best wedding venues in Chicago. This is the fifth consecutiv…

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Remembering Lincoln’s ‘Undying Words’

Lincoln Presidential Library, Chicago History Museum join forces for exhibition on Lincoln’s greatest yearsSPRINGFIELD – Abraham Lincoln uttered some of the most famous words in history. He spoke out against slavery, urged his countrymen to rejec…

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The Last Speakeasy: On the Eve of Repeal

Celebrate the 81st Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition Chicago, IL - Discover history and mixology while rubbing elbows with flappers and dodging coppers at the Chicago History Museum’s Prohibition-themed event, The Last Speakeasy: On the Eve…

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Chicago Styled: Fashioning the Magnificent Mile

OPENS AT THE CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM ON NOVEMBER 15, 2014CHICAGO, IL - The Chicago History Museum explores the development of North Michigan Avenue into one of the country’s most recognized and celebrated destinations for upscale fashion in the exhi…

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Exhibition - The 1968

Chicago, IL - The year 1968 was a tumultuous, culture–shifting moment in American history. As Baby Boomers came of age and the violent conflict in Vietnam raged on, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Apollo 8 orbited the moon, and Chicago…

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Chicago History Museum Dedicates Member Dues To School Outreach, Field Trips

Funds will benefit Chicagoland students who visit the MuseumChicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum announces that its annual membership dues will be dedicated to funding school outreach and field trip programs, continuing the Museum’s mission of …

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Chicago History Museum 2nd Annual Chicago Hot Dog Fest

Museum invites the city to celebrate America’s greatest culinary traditionChicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum expands its annual Hot Dog Fest this August into a two day event celebrating Chicago’s favorite food: the hot dog. The event, spons…

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Chicago History Museum set to Receive $750,000 in State Capital Investment

One of 47 Illinois museums to receive grants for improving facilities, developing exhibitsChicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum will receive a $750,000 investment to improve its facilities and develop new exhibits, as one of 47 Illinois museums an…

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Chicago History Museum Exhibition Awarded by Costume Society of America

Inspiring Beauty selected as Richard Martin Exhibition Award winnerCHICAGO – The Chicago History Museum has been awarded the Richard Martin Exhibition Award from the Costume Society of America for the exhibition Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony …

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Chicago History Museum Awarded Best Historic Venue for 2013

Museum honored as Reader’s Choice winner by Illinois Meetings and Events Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum has been selected as a 2013 Reader’s Choice winner by Illinois Meetings and Events Magazine, voted by readers as Best Historic Venu…

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Spring Tour Blitz: 34 City Tours in 24 Hours

Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum is taking over the city this spring with a tour blitz called ChicaGO24, featuring 34 city tours in 24 hours. ChicaGO24 starts Saturday, May 3 at noon with walking tours, bike tours, bus tours, pub crawls, and …

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Lesbianography: Lesbians and Sex - Lesbian Identity, Sexuality Explored in Chicago History Museum’s LGBT Program Series Out at CHM

Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum will conclude its eleventh season of the LGBT program series Out at CHM with Lesbianography: Lesbians and Sex. Scholars Juana María Rodríguez of UC Berkeley and LaMonda Horton-Stallings of IU Bloomington wil…

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Chicago History Museum Introduces Spring Our Blitz

Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum is taking over the city this spring with a tour blitz called ChicaGO24, featuring 34 tours in 24 hours. ChicaGO24 starts Saturday, May 3 at noon with walking tours, bike tours, bus tours, pub crawls, and more …

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Out at CHM: Dangerously Explicit

Chicago History Museum’s LGBT program series Continues with Painting the Gay Male Experience Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum’s program series exploring LGBT continues its eleventh season with Dangerously Explicit: Painting the Gay Male …

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Exhibition - Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography

Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum and Center for Railroad Photography and Art present Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography, an exhibition revealing the humanity, heroism, and diversity of the Chicago railroad community whose work…

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Chicago History Museum Sees Significant Attendance Increase for 2013

Over 250,000 visited the Museum for exhibitions, public programs, events, and more Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum welcomed over 250,000 total on-site visitors in 2013, signifying a 13% increase in attendance from 2012. The Museum also saw …

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20th Annual Making History Awards

2014 awards mark two decades of honoring influential Chicagoans and Chicago Companies Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Making History Awards and to announce the distinguished community leader…

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Chicago History Museum Awarded The Knot Best of Weddings 2014

Museum honored fourth consecutive year, inducted into The Knot Hall of Fame Chicago, IL -- The Chicago History Museum has been selected as a 2014 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, rated by local brides and grooms as one of the best wedding venues…

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Unexpected Chicago: 1964 Check for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speaking Fee on Exhibit at Chicago History Museum

Dr. King spoke at historic Soldier Field civil rights rallyChicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum is displaying a check written to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in payment for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic 1964 speech at So…

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Chicago Authors the Winning Topic for Crowdsourced Exhibition Tournament

Future exhibition at the Chicago History Museum decided by Chicagoans Chicago, IL - The results are in for the Chicago History Bowl, a bracket-style tournament to determine a future exhibition at the Chicago History Museum. After inviting Chicagoans…

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Ebony Fashion Fair Exhibit And Vivian Maier Exhibit Extended Into 2014

Chicago, IL -- Due to popular demand, the Chicago History Museum has extended two of its exhibitions: Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair and Vivian Maier’s Chicago. Those who have not yet seen the couture fashion of Inspiring Beauty o…

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Final Voting Round For A Future Exhibition At The Chicago History Museum

Enter for a chance to win a weekend for two at the Palmer House Hilton Chicago, IL -- The Chicago History Museum invited Chicagoans to submit their ideas for a future exhibition at the Museum; now it’s time to vote in the last round and decide whi…

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2013 FashioNext Competition Finale At The Chicago History Museum

Local teens compete in fifth annual fashion design challenge “Project Runway” style design competition for the chance to be exhibited at the Museum Chicago, IL -- Fashion lovers celebrate Chicago chic at the finale of the Chicago History Museumâ…

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Chicago History Museum’s New Online Photo Store

Enjoy 10% off prints, gifts, souvenirs on Cyber Monday CHICAGO, IL---Take Chicago history home for the holidays with the Chicago History Museum’s new online Photo Store, open just in time for Cyber Monday. The Photo Store presents images selected …

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Vote for a Future Exhibition At the Chicago History Museum

Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum invited Chicagoans to submit their ideas for a future exhibition at the Museum and vote on the top 16; now it’s time to vote on the 8 semi-final ideas in the Chicago History Bowl. From November 25th to Decem…

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The Last Speakeasy: On the Eve of Repeal

Celebrate the 80th anniversary of the repeal of ProhibitionChicago, IL - Defy the enforcers of the 18th Amendment one last time with The Last Speakeasy, the Chicago History Museum’s celebration on the night before the 80th anniversary of the repeal…

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First Ever Crowdsourced Exhibition At The Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Bowl voting process begins Which of the top 16 ideas submitted by Chicagoans should be a future exhibition? Chicago, IL -- The Chicago History Museum invited Chicagoans to submit their ideas for a future exhibition at the Museum,…

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Crowdsourced Exhibition Announced by Chicago History Museum

What Chicago story should the Chicago History Museum tell?Chicago, IL – The Chicago History Museum, partnering with NBC 5 Chicago, invite Chicagoans to submit their ideas and vote for which Chicago story they would like to be presented as a fut…

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Chicago History Museum Celebrates Halloween With An Evening Of Chicago Ghost Stories And Craft Cocktails

Chicago, IL -- Resurrect Chicago’s haunted past at the Chicago History Museum with Boo: A Halloween Ball, presented by Haberdash men’s shop. The Museum hosts an upscale evening affair of music, dancing, and cocktails, featuring Chicago's …

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142nd Anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire at the Chicago History Museum

Chicago, IL - The Chicago History Museum will commemorate the 142nd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire with a day of remembrance and fire safety awareness. Representatives from the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) and the Major League Soccer Chicago …

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Chicago History Museum Presents Nisei Congressional Gold Medal Exhibition

Chicago welcomes the Nation’s highest civilian honor awarded to Japanese American World War II Veterans CHICAGO---The Chicago History Museum will take part in a seven city national tour of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded in 2011 to Ja…

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Unexpected Chicago: Courtroom Drawing Of Witness From Emmett Till Trial Willie Reed Illustrated As He Testified

A spark that helped ignite the Civil Rights Movement came in the form of the 1955 murder trial for Emmett Till, a Chicago teen who had whistled at a white woman in Mississippi. A courtroom drawing of a surprise witness to the Till murder trial, Willi…

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SIAM: The Queen and the White City - Exhibition

CHICAGO, IL---he Chicago History Museum presents SIAM: The Queen and the White City, an exhibition which celebrates the grand introduction of Siam (modern Thailand) on the world’s stage at Chicago’s 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. SIAM…

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Chicago Hot Dog Fest

Celebrate America’s greatest culinary tradition  Chicago, IL – Whether it is the sauerkraut topped New York dog, the chili and cheese smothered “Cheese Coney" Cincinnati dog or the array of toppings loaded on the iconic Chicago…

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Unexpected Chicago: 1933 Inaugural All Star Game baseball

The Game of the Century’s baseball signed by Babe RuthChicago, IL -- In 1933, Comiskey Park hosted perhaps the greatest assemblage of baseball talent ever seen for the inaugural All Star Game, commemorated by the first pitch baseball thrown by …

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Red Squad Symposium

CHICAGO, IL---Between 1920 and 1960, Chicago’s Police Surveillance Unit gathered information on more than 14,000 organizations and over 258,000 individuals, storing the discoveries in its secret Red Squad records. In light of the recent changin…

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Celebrate May with Mah Jongg

Explore and play the tile-based game of strategy and luck! CHICAGO, IL---Celebrate May with Mah Jongg at the Chicago History Museum, the game of strategy and chance with cross-cultural popularity, from its beginnings in Ancient China to the Jewi…

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Family Trolley Tours

Urban exploration tours for kids and familiesChicago, IL - Take the kids out for some family-friendly urban exploration this spring with the Chicago History Museum’s new Family Trolley Tours. Discover the city’s underground tunnels, check…

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Unexpected Chicago: Michael 'Hinky Dink' Kenna’s Gold Star

A solid gold, diamond-studded star badge belonging to one of Chicago’s most corrupt 20th century aldermen is now on display at the Chicago History Museum. Alderman Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna’s prized possession will be on disp…

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Celebrate Chicago’s 176th Birthday! At The Chicago History Museum

Chicago’s Official Birthday Party Features Jazz Music, American Indian Drumming, an Essay Contest—and Eli’s Cheesecake Chicago - Chicago’s had issues with fire in the past—so the city’s birthday cake won&rsquo…

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Ebony Fashion Exhibition Opens March 2013

The Chicago History Museum presents Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair a story of vision, innovation and power told through the history of Eunice Johnson, Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Company, and the prism of iconic fashion from …

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Presidents’ Day Celebration

Honor the lives and accomplishments of America’s presidents through performances, hand-on art activities, and more this Presidents’ Day. Schedule:10:00 am - 3:00 pm: Presidential Portraits and More! - Crown Room, first floorCrafts for kid…

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Chicago History Museum February Free Resident Days

CHICAGO, IL---The Chicago History Museum offers Illinois Residents free admission from February 4 through February 28, 2013. Free days provide the chance for Illinois residents to experience exhibitions and public events that present Chicago history …

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Chicago History Museum Celebrates The 10th Anniversary Of Out At CHM

The Chicago History Museum celebrates the 10th anniversary of Out at CHM, the program series dedicated to exploring Chicago through the lens of gender, sexuality and nonconformity, with Fifty Shades of the Blues: Song, Soul and Sexuality. The night w…

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New Voices: Festival of Jewish Plays 2013

Schedule:Saturday, February 9, 2013:7:30 pm: Susan Lieberman: White Gloves - Directed by Robin WittSet in Chicago's Maxwell Street neighborhood in the 1920s and 30s, White Gloves tells the story of Fanny Wexler, a Jewish immigrant who struggles to re…

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day: The Power of Words

In August of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The Chicago History Museum will mark the 50th anniversary of this historic moment and commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. King. This family-friendl…

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Chicago Maritime Festival 2013

Schedule:10:00 am - 4:30 pm: Daytime activities -  $14 general admission, free for ages 12 and underDiscover Chicago’s diverse maritime community and heritage. A full lineup of seminars, demonstrations, exhibits, and workshops explore a ra…

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Unexpected Chicago: U.S. Seal to the Emancipation

CHICAGO, IL---Starting January 3, 2013 the Chicago History Museum will celebrate 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by showcasing a handwritten order issued by President Abraham Lincoln On January 1, 1863, directing the Secretary of S…

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Cocktails and Capone

Celebrate the end of an infamous Chicago era CHICAGO -  the Chicago History Museum (CHM) will celebrate the 79th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with Cocktails and Capone. The night will feature Al Capone’s great niece, Deirdre Cap…

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Unexpected Chicago: Telegram For General Grant Election Results Via Telegram

Chicago, IL - Next week, President Obama and Governor Romney will receive the latest poll results via, TV, text messaging, e-mail, phone, maybe even fax. Once upon a time, however, news traveled only by one of only a few methods. Imagine receiving el…

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Chicago History Museum News: Haunted Chicago

Celebrate one of the most haunted cities in the worldChicago, IL -- Chicago boasts a colorful past filled with eerie events that range from the truly chilling to the light-of-heart. In celebration of Halloween, the Chicago History Museum will host ce…

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Shalom Chicago Exhibition

The history of Jewish Chicago told through personal stories The Chicago History Museum presents Shalom Chicago, an exhibition exploring Chicago's diverse Jewish community from the 1840s to today. Using personal stories, over 300 artifacts, and…

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Vivian Maier's Chicago - Take a walk with Vivian on September 8, 2012

On Saturday, September 8, the Chicago History Museum will bring to life Chicago as seen by photographer Vivian Maier. For the first time Maier's Chicago work will be presented at larger-than-life scale, vividly documenting Chicago places and faces in…

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Historic Fashion Goes Digital - Versace, Dior, Balenciaga and More

Digital Fashion CollectionWorld’s Second Largest Fashion Collection Goes DigitalChicago, IL -- The Chicago History Museum announces the launch of the online Digital Collection which currently features 1,382 digital images representing nearly 400 co…

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Photos