Chicago History Museum Images offers a convenient way to search, license, purchase, and download thousands of historic images of the Chicago History Museum’s vast and unique collection from the comfort of your home or office. Explore topics like celebrated sports teams, everyday people and street scenes, classic architecture, historic events, fashion and style, and more. Save images to a lightbox (an artificial set of images) and share the lightbox with a colleague or clients for easy collaboration. Add images to your cart and select from a wide range of licenses suitable for any project. From decorating your home or office to researching images for your next publication, CHM Images can serve unique content for your next project.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Only a fraction of CHM’s collection is represented on this site. Email the Rights and Reproductions staff (rightsrepro@chicagohistory.org) to inquire about other images that may be available for your project or complete and email the Reproductions Request Form to request specific materials. New images will be added to the site regularly, so continue to check back for additional content!

You can also visit CHM's Research Center in person or hire a freelance researcher to view original printed material, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, architectural drawings and records, and assorted ephemera.


Proceeds support the Chicago History Museum, helping us fulfill our mission of sharing Chicago’s stories.

The cost to download an image from this site is determined by your planned use and/or the copyright status of the image. For images that have no known copyright restrictions, a flat fee of $50 for the digital file is applied and you are free to use and re-use the image. For images that are still under copyright protection, the fee is determined by the license you select during the checkout process.

Download the complete fee schedule here. For questions or concerns about pricing, or to request a quote, please contact our Rights and Reproductions staff at rightsrepro@chicagohistory.org.


Chicago History Museum boasts a unique and diverse collection showcasing Chicago and American history, including a world-renowned collection of costume and textiles. For high-quality prints and gifts featuring premium images from CHM’s collection, please browse our online PhotoStore.

If you’re interested in licensing images or designs from CHM’s collection to create merchandise, please contact our Rights and Reproductions staff at rightsrepro@chicagohistory.org.


CHM’s Rights and Reproductions staff also handles requests for reproductions of sound recordings and moving image from the collection. For more information, please visit our FAQ.

If you are interested in digital reproductions of oversized architectural plans and drawings or reproductions of audiovisual materials (sound recordings, film, and video), please visit our dedicated FAQs here.

Requests for black-and-white paper photocopies of materials from our Prints and Photographs, Archives and Manuscripts, Architecture, and Library collections for personal or research use are handled by our Abakanowicz Research Center staff. Please visit the Abakanowicz Research Center’s page for more information, or email research@chicagohistory.org.


Founded in 1856 and incorporated as a non-profit organization under the laws of the state of Illinois in 1857, the Chicago Historical Society (CHS) is the city’s oldest cultural institution and home to millions of historical objects, images, and documents. Nationally recognized for its holdings, CHS is devoted to collecting, interpreting, and presenting the rich multicultural history of Chicago, as well as selected areas of American history. In 2006, following an extensive building renovation and rebranding initiative, CHS created a new public identity for itself as the Chicago History Museum (CHM), which operates as the building and institutional public presence under the auspices and legal oversight of CHS. Visit Chicago History Museum’s website for more information.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Visit our Help page for FAQs or email the Rights and Reproductions staff at rightsrepro@chicagohistory.org.


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