General FAQs


Q: The image I want looks dull, scratched, or old. Could you retouch the images that I request?

A: All items from our collections are digitized to represent the original object "as is". Archival prints and photographic materials may reveal scratches, abrasions, and other evidence of the age and condition of the original object. The Chicago History Museum does not provide custom photo editing or image enhancements.

Q: How do I purchase photographic prints, souvenirs, or other custom gifts featuring a CHM image?

A: A selection of our images can be ordered as photographic prints or custom gifts directly through our Photostore: These images have been carefully curated from our collections of museum objects, archives, and published materials. If the image you want cannot be found on our Photostore, please contact us at to place a custom order. Products are printed and shipped by an external vendor.

Q: What is the file size or resolution of the digital image I request?

A: Through our web-ordering system, you may select the following sizes for each requested image: Hi-Res (Best Existing), Standard Print Quality (appx. 3000-4000 pixels), Research Quality (2400 pixels), Web Quality (1500 pixels), or Presentation Quality (1024 pixels). Most images available for immediate download will print at 300ppi. If you are not sure of the file size you need, select Hi-Res (Best Existing) to receive the best existing file the museum has to offer.

Q: What if I need a different file size than what is offered on your site?

A: We may be able to provide a larger size image at your request. Requests for production of new digital files may be subject to digital file fees assigned per image in addition to any use fees that may apply for rights-managed images. Super Hi-Res (10000 pixels) digital files may not be available for all requested images. Production of new digital files may be subject to rush fees or other handling fees. Rush services are not available for all orders.

Q: I already have the image I'd like to use. How do I request permission only?

A: Please complete a Reproduction Request Form, also available on our About Us page, and indicate that you are seeking permissions only. You will be asked to supply the Image ID for reference or the name of collection, folder or box number, accession number, or other identifying information.

Q: What if I would like to use the images for an educational purpose?

A: Images can be added to a set of Favorites and exported to a slide presentation for individual educational uses. Rights-managed images will be granted a one time-time license for use in any of the following instances:

Research, Reference, or Education - Use for personal research, reference, or education only. Excludes commercial use. No reproduction of image allowed.

Essay, Thesis, or Dissertation - Use in a long essay or dissertation involving personal research, written by a candidate for a college degree. Excludes commercial use of image.

Presentation/Projected Display - Use in a presentation, activity, or display intended for an audience. Excludes commercial use of image.

Images that have "No Known Copyright Restrictions" can be used for any of the educational purposes listed above without any subsequent restrictions.

Q: What forms of payment do you accept?

A: We accept all major credit cards through our web-ordering system. If you would like to arrange for payment by cash, check, or wire transfer, please contact us at Your order cannot be fulfilled until payment has been received.

Q: How can I view other images from the collections of the Chicago History Museum?

A: A portion of our prints and photographic materials has been digitized and can be searched by topic in our online catalog ARCHIE. Images that can be found in Archie include those from the architectural photography firm Hedrich-Blessing and the Chicago Daily News images from 1902-1933. If you would like to view highlights from the collection of museum objects and a portion of other collection images, you may search our Collections Online. Many of collections have not been digitized, so you may plan an in-person visit to the Research Center.

Q: Does this site support all browsers?

A: Yes the site supports all major browsers, although due to continuing browser development, there may be rare occasions where some functionality may be affected for a brief time while we test and release changes. Should you encounter problems then please contact us at


Your download will start shortly, please do not navigate away from this page until the download prompt has appeared. Doing so may cause your download to be interrupted.