Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chicago's Libraries, A Postcard Montage

My favorite "linen era" library postcard (shown above) was produced by the Curt Teich Company and depicts four Chicago libraries. The Curt Teich Company of Chicago was founded in 1898 and ceased producing postcards in 1978. This postcard was first published in 1937 and was mailed in 1942. The four libraries on the postcard are the Chicago Public Library, the Newberry Library, the John Crerar Library, and the Harper Memorial Library of the University of Chicago. The postcard is addressed to Miss Betty Frances Bryant and the message on the card reads: "How would you like to work in one of these? There is a chance. Dad". The Chicago Public Library building on the postcard is now the home of the Chicago Cultural Center. The Newberry Library continues to occupy the same building that is depicted on the postcard. That is also true for the Harper Memorial Library. The John Crerar Library is now affiliated with the University of Chicago and occupies a building on the university campus. The John Crerar Library occupied the multistory building on the postcard, located on Randolph Street, from 1921 until 1962. The building was demolished in 1981. The American Library Association was located for a period in both the Chicago Public Library building and the John Crerar Library building (see my digital history of ALA). The Chicago Cultural Center, the Newberry Library, and the Harper Memorial Library are all worth a visit if you have time while attending the American Library Association conference in Chicago in June.

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