Main Library display

Follow us on social media All week long—and in honor of his birthday on April 11—#OakPark‘s Special Collections team is sharing information via displays in the library and on the library’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) about this great American research chemist and pioneer. Visiting the library? Be sure to check out onsite … Read more

Hemingway in Oak Park: New Ken Burns film shows photos from your library

Hemingway, the new three-part documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, premieres on WTTW and PBS on April 5-7.  See the WTTW schedule » And if you watch the film, you’ll see some archival images from your library, showing a young Ernest growing up in Oak Park. Our Manager and Curator of Special Collections Leigh Tarullo started … Read more

Conserving a piece of the past

Conservation Center crafts a new frame for the library's Scoville Window

Special Collections curates, houses, and conserves Oak Park’s historical treasures, and makes them publicly available both in person and digitally. In 2018 we worked with the Conservation Center in Chicago to conserve a work of art of special significance to the library—a rare window from the Scoville Institute, the late 19th-century building that once stood … Read more

Bringing local history into the 21st century

Lake Street Under Snow, 1894

To better preserve and provide access to Oak Park’s history and local content, in 2017 we made some updates to our Special Collections. “I feel I’m carrying on a tradition started by the earliest librarians here, who knew they needed to focus on and collect these artifacts and stories for the community,” said Leigh Tarullo, … Read more

Design like Frank

Unity Temple Minecraft

In our MinecraftEdu World Have kids who love Minecraft? Opportunities are coming up in August for them to get inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright while playing with friends! In our Frank Lloyd Wright MinecraftEdu World program held in the Main Library Idea Box, players will learn about Wright and create their own … Read more

Oak Park items now live on DPLA

Ernest and Marcelline Hemingway, 1918

Hundreds of items from the Oak Park Public Library and community partner The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park are now live at the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) as part of the Illinois Digital Heritage Hub. The DPLA serves as a portal for students, teachers, scholars, and the public to search through millions … Read more

A closer look at Wright’s legacy

Closer Look FLW

A tour group with the Elmhurst History Museum dropped by the library’s Special Collections last week to get a closer look at original architectural drawings from Frank Lloyd Wright’s first published work, the 1910 Wasmuth Portfolio. Oak Park’s Unity Temple, the Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, and the Winslow House in River Forest are just three of the National Historic … Read more

Opening access to more Oak Park treasures

Madison Street, 1903

Genealogists and local history buffs, take note: more photographic treasures telling Oak Park’s local story from the Civil War and beyond will soon be available online, thanks to a grant the library received in October. On the heels of successfully completing its Hacking Hemingway: Cracking the Code to the Vault digital imaging grant, the library … Read more

Welcoming home local Civil War vets

Leigh Tarullo and Grand Army of the Republic Collections

Last week, we welcomed home two of the oldest items in the library: a pair of Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) volumes containing around 100 photographs and a wealth of information about local veterans who fought in the Civil War. “They’re a great time capsule of veterans from this time period,” said Leigh Tarullo, Curator … Read more

How we spent our Hemingway summer

How we spent our Hemingway summer

It would have been Ernest Hemingway’s 117th birthday this July. The anniversary did not go unmarked here in Hemingway’s hometown. To skim the surface: In July, the library’s Special Collections team participated in a conference of international Hemingway Society scholars who came to Oak Park. A gala was held at the Main Library to support the home, now a museum, where Hemingway … Read more