Special Collections

Special Collections is open during Main Library hours by appointment only. To coordinate a date and time for your visit, please use the “Ask a question, schedule a visit” button below.

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Special Collections curates specific cultural and heritage collections that reflect enduring legacies of Oak Park. Digital items are available through the Illinois Digital Archives. The team collaborates with community partners to make historic collections accessible. See ArchivesSpace for inventories »

Looking for access to Frank Lloyd Wright photograph collections? Email Kathleen Spale, Manager and Curator of Special Collections, at kathleens@oppl.org »

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Collections (sorted alphabetically)

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Ernest Hemingway

Frank Lloyd Wright

Grand Army of the Republic

Legends of Our Time Collection

Local Authors

The Local Authors Collection contains original works and related ephemera from authors and cultural figures from Oak Park.

Open Housing Movement Collection

  • The Oak Park Open Housing Collection: contains print and audiovisual materials from 1971-2000 related to the movement for racially-integrated housing in Oak Park, with the bulk of the materials concerning the Oak Park Housing Center (OPHC). As a result of this movement, Oak Park became a national leader in being a free, open, and inclusive community.

Philander Barclay Photograph Collection

Scoville Institute & Oak Park Public Library Collection

  • The Scoville Institute was the precursor to the Oak Park Public Library. The collection includes rare books from the Scoville Institute, interior and exterior photographs and negatives of library buildings, and early correspondence and artifacts.

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