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                                      ADVICE: HOW-TO...
           Do Research and What to Expect from a Trip to GREAT LAKES NATIONAL ARCHIVES
                                    Cook County, Illinois


Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb (from Cook-Co-L mail-list)
        with permission from original submitter
        by Cook County ILGenWeb Coordinator(s), Jan 2001

(multiple items in this submission)

Tips on Going to the GREAT LAKES NATIONAL ARCHIVES in Chicago for Genealogy Research

Carol Ann Kyrias writes:

 The address is 7358 S Pulaski, Chicago IL  60629-5898.

 You can get more information from  However, I go to the Archives
 frequently and the website description of how to get there is completely incorrect.

 Although the address is on Pulaski, the actual entrance is on 73rd St [NOT 75th].
 (There's a light at 73rd and Pulaski, turn west, and then turn right into the third
 driveway.  It comes up pretty fast and the sign, though large, is not obvious.
 If you miss it, you'll end up in a parking lot for Daley College.  Just turn around
 and look for the single-story, low-slung, circular building on the north side of
 the street.)

 Wonder of wonders, they have free on-site parking and a security guard in the
 evening. The building is wheelchair and mobility-impaired accessible.

 Although the hours are listed as 8:00am to 4:15pm Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, and
 Tue 8:00am to 8:30pm, the microfilm reading room, which is where all the census
 films are located, actually opens at 6:30am, there just aren't any staff to assist
 you.  So if you have an idea of how to locate the reel you want, you can get in a
 good chunk of extra research time.  (The drawers are well-labeled and I think it's
 pretty obvious.)  By the way, the staff try really hard to push everyone out the
 door 15 minutes in advance of the posted closing time.

 As far as getting help, some of the staff are excellent, others are a waste of
 taxpayers' money.  There are also some volunteers who will go out of their way,
 interrupting their own work, to help you whether you're an experienced reseacher
 or a newbie.

 In addition to the entire collection of Federal census films and the Soundex-
 Miracode films for 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, they also have some bound indexes for
 earlier years, films of Chicago city directories for about four years, and some
 of the standard genealogical resources.  Most of these other materials are just
 for Illinois and surrounding states.  They also have a printed guide to the formal
 collection which might help you organize your work there. (It does NOT include
 indexes, atlases and the like.)

 The Archives staff prefer that you make an appointment in advance for morning,
 afternoon, or evening.  But it's really not mandatory during the day -- unless
 you're going to be there on the day after Thanksgiving when everybody else has the
 day off too!  (Yeah, I did that -- duh.)

 There's a small employee "lunchroom" that they allow researchers to use for "brown
 bag" purposes.  It has a soda machine and a snack machine, but don't count on either
 of these being full.

 phone: 773-581-7816.


 Hope you have a very successful trip.

(MANY thanks to Carol Ann Kyrias for providing this info)

Mary writes:

 I found that if driving south on Pulaski and you are approaching the hill you should
 be in the right hand lane and at bottom of hill at the light turn right and look for
 a sign on right that is parking lot.  Just a good marker for getting in the right
 lane and place to turn.

 You didn't mention that they also have a 15 minute orientation video.  For newbies,
 it's well worth the 15 minutes!

(MANY thanks to Mary for providing this info)

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This PAGE was last updated: 30 Apr 2001 by the Cook County ILGenWeb County Coordinators.