Evanston History Resources

Evanston foundingResources in the Library

Evanston Review has been Evanston’s weekly newspaper since 1925. The library holds print copies (Jun 1925 to Dec 1974; Jul 1988 to present) and microfilm (Jun 1925 to Oct 1968; Sep 1970 to present).


Evanstoniana Room is located on the 2nd floor of the downtown Evanston Public Library. This room contains many historical materials, including but not limited to:

  • City Directories, dating back to 1879
  • City Annual Reports
  • ETHS High Yearbooks, Evanstonian, & Directories (digitalized example, Directory 1907)
  • This Is Evanston: A Guide to History, Government, Education, and Community Services (digitalized example, 1955)
  • Historic Real Estate Maps

Contact the reference department at 847-448-8630 for room access availability.


Evanston’s Early Days

Evanston: Its Land and Its People by Viola Crouch Reeling: This digitalized book covers the history of Evanston from the city’s founding through 1900.


Evanston’s Black Community

Shorefront Legacy Center focuses on Black History and communities of Evanston and the North Shore. Located at 2214 Ridge Avenue, it holds over 250 linear feet of archival materials open for public use. The website also includes a variety of resources, including oral histories.

Unforgettable: Memories of the Emerson Street Branch YMCA, Parts 1 & 2. Produced by the McGaw YMCA and filmmaker Susan Hope Engel, this film honors the unforgettable legacy of the Emerson Street Branch YMCA, an anchor for the social and civic life of Evanston’s Black community between 1909 and 1969.


Women in Evanston

Evanston Women’s History Project is an ongoing initiative to document significant women in Evanston’s past and present.

Frances Willard House Museum and Archives holds historic collections on Frances Willard, women’s history, temperance, social reform, and social/political movements. The museum is located at 1730 Chicago Avenue.


Additional Resources

Facts, Figures & Demographics

Local History Centers

Public Art in Evanston Interactive Map  &  WPA Art in Evanston

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