Answered By: Rebecca Sedam
Last Updated: Nov 18, 2016     Views: 19

First, be sure to take a thorough look at the Oakton Library's Chicago Region research guide. It has sections dealing with background information, articles, books, and history resources.

Please note that most of the material (population schedules) from the 1890 United States Census was destroyed by a Commerce Department fire in 1921 (see 'Why can't I find 1890 census records?").  It was an unfortunate loss of valuable information that still plagues researchers today.

You can find information on this topic in Chicago: a biography by Dominic A. Pacyga. Click on the title above to find information about location and availability.

Due to the nature of this topic, you should be prepared to gather information from sources that may only focus on one or two specific groups.  If you search for the word "immigration" in the highly-regarded Encyclopedia of Chicago, you will find a long list of informative and signed entries, each targeting a different nationality.

Remember to take a look at the history of immigration in the United States as a whole.  Just because a book or article does not specifically mention Chicago in its title does not mean it won't provide valuable context for your time period and region. Try an Oakton Library catalog subject search for the phrase Immigrants United States History.

This will, hopefully, get you started.  Check back with us if you need more help.

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