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  March 1, 2005


THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHICAGO
review by Ed Vincent

The work on the phenomenal project is a must for anyone
who wants to know it all about the most interesting city
on the Great Lakes - Chicago.  This effort took a decade or
so and is put together with the labor of Prometheus.  If you
want to know about the "windy city", you will want this
volume of research in your own library at home.  There are
demographics as to who and where readers of the 'Chicago
Defender' live throughout the United States, burial grounds
of the Native Americans in the region (even the Patowatomi
in Forest Park), and detailed history of the surrounding
towns and events of note.

The work is far reaching and wonderful, a real treat for
anyone wanting to know more about the grand history and
story of Chicago and the people who made her great.

The greater metropolitan area is also examined and reported
on, the towns, their history, the trade routes, the rivers,
all in one book.

editors note:

The Book Table in Oak Park is selling this wonderful book
for 30% at the time of this story.  March 1, 2005 they had
the book in stock for $45.50, a very good price.

The Book Table
1045 Lake St. Oak Park, IL
708.386.9800






THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHICAGO
Publication date: October 7, 2004
UK publication date: November 9, 2004

More than a decade in the making, The Encyclopedia of Chicago is the long-awaited reference on metropolitan Chicago. Developed by the Newberry Library with the cooperation of the Chicago Historical Society, The Encyclopedia of Chicago brings together hundreds of historians, journalists, and experts to explore all aspects of the rich world of Chicagoland, from its geological prehistory to the present.



Featuring more than 1,400 entries in its A-Z section, hundreds of thematic maps and illustrations, a dictionary of Chicago businesses, a biographical dictionary, a timeline, and color photo essays, the Encyclopedia is a major intellectual, cultural, and civic monument to Chicago and its environs.
With the widest geographical reach of any city encyclopedia of its kind—encompassing eight of the region’s counties, including suburbs—
the Encyclopedia covers the hill range of Chicago’s neighborhoods,
delving into everything from ethnic groups to cultural institutions to transportation to sports.



The Encyclopedia of Chicago is one of the most significant historical projects undertaken in the last twenty years, and it has everything in it
to engage the most curious historian as well as settle the most boisterous barroom argument. If you have always wondered how the Chicago Fire spread, if you have ever marveled at the Sears Tower or the reversal of the Chicago River, if you have affection, admiration, and appreciation for this City of the Big Shoulders, this Wild Onion, this Urbs in Horto, then The Encyclopedia of Chicago is for you.



$65.00 • £45.50 ISBN: 0-226-31015-9



Ten fun facts about Chicago

Some of the first postcards ever printed in the nation were printed in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition.

In 1861, under Wilbur E Storey, the motto of The Chicago Times was “to print the news and raise hell".

During the Civil War, Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Chicago-based Pinkerton Detective

Agency, also worked as an intelligence chief (although not a particularly accurate one) for George McClellan, commander of the Union forces.

During the early days of the meatpacking industry, one fork
of the Chicago River was called Bubbly Creek—named after the bubbles that rose on its surface from decomposing slaughterhouse wastes.


America’s first movie studio, Polyscope, was founded in Chicago in 1897.

The nation’s first smoke-filled room—a place “behind the scenes” where cigar-smoking party bosses schemed to choose political candidates—were Rooms 408 to 410 of Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel.

Sears sold over 100,000 houses by mail order between 1908 and 1940.

The largest sewage treatment plant in the world is located in Stickney, Illinois, and it takes up 40% of the village’s land.

The now upscale downtown neighborhood of Streeterville was built on sand and silt that accumulated north of a 1,500-foot pier built at the mouth of the river in 1834. George Wellington Streeter (1837—1921) was one particularly colorful squatter on the Sands who stranded his boat there, claimed that his grounded boat created the territory, and thereby reasoned that the land lay outside of the Illinois’ jurisdiction. Eviction attempts—escalating into gun battles—landed him in prison

   
The village of Joliet was known  in 1845, as  Juliet and Romeoville was known as Romeo.

The Encyclopedia of Chicago.
The History of The Encyclopedia of Chicago


One afternoon nearly fifteen years ago, Professor Ann Durkin Keating
of North Central College walked into the office of Dr. James Grossman, Vice-President for Research and Education at the Newberry Library, to discuss an idea that would transform how we think about Chicago history. Keating and Grossman agreed to undertake a project of truly epic proportions—compiling the most comprehensive synthesis of Chicago history ever produced. They soon enlisted Professor Janice L. Reiff from UCLA, a specialist not only in the history of Chicago but also in the use
of computers to write history, as the third project editor. The team
planned from the beginning to make this information available in both
book and electronic form—a radical and visionary decision given that e-mail and the Internet were, in the early 1990s, in their infancies. The long and careful process that resulted in the Encyclopedia of Chicago would take more than a decade, with the work divided into three major phases—conceptualization, compilation, and publication—that would
each take years in themselves to accomplish. The product of the efforts
of the editors is as fascinating and unique as the city it was meant to
serve.


The project began slowly as the editors recognized that initial funding would require a clear sense of intellectual and civic purpose. A phase dominated by long meetings and numerous drafts resulted in an NEH
grant in 1994 (see the “Funding” section at the end of this document for
a list of other financial supporters), which enabled the Newberry and the editors to commit the necessary time and resources to the project.
During the conceptualization phase, the editors recruited Chicago-area librarians to serve in focus groups. Asked to report on what they would want to include in the first Encyclopedia of Chicago, the librarians were given a rare opportunity to influence the contents of the volume, and,
with their direction, the editors of the Encyclopedia were able to bring
the voice of Chicagoans to the project. With the input of this group of librarians as well as numerous other advisors—including the editors of other city encyclopedias and scholars from dozens of fields who formed “task forces” on broad topical rubrics—the editors had a working architecture for the project by 1998 which included specific recommendations for topics and entries. The completion of a table of contents marked the end of the conceptualization phase.


The Newberry secured a commitment from the Chicago Historical Society to play an active and collaborative role in the project, including signing on as the publisher of the electronic edition, which will appear in 2005. The University of Chicago Press accepted the book for publication and provided input on content, style, marketing and schedules.

In 1998 the editors then turned to the longest and most arduous stage of the process, compilation, which lasted until 2002. During this period, the editors assigned the approximately 1400 entries and put each entry to a rigorous test. Each entry was read by an editor and either returned to the author for revisions or moved forward to fact-checking. Research assistants then fact-checked every entry for factual and bibliographical accuracy. After authors responded to fact-checking queries, the editors reread the entries, this time complementing standard editorial work with identifying how each piece would link to other entries.

With entries coming in at a feverish pace, the work of locating
illustrations and creating maps began. Researchers combed the
collections of the Chicago Historical Society, the Newberry Library, and numerous other institutions to find appropriate illustrations that not only would illuminate the contents of the Encyclopedia, but that also could
serve narrative and interpretive functions comparable to the entries.
The maps especially would do much more than illustrate; they had to constitute scholarship in their own right, stimulating as many questions
as they answered, spurring further research, and offering new
perspectives on the history of metropolitan Chicago. Spearheaded by Cartographic Editor Michael Conzen, a cartographic group met regularly for more than two years to identify topics for maps, create research agendas, and review drafts by cartographers. The results of this effort
are 56 completely original thematic maps that set a new standard for the graphic presentation of urban history.


As the project moved into its final phase, publication, researchers
compiled the information for tables and charts as well as created a
detailed timeline, based on the entries and running 21 pages, that puts Chicago history in both national and international context. With the direction of the staff at the University of Chicago Press, the physical
book now began to take form. The manuscript was reviewed by independent readers for the Press; the design templates were created;
and the production department began the long process of finding the best suppliers—printers, paper companies, etc—for such a complex project. During this stage, the editors worked in concert with staff at the Press
to review, critique, revise, and amend entries and essays—all with an
eye toward an ultimate goal of publication in the Fall of 2004. Simultaneously, work on the electronic Encyclopedia accelerated at the Chicago Historical Society under the editorial leadership of Professor Reiff.


The University of Chicago Press is proud to announce the publication
of this landmark historical reference on October 6, 2004. The electronic version of The Encyclopedia of Chicago will be published by the Chicago Historical Society in 2005.


The Newberry Library served as project headquarters; the institution provided its collections, assumed responsibility for fundraising and development publicity, and contracted with the University of Chicago
Press for the publication of the printed version of the Encyclopedia of Chicago. James R. Grossman, Vice-President for Research and
Education at the Newberry Library is project director. Douglas Knox, Newberry staff is managing editor
.
 
THE NEWBERRY LIBRARY

The Newberry Library, free and open to the public, is an independent research library and educational institution dedicated to making humanities resources and scholarship accessible to a diverse community
of learners.


The Library’s collections number 1.5 million books, five million
manuscript pages, and 300 thousand historic maps. Collection strengths include the history and literature of western Europe, the history and literature of North and South America, music, religion, genealogy, maps and cartography, printing and the history of the book. The Library offers
a wide variety of exhibits, lectures, classes, and concerts related to its collections. The Newberry Library is free and open to the public. All
ages are welcome in galleries, but readers must be 16 or older to use the collections.


The Newberry Library was founded in 1887 by a bequest of Chicago banker and civic leader Walter L. Newberry, who provided for the formation of a library that would be free and open to
the public.

The Newberry Library is located at 60 W. Walton St. in Chicago.