Local History

Serving as a public library since 1903, we play a critical role in archiving and supporting local history. Librarians are dedicated to Special Collections, and we regularly partner with local organizations preserving the past.

Oak Park Oral History Project

Let’s preserve what makes Oak Park special. Help us build a collection of unique and inspiring oral stories for all the world to hear! Learn more »


Discover anywhere, anytime access to a variety of online resources to support your local history and genealogy research, whether you’re a beginner or advanced. A sampling of popular tools is listed on this page.

Steiner Index

Research your Oak Park home’s history, as well as that of more buildings in Oak Park and River Forest. See the Steiner Index »

Explore digital archives

Train with passengers at the 40th Street Station (corner of Madison); terminal connecting with horse cars to Chicago on Madison St., 1885
Cicero Fire Department Station #2 with horse drawn fire engine and firefighters, 1895
Oak Park High School on Lake St. and East Ave., 1902

(click photos to enlarge)

Download these images and more through the Illinois Digital Archives »

More resources

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