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Chicago Building Permits Digital Collection 1872-1954

Chicago Building Permits: Supplementary Information


Missing Data

The Chicago Building Permit collection is missing ledger books numbered 8, 13, 17, and 18 which may impact your search of the permits and ledgers. These ledgers were not available in the late 1950s when the material was microfilmed.

Some of UIC's reels were damaged from heavy use prior to digitization, so some pages may be hard to read, illegible or missing.


Collection Legibility

Many index cards and pages in this collection are difficult or sometimes impossible to read.  In some cases this is due to the nature of the original photographs of the material from the late 1950s. In other cases it is due to the recent digitization, and we are investigating next steps to improve digitization quality.

If you encounter a specific reel that is difficult to read, please contact us.  Please include the "Reel UID" number for the reel you're trying to use.  We apologize for any difficulty you may have using the collection.


Maximum Number of Users

The Digital Reel system is limited to 9 concurrent users for the Chicago Building Permits Collection.  It is possible for a session to be interrupted when there are multiple people attempting to use the collection at the same time.


Chicago Building Permit Collection on Microfilm

The microfilm version of this collection is no longer available for public use at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  The collection was heavily used and the film had become brittle and scratched.  Some data had been irretrievably lost as brittle film broke off the reels. The collection was digitized both to improve access and to prevent the physical microfilm from incurring further damage.

The Chicago History Museum Research Center does have a copy of the microfilm collection which is available for use.  Please consult the Chicago History Museum Research Center website for information on location and hours to use the microfilm collection there. Note that the UIC digital collection and the Chicago History Museum microfilm collection are the same images and data. 


Additional Resources


The University of Illinois at Chicago Library would like to thank the Chicago History Museum Research Center for kindly providing several reels of the their Building Permit microfilm collection for digitization.  As noted above, several reels of the UIC collection had been too damaged by heavy use to digitize.  The Chicago History Museum augmented this digital collection by lending their own reels so it could be as complete as possible. 

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