Chicago City Council Proceedings Files, 1833–1871 Illinois State Archives

Compiled by the Illinois State Archives for the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System at Northeastern Illinois University


This database provides access to the working papers of the Chicago City Council for the period before the Great Fire. Until their rediscovery in 1983, these files were presumed to have been destroyed in that catastrophe.

The database contains entries for 35,650 different files. Each entry shows the title of the file and a control number containing the filing calendar or fiscal year, file number, filing month and day. View the detailed description of the Chicago City Council Proceedings Files Inventory and the Filing Arrangement.

The database may be searched by a single subject term, by a combination of two subject terms with the AND and OR operators, and by filing calendar or fiscal year. View the Thesaurus of Subject Terms used in this database.


Proceedings contain all business of the Chicago City Council including, petitions, resolutions, ordinances, remonstrances, acts and orders of the city council; communications with the city council; reports of committees and officers; reports of teachers; physicians' reports on deaths from smallpox and cholera; accounts of treasurers and other city officers; claims against the city; election returns and poll lists; lists of licenses issued; bonds and oaths of officials; commissions, appointments and resignations of officials; tax assessment rolls; and calls for special meetings.

Proceedings concern fiscal matters; elections of city officials; construction and maintenance of city streets, alleys, bridges, sidewalks, sewers, railroad viaducts, and docks; city taxes; licensing of businesses such as peddlers, ferries and entertainment; animal control; annexation; maintenance of city property; conditions of schools, jails and pesthouses; fire and police protection; public health and safety; the operation of markets, wharves, schools, jails and bridewells; and claims against the city.


Copies of the files found in this index may be obtained by mail or telephone. Inquiries should be made directly to the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. IRAD cannot accept requests by email at this time. Please contact:
Illinois Regional Archives Depository
Ronald Williams Library
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 N. St. Louis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625-4699

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