Formerly known as the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago History Museum was founded in 1856 to study Chicago’s history. Today they host some of the coolest exhibits on Chicago and American history like Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography, Lincoln’s Chicago, Facing Freedom, and more!
When you arrive at the site you’ll find lots of navigation options, I always start in the About Us section, and would recommend you do too! You can click on About the Building once you’ve clicked into About Us and learn about the history of the museum and the building it’s housed in.
After that I typically check out the Exhibitions. You’ll find them in the bottom center of the page, click Explore Exhibitions. You’ll discover what is currently in rotation, but what you’re really looking for are the ones that are followed by Learn More links. These let you explore the online components of the exhibit. For example, Vivian Maier’s Chicago’s Learn More link explains more about the exhibit and offers you a link to check out a slideshow of her photography!
Another excellent section of the site you should check out is the Encyclopedia of Chicago. It has it’s own navigation system. You’ll find menu links at the top of the page with the categories: Entries, Historical Sources, Maps, Special Features, and handy User’s Guide. You can use this to explore the contents of the Encyclopedia. The images on the front page of the encyclopedia are also clickable and whisk you away to their entry.
This is a great way to check out the Chicago History Museum and decide if you’d like to plan a visit to see the exhibits in person. I know I’ve added it to my list of places I’d like to visit when I get to Chicago.