Home > About


Welcome to the Chicago Cultural Alliance Community Collections!


This site is a shared digital archive that provides a mosaic view of Chicago’s diverse communities and their histories by showcasing the collections of our member organizations. Alliance Community Collections is a place to explore the stories preserved in community institutions across the Chicago region.


Core Member collections are living reflections of the journeys that brought families and communities to Chicago. Their collections tell both the historical and the contemporary story of Chicago and its neighborhoods. These collections make it possible to trace the hidden histories of Chicago's neighborhoods and ethnic communities as they evolved over time. The unique and diverse collections of Alliance members range from traditional artifacts such as textiles, paper, photographs, jewelry, china, and pottery to more singular items.


Community Collections is in an important result of the CCA’s Conservation & Collections program that works with our members’ to catalogue and digitize their collections in order to both preserve and promote these items and the institutions that house them.


Through the site members will be able to promote their institutions and exhibits, as well as develop new connections between one another to produce online exhibits that span Chicago’s historic and contemporary communities.


This collaboration not only allows us to present a unique local view of Chicago communities, but it also allows you to view several communities at one time. Check back often, new items will be added to Community Collections every month.


About CCA


The Chicago Cultural Alliance is a consortium of Chicago-area ethnic museums, cultural centers and historical societies who work together to effect social change through public understanding of cultural diversity.


For a full listing of our members, contact information, and visitation information please visit the Chicago Cultural Alliance website.


In Gratitude


This endeavor would not have been possible without the persistent efforts of our Core Members and the support of our Associate Members.  The Chicago Cultural Alliance would like to thank the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago, Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago, Swedish American Museum, and the Ukrainian National Museum for their diligent cataloging and digitizing efforts.  In addition, we want to thank the staff of Read/Write Library for their support and council through all of the steps to get us where we are today.


This project is generously funded by the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.