In 2011, we decided that we needed a new name that more accurately reflected our mission to create connections and build community. And so--the Chicago Underground Library becomes the Read/Write Library.
The Read/Write Library is a new model for open, location-specific archiving of independent and small press media. We are always seeking books, magazines, zines, journals, broadsides, newspapers, and art books of all types, genres, and print runs from the Chicago area. (And maybe your city, too. Be patient, or ask us how to start your own.)
We accept everything from the area (ever), regardless of perceived quality or importance in order to create a detailed index from which connections among the publications will emerge.
Keeping records of everyone who contributed to a work, as well as creating keywords for every subject, allows us to map the evolution (historically and contemporaneously) of Chicago’s communities and movements and encourage the production of new media by providing context, inspiration, and programming designed to support collaboration.
Currently focusing on print, the RWL intends to expand into audio, video, performance documentation, and ephemera as our infrastructure permits.
The Read/Write Library is an all-inclusive collection of Chicago-specific media, produced by and for the community. Through our unique indexing of contributors and our open venue, we provide a space for individuals, organizations and ideas to come together, and creative connections to emerge.