We accept everything from the Chicago area (ever), regardless of perceived quality or importance in order to create a detailed index from which connections among publications will emerge. This means:
- Student and non-professional content is just as valuable in understanding the history and culture of neighborhoods as professional media. Our goal is to place all works side by side so that visitors can locate experiences similar to their own and those of their families, friends and neighbors just as easily as publications that have traditionally comprised the historical record.
- Community is self-defining: If you identify with being a part of the Chicago community, we will not draw geographic boundaries for you. You are welcome here, whether from the suburbs, Northwest Indiana, downstate, or if you used to live here but no longer do.
- We consider "published" to mean anything intended for public consumption. We're interested in everything from community newspapers, to poetry chapbooks, to church cookbooks, to photocopied comics; if you intended for it to have an audience, we want to help it find one.
- What we don't take: Personal papers, such as correspondence, notebooks, journals, diaries, meeting notes, or unpublished manuscripts. We love self-publishing, but define that differently than unpublished.
Why Networked Cataloging?
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 R/WL intends to expand into audio, video, performance documentation, and ephemera as our infrastructure permits.
How to Submit
Drop off your work or collection of Chicago-based publications anytime during our regular public hours, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1-5pm or Tuesday 6-9pm. You may also mail them to us at Read/Write Library, 914 N. California, Unit 5, Chicago IL 60622. To expedite the process of getting your item(s) cataloged, please fill out the submission form below.