Chicago Events

We are excited to welcome you to Chicago, Illinois for an evening reception and professional site visits from Chicago cultural organizations!

Friday, September 22

Join your iPRES colleagues for drinks and light snacks along the Chicago River. iPRES 2023 volunteers will be available to help with any questions you might have about navigating Chicago and attending Saturday’s events.

Afterward you can take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk or head out for dinner on your own. We’ll provide nearby restaurant suggestions soon.

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: University of Chicago Gleacher Center, PIMCO Midway Club, 450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive

Saturday, Septmber 23
Professional Site Visits

On Saturday September 23, a number of Chicago cultural heritage organizations will open their doors to iPRES attendees for guided tours, led by local staff. Events are free for registered iPRES 2023 attendees.

Most site visit locations are members of the Chicago Collections Consortium. The member institutions of Chicago Collections collaborate, uniting their resources to offer access and exciting learning experiences to both the general public and academic researchers. Its flagship service is Explore Chicago Collections which provides unified discovery of archival and digital collections about Chicago history and culture across dozens of Chicago-area libraries, archives and museums.

Please update your registration if your plans change, so that hosts know how many people to expect!

The Newberry Library

60 W Walton St – Map | Website | Collections

The Newberry fosters a deeper understanding of our world by inspiring research and learning in the humanities and encouraging conversations about ideas that matter to diverse audiences. Our mission is rooted in a growing and accessible collection of rare and historical materials that spans more than six centuries of human experience.

Come get a glimpse behind the scenes of our brand new DAMS and the process it took to get where we are today. Galleries will also be open for independent tours.  Each tour will be limited to 15 participants.

University of Illinois, Chicago Library

Special Collections & University Archives and Single Step Foundation Digital Imaging Studio

801 S. Morgan St. – Map | Website | Collections

Manuscript collections at the University of Illinois Chicago Library document the social, political, economic, and cultural history of the Chicago metropolitan area, with a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries.

Collection strengths include the history of social service reflected in the records of several settlement houses, including Hull-House, and the Immigrants Protective League. Political collections include the papers of several former mayors and community activists. Cultural collections include A Century of Progress World’s Fair and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

The tour will include a visit to our recently rebuilt First Step Foundation Digital Imaging Studio and our Special Collections & University Archives.

Union League Club of Chicago

65 W Jackson Blvd  – Map | Website | Collections

The Union League Club of Chicago (ULCC) was founded in 1879 and traces its origin to the Union League of America (ULA), a Civil War era organization formed to support Abraham Lincoln and to help preserve the Union. During its 144-year history, ULCC members have made and continue to make significant contributions to Chicago’s civic and cultural life as demonstrated by the Club’s commitment to community, country, and culture.

This tour of the ULCC will include a brief history of the Club and our 1925 building designed by Mundie & Jensen. We will also tour the ULCC George N. Leighton Library to view highlights of our Special Collections including our Fin du Siècle edition of “The Book of the Fair” and archival materials documenting 144 years of ULCC member involvement in Chicago’s most significant historic events. Each tour will be limited to ten participants.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)

Library + Special Collections

37 S Wabash Ave 6th floor – Map | Website | Collections

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in arts education for 150 years. SAIC’s Library and Special Collections consist of a network of resources, including traditional library and archival collections and non-traditional, interdisciplinary, multimedia, and site-specific collections. Featured collections from the John M. Flaxman Library include the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, with over 12,000 examples of artists’ publications from the last 50 years, a 16 mm film collection, and the Randolph Street Gallery Archives, documenting a vital and innovative force in Chicago’s art community from 1979–98.

Two tour options will be provided:

Tour A: A tour of our newly renovated John M. Flaxman Library and our special collections, including the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, film, and archival collections. Each tour will be limited to ten participants.

Tour B: A tour with highlights from our collections and an overview of digital collections of the Fashion Resource Center, the Textile Resource Center, and the Video Data Bank. Three of SAIC’s very unique special collections-including a leading organization for video by and about contemporary artists. Each tour will be limited to ten participants. 

Running thoughts by Jenna Rodriguez. From the Joan Flasch Artists’ book Collection

more tours!

Underground Railroad/Freedom Bus Tour

Meeting point: Departs from 111 W. Adams St. (the Club Quarters Loop hotel) Map

Date and Time: Saturday, September 23, 2:30-4:30 PM

In association with the Bronzeville Historical Society, iPRES 2023 is offering a bus tour of Chicago sites associated with the underground railroad.   Led by iPRES keynote speaker Sherry Williams, the tour will include sights such as the Ida B. Wells Residence, Douglas Tomb/Civil War Hospital, Olivet Baptist Church (oldest African American congregation in Chicago), Mercy Hospital, Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, and other locations in the Bronzeville and Woodlawn neighborhoods of Chicago, which are notable for their connections to the abolition of slavery and the US Civil War.

Walk the Perimeter of the Great Chicago Fire

Meeting point: 1601 N Clark St. 

Date: Sunday, September 24, 9:00 AM 

If you are staying longer in Chicago, on Sunday September 24th iPRES co-chair Tracy Seneca will offer a walking tour of the perimeter of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The walk route is approximately 12 miles and will start at 9 am in front of the Chicago History Museum.  The tour will start near relics of the fire and will proceed through the neighborhoods of Lincoln Park, Near North Side, Gold Coast, Streeterville, the Loop, and the South Loop. We’ll pass the site of Mrs. O’Leary’s Barn (where the fire started) and walk through commercial, residential and semi-industrial areas as well as the Lincoln Park Zoo and Grant Park.

The time the walk takes depends on the comfort and pace of the walkers – in the past we’ve finished anywhere from 2 to 5pm. There are plenty of places to rest & eat along the way and good transportation options if you prefer to only walk part of the route. Do wear your most comfortable shoes!

Still need to make arrangements?

The iPRES 2023 hosts have arranged for conference hotels with nightly room rates under $225.00 in Chicago for Friday September 22 and Saturday September 23.  

To benefit from our best rate please book your stay before August 5th.

Update: Please contact Club Quarters at (312) 214-6400 to book using group code 2303UNIVER. Please contact us if you need further assistance. 

Getting Around Chicago

Chicagos’ CTA trains and buses are a great way to get around the city. If you’re staying the weekend, we recommend getting a CTA 3-day pass. Here is CTA’s fare information page, with information about how and where to get tickets.

The most convenient way to pay CTA fares is with a Ventra card and/or app. You can order a Ventra card online, and choose either day passes or pay-as-you-go. You can also use a contactless credit card or Google Pay, Apple Pay, and other payment apps on your phone to pay fares on both trains and buses. Learn more about alternate payment methods on the Ventra site.

Google Maps will provide public transit directions and arrival times.