Descriptive inventory for the Sigmund J. Osty visual materials, 1960-1976

Sigmund J. Osty visual materials

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Descriptive inventory for the Sigmund J. Osty visual materials, 1960-1976

Prepared by Brienne Callahan, 2016.
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Instructions for accessing this collection

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Sigmund J. Osty visual materials, 1960-1976 (inclusive)
Creators: Sigmund J. Osty
Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association
Dates: 1960-1976 (inclusive)
Accession number: 1997.0160
Bib number: 00040255
Call number: 1997.0160 PPL
Size: 2.25 linear feet, including approximately 1750 black-and-white photographic prints (10 boxes)
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Provenance statement:

Gift of Walter Ostopowicz (accession #: 1997.0160).

Terms governing use:

Credit photographer, some restrictions may apply.

Alternate format available:

Parts of this collection have been digitized. A number of Osty's images from the Chicagoland-in-Pictures project have also been digitzed. Please contact the Rights and Reproductions department at for more information.

Please cite this collection as:

Sigmund J. Osty visual materials (Chicago History Museum), with a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of the specific item(s).

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include photographs of neighborhoods and buildings, some of which are by Osty, from the Chicagoland-in-Pictures project, mostly filed in the "Image-file, Topical," cataloged separately.

Collection Summary +/-

Black-and-white photographic prints depicting the built environment, predominantly in Chicago, but also Evanston, Skokie, and Galena, Illinois. All the images depict exterior views, the majority of which are street intersections, though the collection also documents streetscapes, residences, and individual businesses, particularly churches, department stores, and burlesque and pornographic film establishments. Osty most frequently documented the River North, Near North Side, Cabrini-Green, Gold Coast, and Old Town areas (bounded by Menomonee (1800 North) to the Chicago River (300 North), Lake Michigan to Halsted St. (800 West)); the collection also includes many images (approximately 300) of the Downtown Chicago area (bounded by the Chicago River (300 North) to Harrison St. (600 South), Michigan Avenue (100 East) to I-90/94 Expressway (700 West)). Other areas documented include the Lakefront and Museum Campus, South Loop and Chinatown, South Commons, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Englewood, Bridgeport and New City, Homan Square, the West Loop and Near West Side, Garfield Park, University Village/Maxwell Street, Little Italy, Illinois Medical District, Pilsen, River West, Goose Island, Nobel Square, West Town, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, West Lakeview, North Center and Lincoln Square, Uptown, Edgewater, Rodgers Park and Andersonville. The collection includes images of the Maxwell Street markets, the original Hull House and its relocation, and a number of images taken from the observation deck in the John Hancock Center. Some of the images were taken for camera club presentations or competitions, and nearly all images have been labeled by Osty with either an address or cross-streets and the month/year.

The images have been arranged by geographic areas, roughly corresponding to Chicago neighborhood areas. To find a specific location, consult the street boundaries listed for each series and box as the categories may not conform precisely to official Chicago neighborhood area designations.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

Sigmund J. Osty (Ostopowicz) was an amateur photographer who documented Chicago as a member of the Fort Dearborn Camera Club. He contributed images to the Chicagoland-in-Pictures project, an annual competition sponsored by the Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association and the Chicago Historical Society since 1948.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Office buildings--Illinois--Chicago--1960-1979
Photographers--Illinois--Chicago metropolitan area--20th century
Photography--Illinois--Chicago metropolitan area--20th century
Retail stores--Illinois--Chicago--1960-1979
Osty, Sigmund J.--Archives
Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association--Archives
Chicago Historical Society. Chicagoland in Pictures Project
Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.
John Hancock Center (Chicago, Ill.)
Maxwell Street Market (Chicago, Ill.)
Exterior views
Photographic prints--black and white
Bridgeport (Chicago, Ill.)
Bronzeville (Neighborhood : Chicago, Ill.)
Chicago (Ill.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--1960-1979
Chinatown (Chicago, Ill.)
Douglas (Chicago, Ill.)
Englewood (Chicago, Ill.)
Evanston (Ill.)
Galena (Ill.)
Garfield Park (Chicago, Ill.)
Gold Coast (Chicago, Ill.)
Humboldt Park (Chicago, Ill.)
Hyde Park (Chicago, Ill.)
Jefferson Park (Chicago, Ill.)
Logan Square (Chicago, Ill.)
Loop (Chicago, Ill.)
Near North Side (Chicago, Ill.)
Near West Side (Chicago, Ill.)
New City (Chicago, Ill.)
North Lawndale (Chicago, Ill.)
Old Town (Chicago, Ill.)
Pilsen (Chicago, Ill.)
Portage Park (Chicago, Ill.)
Skokie (Ill.)

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged in five series.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1. Downtown and Lakefront, 1960-1976 (box 1-2)
Series 2. North, 1960-1976 (box 5-10)
Series 3. South, 1960-1976 (box 2-4)
Series 4. West, 1960-1976 (box 4, 9)
Series 5. Outside Chicago and unidentified, 1960-1976 and undated (box 9-10)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Brienne Callahan using Oxygen editor, 2016.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to the Explore Chicago Collections portal.
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