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Oak Lawn Local History

Explore the Local History Collection

Search the Local History collection online and view more than 21,000 unique items including photos, documents, objects, yearbooks, telephone books and much more!

Oak Lawn Newspaper Index

Check out the library’s local newspaper index containing more than 86,000 references from 1988-present.

Oak Lawn Obituary Index

Check out the library’s local obituary index containing references to more than 244,000 obits and death notices from 1985-present.


View digitized microfilm from the Oak Lawn Independent and the Village View newspapers! Issues range from 1933-2014 and are hosted by the Internet Archive.

Oak Lawn History Books

Discover the history of Oak Lawn through the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing! Both titles are available for checkout at the library or copies can be purchased online.

Chicago History Books

Browse the library’s online catalog to find dozens of books exploring the history of Chicago and its suburbs!

Oak Lawn History Spotlight: The Oak Lawn Public Library

The First Oak Lawn Public Library

Opened in 1936 during the Great Depression, the first library was partially funded by a Works Progress Administration grant. 

The Second Oak Lawn Public Library

Needing more space, in 1946 the library moved into a nearby historic home that was built by the Chamberlain Family during the 1840s.

The Third Oak Lawn Public Library

By the 1950s Oak Lawn’s population was rapidly expanding and the library had again outgrown its space. In 1955 a new building was constructed.

The Current Oak Lawn Public Library

With major expansions completed in 1976 and 2004, the library continues to meet the needs of a changing and diverse community. 

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