104 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago Illinois 60603United States
Midwest Living Recommends
The Pritzker Military Library doubles as a compact museum housing military memorabilia, medals, journals and films recording a soldier's take on American military history.
You don't have to be a gung-ho military history buff or chaperone for a history class to enjoy visiting the Pritzker Military Library in downtown Chicago. The library-museum gives visitors an in-depth, personal glimpse into American military history, art and culture, particularly during the Civil War and World War II conflicts. Permanent exhibit "Citizen Soldier" displays letters, journals, uniforms and weapons from all service branches. The collection of graphic, original military posters showcases 20th-century patriotic and recruitment art from the United States and Europe. The photography collection documents combat, its aftermath and portraits dating from the Civil War to Vietnam. In recordings and writings, hear the stories of Medal of Honor recipients. Browse the second floor, 35,000-volume library, which concentrates on 19th- and 20th-century works. The library archives more than 300 webcasts and podcasts featuring interviews with military heroes and historians. Located in the restored 1912 Monroe Building, the library hosts traveling exhibits, lectures, author events and films year-round in a state-of-the-art auditorium. Saturday afternoon films (3 p.m. usually) are free with the $5 library entrance fee (active military are admitted free). It's open Tuesday through Saturday and definitely worth the trip.