The Chicago Public Library holds approximately 95,000 microfiche cards with primary and general elections data for the 20th century and 19th centuries. These results include data as fine as the individual precinct, and the CPL collections include ward and precinct boundary maps, as well as the tabulated results. Together, this archive is a treasure for Chicago political historians. These materials have regularly been used by researchers and the public. However, analog microfilm technology has been difficult to use for wide ranging inquiries.
A large-scale digitization and visualization project will allow the public, journalists, and researchers to understand the political history of the city in new ways and to tell stories about the neighborhood and city-wide electoral contests that shaped public policy in Chicago and Illinois over more than a century.