Local history

Skokie Public Library is built on the homeland and trading ground of many Native American people and tribes, including the Council of Three Fires (the Ojibwe, the Potawatomi, and the Odawa), and many other nations. 

A diverse suburb today, Skokie has a rich and varied history. Explore Skokie’s past using the library’s digital and print collections.

Digital collections

The library maintains numerous online collections of materials related to local history, which have been digitized.

Attempted Nazi March

Find extensive local newspaper coverage and recordings documenting the controversy surrounding the National Socialist Party of America attempted marches in Skokie in 1977 and 1978.

Watch WTTW's documentary, Skokie: Invaded but Not Conquered and find video clips on the Skokie Archive.

Dr. Louise Klehm Archive

Examine the life and work of Skokie's first female physician. Dr. Louise Klehm graduated from medical school in 1902, interned at Jane Addams' Hull House, studied surgery in Europe, and returned to Skokie to practice medicine. 

Fair Housing in Skokie, 1961-1971

Examine the history behind Skokie’s 1967 Fair Housing ordinance through this online exhibit, or explore the entire digital collection.

Niles Township Historic Documents Digital Collection

Explore primary sources from the 1840s-1940s created by Niles Township leaders, ranging from early township meetings, property tax assessments, and school expenses to the construction of roads and ditches essential for a rapidly growing population.

Niles Township High School Yearbooks, 1938-1989

Browse the yearbooks from Niles East (1938-1980), Niles West (1962-1989), and Niles North (1965-1989) High Schools.

Skokie (eBook)

This illustrated history of Skokie covers the 1840s through the early twenty-first century. The print volume and downloadable eBook are also available.

Skokie: A Centennial History

Created to commemorate Skokie's centennial in 1988, this online version reproduces the full-text of the paper volume (also available at the library).

Skokie Fire Department History

Explore more than 700 artifacts detailing the history of the village's fire department, including photos of fire engines and fire fighters.

Skokie Historical Society Publications

A selection of ten resources from the Skokie Historical Society, including an index and two chronologies, about the early history and geography of Skokie and surrounding communities.

Skokie History Project

The Skokie History Project contains a broad sample of historical materials relating to Skokie including:


Watch and listen to interviews with Skokie residents recorded from 2011 to 2013 that capture some of the history and daily life of our village.

Solar Eclipse Party

Look through photos and handwritten messages to the future from our Solar Eclipse viewing party on August 21, 2017.

Telephone Directories

Skokie and Niles Center Telephone Directories
View digitized telephone books from Skokie (known as Niles Center until November 14, 1940), Morton Grove, Lincolnwood, Niles, Glenview, and Northbrook from 1924-1959.

North Suburban and Chicago Telephone Directories
View telephone books from Library of Congress online covering the north suburbs from 1885-1975.

Newspapers and obituaries

Historical Skokie Newspapers

Search the complete text of local Skokie (and Niles Center) newspapers, which have been digitized from Skokie Public Library's microfilm collection. Coverage starts in the 1930s, with select issues available before, and runs through 2008 with full-page images of each edition.

In-library use only.

The NileHiLite

Browse The NileHiLite, the school newspaper of Niles East, a Skokie high school founded in 1939 and closed in 1980. The newspaper was written, edited, and published by the students in the school’s journalism class and documented high school life, interests, events, and news for four decades.

Skokie Newspaper Obituaries

Search Skokie obituaries from 1948 to the present. 

Skokie Newspaper Index

Research local events, people, and organizations in our local newspaper index. To get the articles, come in to the library or give us a call.

The Villager

Page through eight issues of The Villager, a short-lived publication from 1958-1959, that covered news from Skokie, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood, Niles, and Golf.

Resources at the library

Still stumped in your research? We have many local history resources within the library building, including: