Calumet Heritage Partnership
Collections and Donations Policy for the Calumet Industrial Heritage Project


The Calumet Heritage Partnership (CHP)
CHP is incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and is a diverse, bi-state partnership of environmental, cultural, and historical organizations; as well as individuals, libraries, educational institutions, municipalities, and governmental agencies. Each partner within the organization is committed to celebrating, preserving, and protecting the unique heritage of the Calumet region in Illinois and Indiana.

Purpose of the Calumet Industrial Heritage Project (CIHP, or the Project)
CIHP, located at the Pullman State Historic Site (PSHS), is a cooperative effort between CHP <> and the PSHS <>. Its goals are to cooperatively preserve the industrial heritage, celebrate the labor history, highlight the industrial archeology, and demonstrate and interpret the industrial technology of Chicago’s Calumet Region.

The development of the United States’ position as the world’s leading economic power can be attributed directly to its nineteenth century business leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, founding families, and industrial workers whose contributions gave birth to the American Industrial Revolution. It is the story of industry’s role in building our nation, defending it in war, and transporting its people that have led to a consistently higher standard of living and safer lives. The industrial history of Chicago’s Calumet Region plays prominently in the story.

In the current context of America’s post-industrial economy, evidence and records of this historical industrial history is disappearing at an alarming pace. Many of the sites long ago passed into obsolescence, while others hang on to a thread of viability through adaptive reuses but often in a marginal ways-whatever the precise history, most have been threatened by neglect or the scrapper’s torch, and many have succumbed and have been completely lost. As these historic industries vanish from the national landscape, it is critical to promote and provide an easily-accessible means for the public to understand our country’s industrial growth, the evolution of industrial history, and the reasons for its evaporation in today’s technological world and global economy.

CIHP represents the only local project currently dedicated to interpreting the history of steel making in the Illinois Calumet region. The intent of the Project is to preserve the historic images, maps, plans, and artifacts of the Illinois Calumet Region’s factories, structures, equipment, and workers in order to educate future generations about the development of regional transportation and the heavy industries of communities such as South Chicago, South Deering, Riverdale, the East Side, Roseland, Pullman, and Hegewisch. The collection, preservation, documentation, and interpretation of these materials form a priceless link between our past, present, and future.

An initial effort involves the creation of the Industrial Heritage Archive of Chicago’s Calumet Region, for which the two partners have received a grant (with the additional participation of the Southeast Chicago Historical Society <>) from the Illinois State Library to begin digitizing photos and other materials related to the industries that operated in this region. When completed, a “virtual museum” of online images and drawings will be accessible via the Internet.

The Calumet Heritage Partnership Collection
The current CHP collection primarily consists of artifacts, blueprints, drawings, photographic resources, and approximately 125 linear feet of records acquired through fieldwork rescue from the ACME Steel Coke Plant (11236 Torrence Avenue, currently under demolition), the ACME Steel Furnace Plant (10730 S. Burley Avenue, demolished), and the ACME MiniGrated Steel Plant, Riverdale, IL (still in operation under the ownership of Mittal Steel USA). CHP materials are currently under an annually renewable Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) museum loan for the Project via a formal letter of agreement with the Pullman State Historic Site. Inventory and cataloging of the collection is currently underway, as is the acquisition of several major pieces of equipment from Chicago’s steel industry.

In addition to this existing collection, it is the intention of CHP to continue to collect materials specifically relating to the Illinois Calumet Region’s heavy industry for the Calumet Industrial Heritage Project, with a special emphasis on all aspects of steel production. To further this goal, the following policies and procedures shall serve as guidelines for the public and CHP for the appropriate acquisition of materials for the Project. Formal accessioning of acquired materials shall be under the direction of the CHP Board of Directors in consultation with its Project partners and relevant industry professionals.

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FINAL as passed 6/21/2007