The George N. Leighton Library

Bringing Together Chicago History and Modern Culture

As one of the Club's longest established amenities, the Library prides itself on upholding a long tradition of individualized care.
This dynamic resource is staffed by a team of professional librarians who strive to meet patron needs and to keep the collections relevant. Materials are selected for the Library in response to member interests; all attempts are made to acquire the latest in popular literature and film. The Library offers a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books, films, and television series for members and guests to check out. In addition to the variety of materials available to take home and enjoy, the Library offers magazine and newspaper subscriptions and a Business Information Center for use at the Club. Members and guests enjoy a unique, peaceful environment for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while working at one of the tables, relaxing in a cozy chair, or enjoying a good book.

The Archives of the Club were established more recently to support the research for and publication of “Glory, Darkness, Light: a history of the Union League Club of Chicago,” the official Club history. The Club's archival collections contain thousands of historic photographs documenting not only the history of the Club but also Chicago history. Those pursuing genealogical research may find the Club's member records of interest. Students, media outlets and other cultural institutions often utilize the Club's Archives for history fair projects, working on degree programs, or for researching the Club's rich contribution to the history of Chicago and Illinois.

Library Highlights

  • More than 30,000 works in the collection
  • Access to numerous digital platforms for streaming movies, shows and podcasts or renting books and audio tapes
  • A quiet and relaxing workspace 
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