The Haymarket Digital Collection

What is the Digital Collection?

This digital collection contains copies of most of the original manuscripts, artifacts, broadsides, photographs, and prints owned by the Chicago Historical Society (CHS) that relate to the Haymarket Affair and were contemporary with it. It also includes selected portions of publications from that time relating to the Haymarket Affair. Specifically, the digital collection includes CHS primary source materials pertaining to: the May 4, 1886, meeting and bombing; to the trial, conviction, and subsequent appeals of those accused of inciting the bombing; to the execution of four of the convicted, and to the later pardon of the remaining defendants.


In addition to CHS collection holdings, the Haymarket Affair Digital Collection (HADC) includes four related manuscripts from the Archives of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, under whose jurisdiction the trial of the Haymarket defendants took place.


The central documents in the collection are the 3,323-page transcript of witness testimony and the accompanying evidence books from the trial. In addition a major portion of the original 4000-page transcript of the jury selection proceedings (voir dire) is included in the digital collection. The HADC contains the jury selection proceedings for those twelve candidates chosen to serve on the jury, along with the text of discussions that arose during these proceedings as to procedure and the law. These discussions and conflicts over the empanelling of the jury and the correct procedures subscribed by each side figured heavily in the defense's appeal.


An affiliated, interpretive Web site, The Dramas of Haymarket, has been produced in cooperation with the Chicago Historical Society by Carl Smith, Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English and American Studies and Professor of History at Northwestern University. In The Dramas of Haymarket, Dr. Smith uses the materials contained in the HADC as well as many items held in other collections of the Chicago Historical Society to examine the Haymarket events and their significance for both contemporaries and later audiences.

Highlights of the Collection Next

Broadside Attention Workingmen
"Attention Workingmen" broadside.

Welcome to The Haymarket Affair Narrative
The Haymarket Affair Narrative
The Haymarket Affair Chronology
The Nature of Historical Evidence
The Haymarket Affair Evidence
What is the Digital Collection?
Highlights of the Collection
Building the Digital Collection


Chicago Historical Society
Clark Street at North Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60614-6099
Phone 312.642.4600   Fax 312.266.2077