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Carson Pirie Scott scrapbook collection

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Carson Pirie Scott

Scope and Content of the Collection

Set of 12 scrapbooks of clippings, advertisements, and some business records documenting the Chicago-born department store Carson Pirie Scott.

The scrapbooks were compiled and maintained by the Pirie family, notably Alice Pirie Wirtz, great-granddaughter to the founder John T. Pirie. Wirtz was also involved in the John T. Pirie Fine Arts and Academic Center, a Chicago Public School on the city's Chatham neighborhood. Wirtz compiled a scrapbook about John T. Pirie and would bring that to the school to give presentations to the schoolchildren.

Most of the scrapbooks are composed of clippings and advertisements, with some business records and correspondence, laid out in chronological order. The first two volumes (1919-1942) include a subject index. Scrapbook number 6 (1969-1980) also includes obituaries of founders and staff. One oversize item is a newspaper advertisement for a sale, and was removed from Scrapbook number 2 (1864-1934).


  • Creation: 1864-1980



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Carson Pirie Scott scrapbook collection are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Carson Pirie Scott scrapbook collection are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

History of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co.

Chicago-headquartered Midwestern department store chain.

The department store was founded in 1854 in Amboy, Illinois by Scottish immigrants Samuel Carson and John Thomas Pirie. By 1890 Robert Scott joined as a partner and the company grew to having two downtown stores in Chicago and 11 stores total throughout the Chicago region. In 1904, it moved into its flagship store, the Louis Sullivan-designed building at State and Madison Streets.

The company flourished for most of the 20th century. Starting in 1989, changed ownership several times, and closed permanently in 2018.


3.7 Linear Feet (4 boxes and 1 oversize folder)


Set of 12 scrapbooks of clippings, advertisements, and some business records documenting the Chicago-born department store Carson Pirie Scott. Includes one scrapbook for the wholesale department of the company, and one volume detailing the biography of founder John Thomas Pirie and of the department store, compiled for the benefit of the John T. Pirie Elementary School in Chicago.


Scrapbooks are arranged in the original order and volume numbering sequence as Alice Pirie Wirtz designated.

Collection Stack Location

1 40 3, 1 16 3


Gift, Alice Pirie Wirtz, 2019.

Processed by

Alison Hinderliter, 2019.

Inventory of the Carson Pirie Scott scrapbook collection, 1864-1980
Alison Hinderliter
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States