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City News Bureau records

Identifier: Midwest-MS-City News Bureau

Scope and Content of the Collection

Reporters' copy, notes, and supporting subject materials such as court documents, clippings, and press releases, primarily from the late 1980s to 2005. Also includes a small amount of office materials, reporters' notebooks, and guides. Reporters were stationed at City Hall, the Cook County Building, the Federal Court and Circuit Courts, and there is often overlap of subject matter between areas. All efforts have been made to preserve the original folder titles provided by City News Bureau reporters.


  • Creation: 1944-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1990-2000



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The City News Bureau records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The City News Bureau records 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 the City News Bureau

Chicago based cooperative news agency which ran from 1890 to 2005.

The City News Bureau was founded in 1890 by Chicago Daily News publisher Victor Lawson as a low cost way to gather routine news items from the police and City Hall, and to train reporters for their newsrooms. Originally called the City Press Association of Chicago, it was supported in the beginning by eight out of the ten Chicago dailies. It was renamed the City News Bureau in 1910, and was a fertile breeding ground for up and coming reporters, employing such future luminaries as Ben Hecht, Mike Royko, Seymour Hersh, Herman Kogan, Jack Mabley, novelist Kurt Vonnegut, actor Melvyn Douglas, and sculptor Claes Oldenburg. Chicago's major daily newspapers jointly owned and used City News Bureau until the Tribune became the sole owner and renamed it the New City News Service in 1999.

The City News Bureau officially closed its doors in January 2005.


43 Linear Feet (102 boxes)


Reporters' copy and supporting subject materials of the City News Bureau of Chicago news agency, filed from four beat locations: Federal Court, Cook County Civil Court, Cook County Criminal Court, and Chicago City Hall.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: City Hall, 1984-2005
Boxes 1-27
Series 2: Criminal Courts, 1970-2005
Boxes 28-59
Series 3: Civil and County Courts, 1984-2004
Boxes 60-88
Series 4: Federal Court, 1944-2004
Boxes 89-100

Collection Stack Location

1 12 2-5


Gift of Paul Zimbrakos (City News Bureau), 2006.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen and Kelly Kress, 2008.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of the City News Bureau records, 1944-2005, bulk 1990-2000
Lisa Janssen and Kelly Kress
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2011-08-17: Revisions, additions, and updates were made.

Repository Details

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

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States