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Chicago Area Transportation Research Guide
Make an Appointment
The Transportation Library staff is here to serve the information needs of the Northwestern University community with individual research appointments and user education for classes. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Chicago Department of Transportation
CDOT includes recent transportation news on its website.
Access Chicago Tribune content from 1860 to the present day. Online access is restricted to members of the Northwestern University community.
Crain's Chicago Business
Access from 1986 to the present, restricted to the Northwestern University community.
Access dating back to 1909, restricted to the Northwestern University community.
Streetsblog is a daily news source connecting people to information about sustainable transportation and livable communities.
NUsearch is the main search tool for Northwestern University Library, combining the library catalog with a wealth of other databases and online collections.
Produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board, TRID is the world's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation research information, covering all modes of transportation.
Illinois Transportation Network Overview
From the Illinois Department of Transportation, an overview of the state's rail, highway, airport, transit, waterway, and trails and paths systems. This includes a Fast Facts sheet for information on Illinois' multi-modal transportation system.
RTAMS - Regional Transportation Authority Mapping and Statistics
RTAMS is a data warehouse for planning and financial information on the transit system in the northeastern Illinois area surrounding Chicago. RTAMS also allows users to access transit and related data through interactive maps. A great source for demographics, transit access scores, TOD information, and more.
Chicago-Related Digital Collections at the Transportation Library
- Atlas of Freight Facilities
The Atlas of Freight Facilities, published in 1971, mapped the locations of gas pipelines, petroleum pipelines, electric transmission, motor freight, rail freight, waterborne freight, air freight and other terminals in the Chicago region based on data obtained by the Chicago Area Transportation Study.
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport Digital Collection
Comprising material from 1927 through 1998, the Chicago O’Hare International Airport Digital Collection includes studies, annual reports, statistics, plans, and other information covering the operations of the airport and its transit connections to the region produced by the City of Chicago and other organizations.
- Chicago Region Digital Transportation Collection
The major transportation agencies of the Chicago region: Pace, RTA, and CTA are represented through annual reports, planning documents, surveys, and other studies in this collection of digitized materials, dating back to 1945.
- CTA Service Changes to bus and train schedules:
Chicago-Related Archival Collections at the Transportation Library
Inland Water Pamphlets
The collection consists of 78 brochures used to advertise recreational cruises, primarily those on the Great Lakes. Companies operating out of Chicago, Illinois are substantially represented in the collection. Materials in the collection are in English. Dates range from 1890 to 1972.
John A. Swider Timetable Collection
This collection consists of 919 rail and bus timetables from the United States and Canada collected by Mr. John A. Swider, of Mount Prospect, Illinois. The collection comprises timetables issued 1880 through 2006, with the majority dating from the 1930s through the 1990s. It includes timetables focused on the Chicago metropolitan area, and on travel to the San Francisco, Chicago, and New York World’s Fairs.
Leigh Fisher O'Hare Collection
Leigh Fisher (1922-1982) was an airport consultant and founder of Leigh Fisher Associates (LFA) who advised on the design and construction of airports throughout the second half of the 20th century. He participated in the design and construction of Chicago O'Hare International Airport from the airport lease negotiations in 1959 to participation as a member of the Chicago Airlines Top Committee, a small working group of airline companies and consultants who worked on the execution of design details of the construction of the airport, from 1959-1963. The collection consists of 22 memoranda.
Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection
The Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection is an extensive collection of photographs and slides of public and commercial buses and public transit and commuter trains, dating from 1946-2000. The bulk of the collection comprises photographs taken by Ronald J. Sullivan, an amateur photographer and rail and bus enthusiast; also included are historic images of Chicago-area transit that were part of Sullivan’s personal collection, and which supplement the photographer’s original material. The majority of the photographs were taken in Chicago, Illinois and the surrounding area, with a few in other cities and international locations. Sullivan documented nearly all of the photographs and slides in this collection in detail with bus or train numbers, route numbers, street intersections or stations, and dates.
The Transportation Library supports the students and faculty of the Transportation Center and the Center for Public Safety. Containing more than 500,000 items, we are one of the largest transportation information centers in the world, encompassing information on all modes of transportation including air, rail, highway, pipeline, water, urban transport, and logistics.
Reference staff are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC) is a leading interdisciplinary education and research institution serving industry, government, and the public with substantive and enduring contributions to the movement of materials, people, energy, and information.