Military Wiki

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library is a museum and research library for the study of military history in Chicago, Illinois, US. It was founded in 2003 by Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Ret.), then known as James Pritzker,[1] to be a non-partisan institution for the study of "the citizen soldier as an essential element for the preservation of democracy". Originally located in the Streeterville neighborhood, the library later moved 104 S. Michigan Avenue in the Loop.[2] The library is supported by donations and membership.


The collection of the Pritzker Military Library comprises over 70,000 items and includes more than 45,000 books, as well as periodicals, videos, artwork, posters, rare military ephemera, over 9000 photographs and glass negatives from the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War to the present, letters and journals from American soldiers, and a sizable collection related to Winston Churchill.

Circulating materials

The collection is open to the public, but membership is required to remove materials from the library building. The average loan period is three weeks with renewals. The Library participates in an interlibrary loan program with major public and university libraries in the continental United States. It is a member of several academic consortia, including the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) and Libraries Very Interested in Sharing (LVIS).

Rare materials

The library has over 3,000 rare books and additional periodicals that do not circulate. These materials can be used in the Library's rare book reading room by appointment.

Named collections

The Library has over ten named book collections, which include the Parrish Collection on Soviet History, the Dr. Charles E. Metz Collection (titles on World War II aviation), James Wengert Military Medical Collection, Lt. Col. Robert C. Peithman Collection (titles on the United States Marine Corps), Henry J. Reilly Memorial Library (volumes collected by Brig. Gen. Reilly), the Robert C. Baldridge Collection (volumes collected by Robert Connell Baldridge), Edward Jablonski Collection (books and working papers of historian Edward Jablonski), John V. Farwell Collection (books on the American and British navies), Robert G. Burkhardt Memorial Collection (books on submarines and leadership), and the WWI and WWII Sheet Music and Song Books Collection.


Programs at the library are free with membership and open to the public for a small fee. They have included interviews with Medal of Honor recipients such as Paul William Bucha and Gary L. Littrell, retired military figures such as Gen. Anthony Zinni and NASA Capt. Jim Lovell, as well as military authors such as Doris Kearns Goodwin,[3] Rick Atkinson, and W.E.B. Griffin. Programs are webcast live on the library's website and archived for later viewing or listening in streaming media or as podcasts. The programs are downloaded at a rate of 2,000 per month per program. They are also broadcast on Chicago PBS affiliates WYCC Channel 20 and WTTW Channel 11.

The Library also serves as a community resource, hosting commissioning and citizenship ceremonies.[4]


The Library has also hosted exhibitions by artists such as Steve Mumford, James Dietz, Don Stivers, and members of the Midwest Air Force Association.[5] Other exhibitions have included Don't Be a Dope!: Training Comics from World War II and Korea[6] and She's a Wow!: Women's Service Organizations in World War II.[7]


In 2007, the Library awarded its first annual Pritzker Military Library Literature Award to Civil War historian James M. McPherson. The award includes a $100,000 honorarium,[8] It is one of the richest literary prize endowments in the world and is given in the Library's name by the Tawani Foundation.[8]

Year Recipient
2007 James M. McPherson
2008 Allan R. Millett[9]
2009 Gerhard L. Weinberg[10]
2010 Rick Atkinson
2011 Carlo D'Este
2012 Sir Max Hastings
2013 Tim O'Brien


The Pritzker Military Library was named one of 10 recipients of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor for museums and libraries. The annual award, made by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) since 1994, recognizes institutions for outstanding social, educational, environmental, or economic contributions to their communities.[4] The Library's 2006 schedule was named an Official Honoree of the 2007 Webby Awards.[11] It was also named an Official Honoree in two categories, Live & Broadcast Events and Podcasts, in the 2008 Webby Awards.[12]


  1. Geidner, Chris (August 23, 2013). "Billionaire Backer Of Open Transgender Military Service Comes Out As Transgender". Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  2. "New on Michigan Avenue – The Pritzker Military Library". May 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  3. Johnson, Steve (November 15, 2005). "Hypertext". Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service". Institute of Museum and Library Services. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  5. "Air Force Art Turnover". Midwest Air Force Artists. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  6. "Cartoon Command: The Animation of War". Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  7. Reid, Kerry (May 8, 2013). "Pritzker Military Library offers oral histories, speakers". Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "James McPherson Wins Pritzker Military Writing Award". July 17, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  9. "Historian Allan R. Millett to Receive 2008 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award". June 23, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  10. "Gerhard L. Weinberg wins award for military writing". June 22, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  11. Guy, Sandra (August 1, 2007). "Webby salute for Pritzker library". Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  12. "Pritzker Military Library Receives 'Official Honoree' Distinction in Two Categories for the 12th Annual Webby Awards". April 10, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 

External links

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