Database of the Day: Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930

Northwestern University hosts this searchable database of homicides in Chicago that occurred between 1870 and 1930. The mandatory search field is street name, but many other criteria can be added.

Read the description of this massive project, transferring handwritten records to a digital format.

The Chicago Historical Homicide Project began with the discovery of the availability of a rich log of more than 11,000 homicides maintained consistently and without interruption by the Chicago Police Department over the course of 60 years, from 1870 to 1930.

A search by street name returns a list of records with a short case summary. This image is about half of the data from one of those records.


Public records researchers will appreciate the pop up window of sources for related original documents.

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The one change to the database I would wish for is to be able to search by name, but the option to download the data in an Excel file should remedy that limitation.


3 thoughts on “Database of the Day: Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930

  1. The Chicago Historical Homicide Project seems to be searchable by all fields, including victim and defendant names and keywords, or any of those in combination. The site implies that street address is a mandatory field, but it’s not.

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