Avenu Welcomes Cook County, Illinois

Welcome to Cook County, where history meets the future in a groundbreaking digitization project! Avenu will be preserving and digitizing the rich historical records of Cook County, which includes the vibrant city of Chicago, making it the most populous county in Illinois.

The Cook County Clerk’s Office (CCCO) has taken on a crucial task—to digitize and safeguard historical records dating back to 1871. These invaluable documents, including land records and other important records, were at risk due to the deterioration of acetate-based microfilm, a condition known as “Vinegar Syndrome.” You can learn more about “Vinegar Syndrome” in a follow-up article in this newsletter.

Our role in this project is abundantly clear—to digitize and preserve the county’s historical records and invaluable documents, ensuring their accessibility and longevity. We will:

  • Scan and digitize records from books and microfilm to ensure their long-term preservation.
  • Index digitized records for easy retrieval by CCCO staff and the public.
  • Enhance poor-quality images for future reference.
  • Establish a mechanism for storing digitized images for CCCO’s future use.
  • Provide detailed reports on the progress, identifying digitized records, missing or damaged documents, and poor-quality images.

This initiative is of paramount importance as it preserves the history of Cook County and ensures accessibility to these records for current and future generations. The Clerk’s Office is unwavering in its commitment to protect and digitize these valuable documents, safeguarding them from the effects of Vinegar Syndrome and making them easily accessible to the public.

Together, we are setting new standards in digitization services and making history!