Chicago History Museum-Resources-History Files
While browsing the sites that you listed I ran across this site “Subject “heading for Al Capone- I saved the link as something that I wanted to go back to. That’s were the mystery began.
The Al Capone collection of photo is included in the “History Files” created in 1999. The home page has a clickable old photograph with 9 sites to browse of which Al Capone is at the top left. You click and begin a historical narrative with eleven embedded photos and a bibliography. Others links to visit include the photo gallery of 14 photos. The photos are very small with no option to zoom them in for detail. Another link allows you to view 7 artifacts. Again you are unable to zoom in for a better view of details. The rest of the history files include the Chicago Fire (6 photos embedded in historical narrative; no photos in gallery), Fort Dearborn (just a coming soon sign), The World’s Columbian Exposition (11 photos embedded in historical narrative; no photos in gallery), The Pullman Ear (24 photos embedded in historical narrative and 12 in photo gallery), The stockyards (14 photos embedded in historical narrative; 5 photos in gallery), A Century in Progress (17 photos embedded in historical narrative; they linked to photo gallery but there no photos, but there were 7 artifacts), Parades, Protest & Politic, and The Black Sox (9 photos embedded in historical narrative; 6 photos in gallery and additional links). The metadata for the collection of photos and the artifacts consist of a caption, date, and the call number. To figure out what museum I was in I had to click at the very bottom of the page in small letters, “ Back to the Chicago Historical Society Home Page” Nothing listed directly on the “Home Page” directed me to Al Capone, the photo gallery, the History Files, or any other reasonable association. The side bars made no reference. Finally, there were online resources that linked me a list including “Al Capone”. This was at the very bottom of the list “History Files”, so the most difficult part was navigating to where I had originally just clicked from a “Subject” list.
The “History Files” site would be something that history buff’s might be interested in. Once at the site they would be disappointed by the inability to zoom in on the photos or even the artifacts.
I found the following statement quite interesting, “We realize that not all researchers are able to visit the Research Center in person. We provide many resources online in the research section of our website. If you require a detailed or time-critical response not found online, we may suggest that you hire a freelance researcher.” Then they provide a link with a list of name and addresses.
There is quite an extensive outline of what they will and will not do. It is spelled out very clearly.