Illinois Center for the Book

Literary Landmarks Illinois Center for the Book


Currently, the Literary Landmarks™ program is administered by United for Libraries. Through the years, the Illinois Center for the Book has partnered with different organizations to dedicate literary landmarks to increase the awareness of Illinois' rich literary heritage.

Groups interested in dedicating literary landmarks in Illinois are encouraged to contact the Illinois Center for the Book about a partnership. For additional information, please call 217-558-2065 or email bmatheis@ilsos.net.

List of Literary Landmarks by:

Literary Landmarks
Carl Sandburg State Historic Site. Galesburg, Illinois.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Lincoln biographer, was born in a three-room cottage adjacent to the site and grew up in Galesburg. His book Rootabaga Stories was written for his three daughters, and The American Songbag is a collection of American folk tunes that are still taught to children today. Decicated on April 25, 2015.
Ernest Hemingway Birthplace. Oak Park, Illinois.
On the centennial of writer Ernest Hemingway's birth, the Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Illinois, celebrated the occasion with a four-day conference and rededication of the restored Hemingway birthplace in Oak Park. Decdicated on July 21, 1999.
Hall Branch of the Chicago Public Library. Chicago, Illinois.
The Hall Branch Library, located in historic Bronzeville, was named in honor of Dr. George Cleveland Hall, a renowned surgeon, social activist and civic leader who was the second African American to serve on the Chicago Public Library Board of Directors. Dr. Hall played a vital role in connecting the African-American community with resources needed to learn, live, thrive and work by convincing a generous philanthropist to support the library by donating funds to purchase the property for a proposed library to serve a predominately large African-American community located on the south side of Chicago. The Hall Branch opened to the public on January 18, 1932, under the direction of Vivian Harsh, the first African American librarian in the Chicago Public Library. During the 1930's and 40's Hall Branch served as a meeting place for young writers such as Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Arna Bontemps, Zora Neale Hurston and Claude McKay. Dedicated on July 7, 2000.
Union Stockyard Gate. Chicago, Illinois.
This Union Stockyard Gate commemorates the centennial of the novel, The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair. The book exposed the unsanitary conditions of the meatpacking industry and is said to have influenced President Theodore Roosevelt in passing the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. The novel chronicles Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant, in his quest for the American Dream in the filthy Chicago stockyards. Dedicated on June 23, 2005.