Web Resources on The Chicago World’s Fair

How Did African-American Women Define Their Citizenship at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893?

Part of the site "Women and American Social Movements, 1600-2000," developed by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin at SUNY Binghamton. Includes coverage of racial controversies centered on the Fair; speeches by African-American women at the Fair; and the full text of Ida B. Wells' protest pamphlet, "The Reason Why The Colored American is Not in the Columbian Exposition."


Interactive Guide to the World’s Columbian Exposition

Wikipedia's guide with images and text.


The World’s Columbian Exposition: Idea, Experience, Aftermath.

A hypertext M.A. thesis published in 1986 by Julie K. Rose, for her Master's degree in American Studies at the University of Virginia.


Books on The Fair

The following books analyzing the Fair are available at the Vassar College Library. Vassar also holds a number of primary documents about the site, including a two-volume history of the fair edited by Benjamin Truman and reprinted by Arno Press in 1976; plus photographs, engravings, reports, and reminiscences published in 1893 and 1894. To locate them, search the online subject catalogue under "World’s Columbian Exposition" or "Columbian Exposition."

  • Appelbaum, Stanley. The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893: A Photographic Record. New York: Dover, 1980.
  • Badger, Reid. The Great American Fair: The World’s Columbian Exposition and American Culture. Chicago: Hall, 1979.
  • Brown, Julie K. Contesting Images: Photography and the World’s Columbian Exposition. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994.
  • Burg, David F. Chicago's White City of 1893. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1976.
  • Carr, Carolyn Kinder, ed. Revisiting the White City: American Art at the 1893 World’s Fair. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art, National Portrait Gallery, 1993.
  • Lorini, Alessandra. Rituals of Race: American Public Culture and the Search for Racial Democracy. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999.
  • Muccigrosso, Robert. Celebrating the New World: The Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Chicago: I.R. Dee, 1993.
  • Rydell, Robert W. All the World’s a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, 1876-1916. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
  • Trachtenberg, Alan. The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age. New York: Hill and Wang, 1982.
  • Weimann, Jeanne Madeline. The Fair Women: The Story of the Woman’s Building, World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. Chicago: Academy, 1981.

© Rebecca Edwards, author of New Spirits: Americans in the Gilded Age, 1865-1905 by Rebecca Edwards, Oxford University Press


click a pic to learn more

Part I: Excerpts from the Education Art Series, N. D. Thompson Publishing Company, St. Louis, Missouri, 1893, in a weekly series of 20 portfolios


Part II: Poems and Architecture in the State Buildings, by David Greenstein Vassar '05


Dream City Resources

New Spirits
The Dream City
Perceptions and Realities: The Victorian Age Inventions of the era Tramps and Millionaires Yellowstone Park Journals of the era White City/1893 Worlds Fair The Civil War President McKinley