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Major American Fires: Great Chicago Fire- 1871

Primary Sources

A number of books about the fire were published in the months proceeding it. These books provide a fascinating glimpse of contemporary perceptions of the fire and its aftermath. Some place the fire in a broader context by chronicling the history of Chicago up to that time. Others document the donations and relief efforts extended to the city by individuals and municipalities from around the U.S. and around the world. Some also include discussions of fire science as it was understood at that time.

They are now in the public domain and have been digitized by libraries.