“No coffee, no knick-knacks, just books.”
After 50 years, the Seminary Co-op Bookstore had to leave its cherished home in the basement of the Chicago Theological Seminary.
This marked a pivotal and bittersweet moment in the life of what is widely regarded as the greatest academic bookstore in the world. Moreover, this came after a long period of time when many similar independent bookstores have suffered or been forced to close. The Co-op in its former incarnation embodied – both in the layout of its space and what filled it – the life of the mind and the ethos of its neighbor, the University of Chicago. The importance of the Co-op in the history of the University and for the greater Chicago and intellectual community has warranted a significant effort to document it before it began the next phase of its life, as well as to foster renewed interest in this valuable asset on the South Side of Chicago.
The goals of this project are to produce a historical archive of the Co-op – both visually and audio/written – and to capture a sense of its life, meaning, and importance.
- Exhibition at the Special Collections Research Center
Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th St.
April 22-July 13, 2013
- Curator Tours at the Special Collections Research Center
June 6, 2013, 4-5pm
June 9, 2013, 1:30-2:30pm
- Article by the National Association of College Stores, May 10, 2013.
- Article in the New City, May 9, 2013.
- Co-op general manager Jack Cella gave us a shout-out in the Chicago Magazine, May 8, 2013. Thanks, Jack!
- Article in the Medill Reports, May 1, 2013.
- Special Collections Exhibition reported in the Maroon, April 26, 2013.
Gifts & Grants
Special thanks to:
- Uncommon Fund
- Jack Spicer
- Festival of the Arts 2012
- Southside Preservation Action Fund
- University of Chicago Communications