Having studied and collected the World’s Columbian Exposition since the 1970s, our first book on the fair was published in 1993 to celebrate the fair’s centennial. That book, commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was published in a slipcased limited edition and a jacketed hardcover. In 2002 the University of Illinois Press released a new softcover edition, still in print today. Our new book, The Grand Midway, also from the University of Illinois Press, has an official publication date of July 2017, but copies will be in the warehouse and available the first of June.

The History Bank is a collaborative effort of partners Norman Bolotin and Christine Laing, also coauthors of both Columbian books. Unless otherwise noted, texts in our Columbian Journal are written by Norm.

All text and photos and the Journal as a whole are copyrighted 2017-2019, Norman Bolotin and Christine Laing. Photos, excerpts and vintage material is from The History Bank’s archives and library and the collections of Bolotin and Laing and may not be reproduced without permission. Permission is granted to the media to quote with proper credit.

Much of our 2019 will be devoted to inventorying, appraising and cataloging one of the finest Columbian collections ever asssembled–that of the late John Kennel. We will be selling the entire collection, which I estimate at close to 3,000 items. More important than the quantity, the quality is generally amazing. Medals, tickets, souvenirs et al reflect Kennel’s devotion to the fair and to quality. You will see hundreds of items for sale in our store, but because of the overwhelming quantity, we will be selling in a variety of ways. Please, if you have interest in the rarest and finest Columbiana ever collected, be in touch with me with questions and to follow our sales. –Norm Bolotin