In the Year 2000 ...

By Jess D'Amico in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 21, 2007 8:04PM

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You might have already heard of the City 2000 project. The mission was to document life in Chicago in the first year of the 21st century for future generations and all that (which, as NASA's "Ask an Astrophysicist" informs us actually started in 2001). Over 200 photographers set out to capture life in the city, as well as sounds and video, which are housed at UIC's library. You can watch parts of the project on UIC's website.

Apparently though, this massive archive was not sufficient, so this week the public library got hold of more than 80 copies of the "deluxe" book version of the project. According to the library's press release, the books were leather-bound in Verona, Italy, and "encased in handcrafted, linen-covered clamshell." It features 199 of the photographs, as well as essays from Chicago landmarks like Studs Terkel, Rick Kogan, Rosellen Brown, and Li-Young Lee. The books went on display at public libraries throughout the city September 19.

This is pretty cool, but we're a little uncertain as to whether a book about the year 2000, a year most people who frequent Chicago libraries lived through, in Chicago, is worthy of leather-bound, clamshell honor. At any rate, the next time we visit Harold Washington, we'll be sure to take a gander, even if it's to find out what clamshell is.

Image via corydalus.