The History Bank is the foremost source for World's Columbian Exposition information, resources and ephemera in the country.

Our experience with the 1893 fair dates to 1979, when we first began collecting fair artifacts and writing about the exposition, interests that culminated in the production of our first WCE history book, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (in hardcover and limited-edition) for the fair's centennial in 1993. The World's Columbian Exposition has become a standard reference for fair enthusiasts. It is available today in softcover from the University of Illinois Press. The Press will also publish our next WCE book, The World's First and Grandest Midway, a look at the colorful and sometimes controversial strip of the fair that showcased world culture in a never-before-attempted carnival atmosphere, scheduled for 2011.

We are currently researching and compiling a third book on the WCE, this one a comprehensive guide to the tickets and concessions of the Midway Plaisance. While many books have been written about various aspects of the fair, the only publications to address tickets, ephemera and/or collectibles are out of date and sorely inadequate in scope: Nathan Eglit's 1960s comprehensive but disorganized Columbiana catalog and James Doolin's 1980s guide to tickets, remarkably detailed for 24 pages, but with no illustrations.

In addition to maintaining one of the largest and most complete archives of the fair, The History Bank's Columbian reference library includes several hundred books and booklets, state histories, guides and other publications, as well as thousands of original and printed photographs. We offer a large and constantly evolving inventory of Columbiana for sale, one of the largest available in the United States at any given time. The criteria driving our inventory are quality, historical significance and collectibility. The items range from inexpensive to unique. We've sold a variety of one-of-a-kind pieces from the WCE: the world's most expensive WCE elongated coin, a gold piece that brought $1,800; the only known proof-specimen of the Ferris wheel ticket; and a token for a free cup of cocoa at the German Village Restaurant.

Whether you are searching for information or collectibles, our Columbian material is constantly changing—and always a centerpiece of our inventory. For more information, check our Items for Sale or PERSPECTIVE™, or email us at

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