Dating back to the 1600s, the Bay area was populated with thriving Native American communities.
It was home to diverse wildlife and had fertile soil, and was the location of the second permanent English settlement in the Americas.
For six years, Crews had found solace in the woodlands of North Carolina and Virginia, where Civil War soldiers once fought and camped.
The soldiers had left blood and glory on the battlefield, as well as more tangible items, weathered and buried and broken and faded, but each one sustaining a legacy.
The Chicago City-Wide Collection comes from a wide range of sources: transfers from other Chicago Public Library agencies, libraries across the nation, purchases, and private donations.
Where appropriate, the provenance of individual items has been noted on folders.
They’d stay out for 18 hours a day, sometimes for days at a time, motivated by the challenge of the find; the dit-dit-dit of the metal detector was akin to the ding-ding-ding of a winning slot machine roll.
Heyerdahl and a small team went to Peru, where, with the help of dockyard facilities provided by the Peruvian authorities, they constructed the raft out of balsa logs and other native materials in an indigenous style as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores. Heyerdahl and five companions sailed the raft for 101 days over 6,900 km (4,300 miles) across the Pacific Ocean before smashing into a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotus on August 7, 1947.
His aim in mounting the Kon-Tiki expedition was to show, by using only the materials and technologies available to those people at the time, that there were no technical reasons to prevent them from having done so.
Although the expedition carried some modern equipment, such as a radio, watches, charts, sextant, and metal knives, Heyerdahl argued they were incidental to the purpose of proving that the raft itself could make the journey.
Provenance information for Supplements 1-4, and for the Collection's photographs, is provided in their respective Scope and Content notes.
The Chicago City-Wide Collection contains materials that overlap several neighborhoods.