The records of the Chicago Board of Trade and the MidAmerica Commodity Exchange have been processed and are now available for research. Though the records of the Chicago Board of Trade have been coming to UIC since 1968, the processing project was only recently completed with generous support from CME Group.
The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) began in 1848 in a flour store attic with 82 Chicago merchants and political figures. Its arrival stimulated the development of Chicago and solidified the city as a commercial hub. Commodity trading did not previously exist in the United States & its arrival brought a stable market to farmers who had suffered poor economic conditions due to unstable price fluctuations. In addition, commodities were now subject to standards and grades as well as inspection processes to ensure the customer received the product they paid for. The exchanges also set precedents for developing trading practices and relationships with boards of trade and chambers of commerce around the United States and internationally.
The MidAmerica Commodity Exchange (MACE) was initially founded as “Pudd’s Exchange” in a field on the corner of LaSalle and Washington streets in 1868. In 1880, it was incorporated as the Chicago Open Board of Trade. The exchange became known as the MidAmerica Commodity Exchange in 1973, and kept the name after it became affiliated with the Chicago Board of Trade in 1986, before dissolving in 2003. The exchange offered smaller versions of contracts offered by the Chicago Board of Trade, thus allowing individuals with smaller assets to trade and gain experience before trading larger amounts.
The collections contain materials documenting the history of the exchanges; their executive officers and members; operations, including committees and departments; rules, by-laws, and regulations; and statistical information. The materials include correspondence, reports, ledgers, meeting minutes, legal briefs, court dockets, rulebooks, visual materials, financial records, press clips, publications, transcripts, contracts, rulings and resolutions, statistics, and other documents.
The records are available for use in the reading room of the Special Collections and University Archives Department at the Richard J. Daley Library. Finding aids are available at http://library.uic.edu/collections/manuscripts-and-rare-books/cme-group