Nancy Campbell Hays (1923/2007), a beloved Hyde Park photographer, activist and preservationist, arrived in Chicago in 1958 from NYC at the age of 35 and would remain here, building her legacy and supporting the local community, the rest of her life.
She worked as a photographer for the Hyde Park Herald, crafted innovative advertising campaigns for the Hyde Park Cooperative, and loved to wander our streets and lakefront capturing the authentic spirit of this unique part of Chicago. She is a Hyde Park legend.
In 2007, at her passing, Nancy left her entire collection of photographs and negatives to the Hyde Park Historical Society and they have remained safely at Regenstein library since her death.
The time has come to explore her legacy, to open up the boxes of mostly never before seen images that were closed for 12 years, and to celebrate the individual that was Nancy Hays.
The Hyde Park Historical Society plans to fully develop and process the Nancy Hays collection at Regenstein Library. This is a substantial undertaking and costs are estimated to be $100,000+.
In order to kickstart this effort, the Society has pledged $1,000 to help mount the first exhibit of Nancy Hays’ photographs. This exhibit will highlight a small portion of the Nancy Hays material and be used to publicize Nancy’s work and as a basis for further fundraising activities. The exhibit will initially be displayed at the Hyde Park Historical Society then at other venues throughout Hyde Park. The goal is to have the exhibit ready for display by early Fall 2019 with estimated costs of $8,500, leaving a balance of $7,500 that needs to be raised.
President & Archivist Hyde Park Historical Society