Sunday, April 11, 2010

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: Illinois

This is the 14th post in a weekly series of Online American Digital Archives and Databases found for free at state, county, municipal, college and university history, library, and archive websites, as well as public and private library and museum sites, and historical and genealogical society sites.

Illinois State Archives - - online databases include Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Illinois Servitude and Emancipation Records, Illinois Veterans (11 sub-databases under this category!), Statewide Marriage Index (1763-1900), Statewide Death Indexes (Pre-1916 and 1916-1950), Federal Township Plats of Illinois,as well as many county record indexes held by various Illinois universities. You can search all databases at once by using the Global Database Search!

Illinois Digital Archives - - community histories, historical documents (including Lincoln and WWII), community images, newspapers, state blue books, state constitution, aerial photographs, museum collections, county genealogical resources, maps, and cemetery records

Digital Illinois - - some overlap with the Illinois Digital Archives content; also includes postcards, yearbooks, telephone directories, political cartoons, French WWI posters, and German emblem books. NOTE: Images from Digital Past (http://www.digitalpast.og) have recently been moved to Digital Illinois, since Digital Past is now a victim of reduced funding for Illinois libraries and library systems. So far the metadata has not been updated, but the images are available to browse.Thank you to reader Sonia for this update.

Illinois Alive! - - Early Illinois Heroes and Heroines: A Multimedia Montage - photos and stories

Illinois Harvest - - "a free public gateway combining search, aggregation, and discovery services. We provide organized and thematic access to digitized and born-digital resources about Illinois, created by Illinois scholars, and from the digital collections of The University of Illinois Library." Use to search many of the collections listed in this blog post.

Illinois Periodicals Online - - 11 publications listing archived to current issues

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Oral History Program - - "dedicated to preserving the stories and memories of Illinois' citizens, not just those of the famous and prominent among us, but of people from all walks of life."


Augustana College Thomas Tredway Library Special Collections - - student newspaper (1902-present), college photos, historic images showcasing the Mississippi River region along the Iowa/Illinois border, Civil War diaries, early pioneer biographies, farm life, Native Americans, postcards, transportation, and more

Benedictine University Library Archives and Special Collections - - alumni directory (1887 - 1937), photos, videos, museum collection

Columbia College Chicago Digital College Archives - - history of the college with timeline, list of presidents, building histories, and honorary degree recipients; oral history college, 1893 course catalog, 1951 publicity brochure, alumni publications, and links to images on Flikr

DePaul University Libraries Digital Collection - - includes photots of university buildings (1907-present); photos of 200 historical buildings in Chicago's Lincoln Park Community (residences, commercial sites, and churches); digitized documents from the Lincoln Park Conservation Association and other Lincoln Park neighborhood collections held in the DePaul University Archives (1950s-present); postcards depicting the pictorial history of the spirituality and mission of the Vincentians (including hospitals, churches, and seminaries)

Eastern Illinois University Booth Library Digital Collections - - Art and Architecture in Illinois Libraries; Booth Library Postcard Collections; history of theatrical performance in downstate Illinois; yearbook (1919-1927); and historic photos pertaining to the university

Knox College Special Collections and Archives - - includes Lombard College scrapbook and history (established 1858 by the Universalist Church, but did not survive the Depression); photos of the 77th Illinois Volunteers; Blacks in Galesburg, 54th Massachusetts Infantry; Knox College history and more

Illinois Institute of Technology Archives Exhibits and Collections - - Charles Warner Pierce Collection (first African-American to receive a degree in Chemical Engineering); history of the Institute; digitized school newspapers

Illinois State University Milner Library Digital Collections - - database of images for the study and teaching of art, design, and visual culture; university history (photos, campus history books, board proceedings, Founders Day videos); Child Art digital image collection

Illinois Wesleyan University Argus Collection - - university newspaper, 1894-2003

Lewis University Canal and Regional History Special Collections - - digital images and documents highlighting the Illinois and Michigan Canal

Loyola University Chicago Women and Leadership Digital Collections - - social justice collection; Mundelein College student newspaper and college foundations collection

North Central College Chronicle -

North Park University Digital Collections - - historical photos; Swedish American Historical Quarterly

Northern Illinois University Libraries Illinois Historical Digitization Projects - -  info on prairie fires, Lincoln historical digitization project, Illinois during the Civil War, Illinois during the Gilded Age

Northwestern University Library Digital Collections - - click on the Duigital Collections link (Digital Image Library is for faculty use only)

Northwestern University Library - McCormick Library of Special Collections - - some digital collections listed; mostly art

Parkland College Library Archives - - online historical exhibit and slideshow

Roosevelt University Oral History Project in Labor History - - transcriptions of oral history interviews with Roosevelt founders and labor movement leaders

Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) Morris Library Digitized Collections - - student newspaper, university history, yearbooks, faculty papers, photo collections; Mordecai Garelik Collection (over 800 scene designs, costume renderings and illustrations by Broadway designer Mordecai Gorelik)

University of Chicago Library Digital Collections - - photos, Chicago's World's Fair, Chopin Early Editions, Enrico Fermi Collection, historical material documenting the Ohio River Valley (1750 - 1820), University centennial exhibitions, and much more

University of Illinois (Chicago) Library Special Collections Photography and Digital Images - - "100 years of photographs covering the development of the Health Sciences Center, the Chicago Undergraduate Division at Navy Pier, Chicago Circle Campus, and the University of Illinois"

University of Illinois (Springfield) Digital, Historical, Oral and Other Collections - - commencement programs, photos, student newspapers, local history resources, manuscripts, Railway Quarterly photo collection, oral histories, oustanding student masters's theses, Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln

University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) Library Digital Services and Development - - digital film archive, historical maps, and some overlap with digital websites listed above

Wabash Valley Visions and Voices - - an Indiana State University Project, collaborating with libraries, museums, and educational professionals and focusing on the Wabash Valley region in west central Indiana and east central Illinois. It "contains artifacts, administrative and personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, texts, yearbooks, maps, oral histories, and other audio/video files. Genealogical resources are not included." Although genealogical resources are not included, this simply means birth, marriage, and death records. There's plenty here to interest the family historian. Be sure to check out the Browse and Special Collections links.

Western Illinois University Digital Image Collection - - "Images in this database come from all corners of the WIU Archives and Special Collections sixteen county collection area, with a special emphasis placed upon Western Illinois University, the City of Macomb, and McDonough County. "


Barrington Area Library Barrington Review - 

Chicago History Museum Online Resources - - online catalog, Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago, Chicago Daily News photo database (1902-1933)

Chicago Imagebase - - this is a "project aimed at enhancing knowledge about the built environment of the Chicago region. On this site you will find a wide variety of images and other data along with information on how to use this data to study the city." Includes maps, photos, and indexes.

Chicago Public Library Digital Collections - - various image collections highlighting the history of Chicago; includes Civil War and the Chicago Examiner

Cook County Clerk's Office - Genealogy Online - - indexes to birth certificates (75+ years), marriage licenses (50+ years), and death certificates (20+ years)

Curt Teich Postcard Archives - - images of more than 10,000 towns and cities in North America and in many foreign countries; one of the nation's largest collections of Route 66, Lincoln Highway and other travel-related images; over 100,000 job files for the postcards produced by the Teich Company;  365,000 postcards that are computer-cataloged under more than 2,100 subject headings

Homicide in Chicago - - Chicago Police Department Homicide Record Index, 1870 - 1930; interactive database, historical contex, publications, and interviews

Lake County History Archives - - "More than 1,400 postcard views of Lake County towns and resorts; and over 200 postcard views of the former U.S. Army base at Fort Sheridan; Large photographic collection of Lake County schools, farms, residences, and individuals; and over 2,000 photographs of Fort Sheridan; Plat maps dating from 1861 showing land ownership in Lake County; School Collection including 52 separate one-room school histories written in 1918, and township school records with finances and minutes of school board meetings from 1841-1962."

Lake Forest College Digitized Railroad Collection - - Chicago Rail Maps (1848-1910), Paddock Images; North Shore Line images

Peoria Public Library - City Cemetery/Public Graveyard Data - - burials moved from City Cemetery to Springdale Cemetery; City Ordinance governing City cemetery; Sales Records, 1851; Plat Map of City Cemetery

Skokie Historical Society Document, Map, and Photograph Collections - - "several thousand photographs that depict the life and times of the people who settled and lived in the village of Niles Center/Skokie"

Village of Chatham Cemetery Search -



Mavis said...

I was presented with the Ancestor Approved Award and am passing it on to you. You can pick it up at Conversations With My Ancestors.

Greta Koehl said...

Thank you, Miriam, this is a big one for me - and it adds quite a few sites that are new to me. Thanks!

Miriam Robbins said...

Oh, thank you, Mavis! I'll update my post.

Miriam Robbins said...

Greta, you're welcome. Happy Hunting!

Libertyville History Blogger said...

Just thought I'd let you know that Digital Past is no longer available online.
Unfortunately, it is the victim of reduced funding for Illinois libraries and library systems.
Fortunately, all of the Digital Past images have been moved to the Illinois Digital Archives. So far the metadata has not been updated, but the images are available to browse.

Miriam Robbins said...

Thank you for the update, Sonia. I'll get the info changed.