Illinois Archives, Libraries, and Societies

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This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Illinois sil.png
the Illinois Family History Research series.
History of Illinois
Illinois Vital Records
Census Records for Illinois
Background Sources for Illinois
Illinois Maps
Illinois Land Records
Illinois Probate Records
Illinois Court Records
Illinois Tax Records
Illinois Cemetery Records
Illinois Church Records
Illinois Military Records
Illinois Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Illinois Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Illinois Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Illinois
Illinois County Resources
Map of Illinois

Illinois State Archives

Margaret Cross Norton Bldg.
Capitol Complex
Springfield, IL 62756

Included in their extensive holdings are federal and state censuses, military records, land records, and other materials as described in the earlier sections of this chapter. Consult the Descriptive Inventory of the Archives of the State of Illinois (Springfield, Illinois, 1991, second edition) or request the Genealogical Records and Mail Research Policy brochure from the archives.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

IRAD Coordinator
Illinois State Archives
Margaret Cross Norton Bldg.
Capitol Complex
Springfield, IL 62756

As part of the state archives system, seven regional depositories at state universities include archival material from 102 counties. The records include original local govern- ment records turned over to IRAD and microfilmed local government records as well. The amount of material in IRAD's collection varies from county to county. A printed version of the IRAD holdings and more information on IRAD is available in print form in A Summary Guide to Local Governmental Records in the Illinois Regional Archives, 2d ed. (1999) and also on the Illinois State Archives website. The archives also has on their website a variety of research guides discussing county records in Illinois.

Illinois State Library

Gwendolyn Brooks Bldg.
300 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, IL 62701-1796

As the head of the public library system in the state, the library publishes Illinois Libraries, which frequently includes articles of genealogical interest. The Illinois State Library's five million items include more than 150,000 maps, Illinois Sanborn fire insurance atlases, nineteenth and twentieth century county atlases, aerial photos, and census maps.

Illinois State Historical Library (ISHL)

Old State Capitol
Springfield, IL 62701

The ISHL is scheduled to move to the Abraham Lincoln Library; check the website for updated information. County histories, plat books, census indexes, cemetery indexes, city material, family and association files, microfilmed newspapers, manuscripts, and photographs are included in its collections, much only available on-site. However, microfilmed newspapers from the library's extensive collection can be obtained via interlibrary loan.

Illinois State Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 10195
Springfield, IL 62791

The organization publishes a newsletter and a quarterly, and is also involved in a variety of genealogical projects throughout the state. The society also sponsors the annual Genealogical Institute of Mid America, held annually each July on the campus of the University of Illinois'Springfield. Indexes to the quarterly have been created, and an online topical index to articles from the Quarterly is available through the society's website.

Newberry Library

60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610

Peggy Tuck Sinko's Guide to Local and Family History at the Newberry Library (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1987) gives a comprehensive description of the Illinois sources available at this excellent repository. The library has an especially strong Chicago area collection.