A Guide to the History of Illinois

By John Hoffmann | Go to book overview

25
OTHER DOWNSTATE REPOSITORIES

FRANK H. MACKAMAN

THE DIRECTORIES LISTED in the Introduction to these archival reports point to an array of historical societies, museums, public libraries, and other institutions in Illinois with printed and manuscript holdings of special importance for the history of particular localities. These repositories preserve unique sources relating to specific counties and communities. Furthermore, numerous academic, denominational, and corporate archives contain "Illinois" documentation for organizations not defined by state lines. An adequate survey of all these collections would require another book. The following pages merely introduce a few repositories with holdings of statewide or regional as well as institutional or local interest.

The line between local and regional collections is somewhat artificial, if not arbitrary. Consequently, the coverage here is not an index to the relative importance of dozens of repositories in downstate Illinois. In Bloomington, for example, the manuscript collections of the McLean County Historical Society are no less impressive than the nearby holdings of Illinois State University, and the library of the Central Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church is in many ways comparable to other centers with denominational ties, such as Augustana College, a Lutheran foundation in Rock Island. Similarly, Eastern Illinois University, at Charleston, is the Illinois Regional Archives Depository for sixteen surrounding counties and thus participates with five other downstate universities in an archival network for local government records.

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