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Illinois History

A Guide to Selected Government Information
Available at WIU's Government Publications Library

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Federal Government Information
U.S. Serial Set

This collection of Congressional journals, reports, and miscellaneous documents can be used to find federal relief of individuals and companies, activities on federal land (e.g. the Rock Island Arsenal), river improvements, petitions to congress, donations of cannons to municipalities--in short, anything that would involve congress in state or local affairs. The serial set covers 1789-present.

Geologic Atlas of The United States

This series from the Department of the Interior (US Geological Survey) contains topographical and geological maps and descriptions of a specified quadrangle. Aside from comparing modern topography to the survey year, the descriptions provide an understanding of mineral deposits and subsequent economic activity. Dates vary, but are early 20th Century.
I 19.5/1:

An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial structures within the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor

This book gives a description of the structures and often having a picture as well. The book goes on with giving a description of the history of each structure.
I 29.74:IL6/2

Inventory of the County Archives of Illinois

This Illinois Historical Records Survey Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) compliments the holding lists from the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (see below). Unlike IRAD, these reports only cover individual county-level records accessible during the survey period. Dates for the surveys vary, but were completed ca. 1937-1942.
Y3.W89/2:43/IL/6/8 thru Y3.W89/2:43/IL/6/92

Illinois Government Information
Illinois State Archives

Try this site, or the print version cited below, for the most current state archives descriptive inventory. Records include those from constitutional offices, such as the governor; departments and divisions created by state code; state institutions; and various boards such as non-regulatory, regulatory, higher education, internal improvement, and temporary. Types of records include minutes, correspondence and administrative files, and more. Includes some federal holdings.
ILLINOIS 016.353 I29d 1997.

Index to the Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society

This 1953 two-volume work indexes various series of the State Historical Society: Publications of the Illinois State Historical Library (volumes 1-3), Transactions of the State Historical Society (volumes 4-43), Papers in Illinois History (volumes 43-49), and Occasional Publications of the Illinois State Historical Library (volume 50).

Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities

While most of a given annual report focuses on state institutions--the insane asylums and special schools--another section contains short reports on the conditions of county almshouses and jails. In addition, essays on subjects pertinent to both state and local facilities are included. WIU has scattered reports from 1870-1916.
ILLINOIS 360C [report number]

Illinois Documents: A Checklist 1812-50

This 1965 book is an "assemblage" of Illinois Libraries articles that originally appeared in 1950-51. This is one of the few such lists for published Illinois documents.

Illinois State Library Special Report Series

This 1994 report presents newspaper holdings at the Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield. Municipalities, then newspaper titles, are listed alphabetically. Inclusive dates for each paper are provided as well as a list of missing issues; holdings are fragmentary, but generally good statewide. Interlibrary loan of microfilm can be arranged.
ILLINOIS 017.135 SPEC 1994

A Summary Guide to Local Records in the Illinois Regional Archives

This lists the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) holdings for county, township, and municipal records as of 1999. Included are minutes, ordinances records, treasurer's account books, deeds, justice of the peace dockets, and numerous other record groups and series. Coverage is uneven from ca. 1710-1993.
ILLINOIS 352.1646 SUMM 1999

Illinois History: An Annotated Bibliography

Although not comprehensive, this 1995 work includes primary and secondary sources ca. 1678-1995. Omitted sources are listed, but among the periodicals included were: the Western Illinois Historical Quarterly, Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Illinois Historical Journal, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Western Illinois Regional Studies, and others. The bibliography also includes monographs from university presses and reputable commercial printers. Excellently indexed by author and subject; cross-referenced by chronological period, subject, biography, general and regional histories and reference sources, and historic sites.
ILLINOIS 016.9773 ILLI HIST 1995

Coal Report

This annual report divides the state into districts, then lists basic data by district, county, and individual mine. Information includes the number of employees, tons of coal mined, fatal and non-fatal accidents, months in the year the mine operated, and so on. WIU is missing some reports, but generally has coverage from 1889-1986. Volumes prior to 1930 cannot be checked out.
ILLINOIS 622.33M- [date]

Annual Report of the State Food Commissioner of Illinois

This annual report reprinted statutes on food adulteration, shop and store cleanliness, and truthful labeling regarding meat, fruits, and dairy products. Among other things, it also listed creameries and food dealers inspected by the state and court cases involving food alteration or misrepresentation. WIU has print and microfiche from 1900-1915.
ILLINOIS 614.3 I29A [date]

Journal of Illinois History

A continuation of the Illinois Historical Journal, published quarterly.
ILLINOIS 977.305 i29ja2

Illinois School Directory

Included are faculty and administration for the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction; the University of Illinois; the state teacher's colleges; the various County Superintendents of Schools; and elementary and high schools (elementary school entries only list the superintendent). WIU has 1910-1920 (incomplete) and 1930-1977 (complete).
ILLINOIS 379.1 P [date]

Centennial History of Illinois

This five-volume set from 1920 is dated, but is a good general history.
ILLINOIS 977.I29ce

Legal Information
Illinois Statutes at Large

From 1818-1869 the General Assembly passed a number of special (or local) laws dealing with individual counties, municipalities, corporations, and persons. Information included municipal government and private organization incorporations, monetary relief for individuals, granting of licenses and, more widely, areas such as river improvements and roads. The Constitution of 1870 forbade the legislature from passing special laws.

Subject Guides