Clarence W. Alvord was a member of the History Department of the University of Illinois (1901-20) and of the University of Minnesota (1920-23). He served as editor of the Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (1906-20) and of The Centennial History of Illinois (1917-20), and as managing editor of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1914-23). Alvord was also President of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (1908-9) and Director of the Illinois Historical Survey (1911-20).
He authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited over a dozen works and numerous articles. One of his books, The Mississippi Valley in British Politics, won the Loubat Prize in 1917.
The Alvord collection contains papers and correspondence relating to books, articles, and court cases; notes and drafts for The Mississippi Valley in British Politics; and correspondence with other historians, including Reuben G. Thwaites, Guy Stanton Ford, Lee Bidgood, Elizabeth M. Shepherd, Wallace Rice, Herbert S. Salisbury, and Louise Phelps Kellogg. The collection also contains research notes from trips to southern Illinois, Detroit, Canada, and New England, including information on the British and French regimes, notes for The Illinois Country, 1673-1818, various bibliographies, and a name index.
Additional Alvord papers are in the archives of the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections.