Marguerite Jenison Pease (1895-1993) directed the Illinois Historical Survey (now the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections) from 1959 until her retirement in 1964. The wife of Theodore Calvin Pease (Survey director from 1939 to 1948 and author of The Story of Illinois, a seminal work on the state's history), Mrs. Pease was a silent partner in many of her husband's works. Due to her contributions to his work and the quality of her own projects, Mrs. Pease remains an important figure in the field of Illinois history.
Following her graduation from the University of Wisconsin in 1917, Mrs. Pease spent the next five decades working in archives, manuscripts, and documentary editing. She came to the University of Illinois in 1919, as director of the War Records Section of the Illinois State Historical Library. In 1924 she joined the staff of the Illinois Historical Survey and became assistant editor of the Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library. Three years later she married its editor, Mr. Pease. Together they wrote George Rogers Clark and the Revolution in Illinois, 1763-1787 (1929).
After Mr. Pease's death in 1948, Mrs. Pease revised his Story of Illinois (1965).
This collection mostly contains materials related to Mrs. Pease's work in archives, manuscripts, and documentary editing, and includes correspondence, publications, notes, memoranda, and organizational reports. The collection is divided into five series: 1. Education and Career; 2. The Story of Illinois; 3. Illinois State Historical Society; 4. Archival Matters (especially in the Society of American Archivists); 5. University of Illinois; 6. John Mason Peck; and 7. Miscellaneous.
Mrs. Pease donated this collection to the Library in 1991. Related collections include the papers of Theodore Calvin Pease, the archives of the Illinois Historical Survey, the papers of the War Records Section of the Illinois State Historical Library (1919-24), records of the Illinois War Council (1940-45), and the Illinois Bicentennial Collection.