Dannel Angus McCollum, a native of Champaign, Illinois, is a local historian, environmental advocate, and community leader.
McCollum graduated from the University of Illinois in 1958, served seven years in the United States Army Corps of Engineers and nearly a decade in the State of Illinois Natural History Survey. In 1968, he received a degree in secondary education from the University of Illinois, after which he taught in high schools in Rochester, New York, and in Champaign.
Since 1976, McCollum has written on conservation and local history topics in numerous area newspapers, historical journals, and educational magazines. His interest in public affairs led to his election to the Champaign City Council in 1983. He then was elected mayor of Champaign, serving three terms, 1987-1999.
A large portion of the McCollum collection relates to the lawsuit which his mother, Vashti Cromwell McCollum, brought against the Champaign School Board in opposition to religious instruction in the public schools of the district. Included are legal briefs as well as papers relating to the case, including press clippings, speeches, and essays.
The collection also contains materials on conservation, reflecting McCollum's interest in Illinois rivers and his advocacy of the Ohio River Corridor Commission. In addition, the collection contains McCollum's writings on Champaign history.
Other materials include letters from friends of Arthur Cromwell, McCollum's grandfather, most of which relate to World War II.
McCollum donated the collection to the Library between 1983 and 2010. He donated an additional set of source materials related to the case in 2016.