New Collections and 300,000 Items

This month, the total number of items contributed to the DPLA by Illinois institutions topped 300,000. Thanks to all our member institutions for making this possible. This week, we’ll take a look at some of the newest collections which include materials from the Newberry Library, DePaul University, the Illinois State Museum, Elgin Community College, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, the Chicago Public Library.
DePaul contributed a new collection of Napoleonic-era broadsides and pamphlets. This collection contains items in both French and English, including pro- and anti-Napoleonic rhetoric as well as histories and memoirs, with writings on events leading up to Napoleon’s reign, during his time, and in the aftermath of his defeat. See all the Napoleonic-Era Broadsides and Pamphlets items in the DPLA here.

Print illustration of Napoleon Bonaparte
Authentic memoirs of Bonaparte. Date unknown. DePaul University. Napoleonic-Era Broadsides and Pamphlets. Permission to display was given by DePaul University.

The Illinois State Museum contributed a new collection that documents the museum’s founding. The materials focus on founders, curators, and others who made a lasting impact on the museum’s history as well as architectural plans and early photos of the museum, its grounds, and exhibits. See all the Story of the Illinois State Museum items in the DPLA here.

Sketch design for the Illinois State Museum featuring and impressive columned building
Early plans for the Illinois State Museum building. 1956-12-18. Illinois State Museum. Story of the Illinois Museum. Permission to display was given by Illinois State Museum.

Elgin Community College’s new collection celebrates the life and legacy of Gil Renner, the institution’s first president and an important figure in the growth of community colleges across the state, helping to lead the development of the Illinois system of community colleges. This collection of correspondence, articles, pamphlets, administrative documents, and other materials authored or co-authored by Gil Renner was donated by his son, Richard. See all of the Gil Renner Collection items in the DPLA here.

Image of a trifold pamphlet announcing opportunities for students at Elgin Community College
Announce Opportunities at Elgin Community College. 1940s. Elgin Community College. Gil Renner Collection. Permission to display was given by Elgin Community College.

Thanks again to contributing institutions for providing so many rich new collections. See all of the DPLA’s collections provided by IDHH institutions.


Collections for Election Day

Editors Note 06/2021: broken Museum Collection and Prints and Photographs Collection links removed.
Election Day brings to mind the history of democracy in the state of Illinois. One of the richest sources of this legacy is the Chicago History Museum. Marking the week of Election Day, the Illinois Digital Heritage Hub features material from two of the Museum’s digital collections that are also available in the DPLA, the Museum Collection and the Prints and Photographs Collection.
The Chicago History Museum’s collections include some of the earliest campaign material in the state, including posters for Abraham Lincoln’s and Ulysses S. Grant’s election bids. The Museum exhibits technologies essential for the electoral process, such as a ballot box used to gather votes sometime between 1890 and 1932. Other materials chronicle the campaigns of more recent elected officials, such as former mayor, Harold Washington.

Banner featuring black-and-white etching of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln’s election campaign banner. 1864. Chicago History Museum. Museum Collection. Permission to display was given by Chicago History Museum.
Photograph of a ballot box
Ballot Box. 1890-1932. Chicago History Museum. Museum Collection. Permission to display was given by Chicago History Museum.
Former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington at a voting booth.
Harold Washington voting on election morning in Hyde Park. 1983. Chicago History Museum. Prints and Photographs Collection. Permission to display was given by the Chicago History Museum.

The DPLA features many of the Chicago History Museum’s digital items, including those featured here. See also the full range of IDHH institutions’ materials pertaining to elections or voting.