Season’s Greetings from the IDHH

The Illinois Digital Heritage Hub celebrates December by highlighting items that symbolize three of the month’s holidays as well as the winter solstice. Best wishes to everyone this holiday season.

“Happy Kwanzaa” is shared with permission from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Library. See all items contributed by the UIUC Library to the IDHH. The item is from a collection of materials created by artist and teacher Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. that speak to issues of equality, freedom, race, and African American and Pan-African history and culture.
“Chanukah” is shared with permission from the Illinois State University Milner Library. See all of Illinois State University’s items in the IDHH. Browse all items in the International Collection of Child Art, of which Chanukah is an item.
“Christmas Lights on the Tower” is provided with permission from the Bess Bower Museum of Lake County. See all their items in the DPLA. The item is from the Fort Sheridan collection, which documents the history of a former U.S. Army post in Lake County north of Chicago.

Winter in Illinois

December marks the beginning of the meteorological Winter; however, in Illinois, the cold weather and snow that are part and parcel with the Winter months often get underway as early as October. Now, the winter is just properly starting, with December being the first of the three coldest and usually snowiest months of the year.

Black and white photo of a person standing in front of a frozen waterfall
Winter at Homan Falls. Circa 1916. Quincy Public Library. Permission to display was given by Quincy Public Library.

As cold as temperatures can be during recent seasons, historical records, including data and photographs, demonstrate that winters in Illinois and across the country were colder and often snowier in the not-so-distant past. The Quincy Public Library’s Quincy Area Historic Photo Collection includes many photos that help provide historical records of winters past as well as capture the sublime beauty of some of Illinois’ harshest weather.

Bkack and white photograph of a snowy street next to multi-story houses
West side of 6th street North of Elm. Late 1800s. Quincy Public Library. Permission to display was given by Quincy Public Library.

Far beyond its impressive set of winter and weather-related images, the Quincy Area Historic Photo Collection shows the history of a remarkable town, with records dating back to the 1830s, just a decade after the town’s founding. Quincy is a significant location in the history of the Mormon faith as well as being the site of one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Two-story brick home with snow-covered yard in trees in the foreground
Orville H. Browning Family Home. Date unknown. Quincy Public Library. Permission to display was given by Quincy Public Library.

See all of the Quincy Public Library’s items in the IDHH. See all of the items contributed by IDHH institutions that relate to winter or snow.