The Illinois History and Lincoln Collections (IHLC) preserves and provides access to both print and manuscript materials documenting the history of Illinois as well as Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy. Approximately 35,000 printed volumes and 1,000 manuscript collections as well as numerous maps, photographs, ephemera, and other materials provide rich resources for researchers in a many fields.
The collections document the history of Illinois and its inhabitants from the colonial era and earlier to the present day. Printed volumes include local histories, directories, atlases, contemporary works, and scholarship for wide range of subjects and time periods. Books and other print materials in the IHLC may be searched through the online catalog. Manuscript collections encompass records of organizations and individuals as well as diaries, letters, and other personal papers. Descriptions for many of these collections may be searched through the Manuscript Collections Database. Please note that materials in the IHLC do not circulate, but are available for research in the IHLC reading room on the third floor of the main library.
Search for Manuscript Collections
Find IHLC archival and manuscript materials described in the Manuscript Collections Database
Recently cataloged at the IHLC
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Records, 1828-2017 (new accessions incorporated)
- McNitt Family. Papers, 1840-1938 (new detailed inventory)
- Flinn, John J., Collection, 1892-1893 (new inventory)
- Osman, William. Letters, Letterbook, and Diary, 1826-1946, 1993-1994, 2003
- Crabbs, Clarence Lincoln. Letters, 1886-1935
Books and other publications
- Before they were the Cubs : the early years of Chicago's first professional baseball team /
- Boone County originals : remarkable people and curious incidents /
- Chicago and the making of American modernism : Cather, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald in conflict /
- Confronting the color line : the broken promise of the civil rights movement in Chicago /
- Lincoln in the Illinois legislature /