The Clarendon Van Norman Jr. Collection consists of ephemera dating from 1828 to 1967, related to Illinois and Abraham Lincoln.
The collection contains Illinois broadsides and printed ephemera primarily from the nineteenth century. The materials include a variety of works from the pre-Civil War era such as prospectuses, periodicals, advertisements, newspaper clippings, government documents, and financial records. Divided into subject categories, the items cover topics in Illinois history such as politics and government, construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and business transactions.
Also contained in the collection are college commencement programs, religious sermons, materials from fraternal organizations, correspondence, music from the period, carrier addresses, and other printed works.
Van Norman also collected Abraham Lincoln ephemera, which document notable events such as Lincoln birthday celebrations and Galesburg's Lincoln-Douglas Debate Celebration. The series includes several periodicals featuring Lincoln as well.
Clarendon Van Norman Jr., a musician and book dealer, originally donated the Lincoln and Illinois ephemera in 2010. Additional material was acquired between 2010 and 2016. Many of the Illinois broadsides and printed ephemera were acquired in the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016.