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Manuscript collections processed

Work processing, arranging, and describing manuscript collections for better research access is ongoing. To see what’s new, go to our List of Recently Added Manuscript Collections.

2018 Exhibit: “‘I Shall Never Be Able to Forget What I Saw’: A Brief History of Illinois Disasters”

Sign for "I shall never be able to forget what I saw: A brief history of Illinois disasters" exhibit

This exhibit will be on display in the IHLC Reading Room (room 324) on the third floor of the Main Library from June through August 2018.

The Illinois History and Lincoln Collections presents “‘I Shall Never Be Able to Forget What I Saw’: A Brief History of Illinois Disasters,” an exhibit featuring materials on six tragedies from Illinois’s past. Our state has seen tornados, fires, mining disasters, riots, epidemics and many other catastrophic happenings that have shaped its history. The items on display illustrate some of these events through firsthand accounts and contemporary photographs, offering insight into these catastrophes through the eyes of those who endured them.

2018 Exhibit: “State No. 21: Celebrating the Illinois Bicentennial”

Sign for "State No. 21: Celebrating the Illinois Bicentennial" exhibit

The exhibit will be on display in the North-South corridor of the Main Library from early April through May 2018.

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Illinois statehood (1818-2018), the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections presents “State No. 21: Celebrating the Illinois Bicentennial,” an exhibit that explores the history of Illinois from the time the French arrived in 1673 to the present day. Learn what life was like for Illinoisans during the early days of settlement on the prairies, the Civil War, the rise of industrialization, the World Wars, the political turbulence of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and other events throughout the state’s history. Through facsimiles of photographs, letters, records, sketches, and other materials, explore the development of the Prairie State and its contributions to the nation and the world.

2018 Exhibit: “The Leveretts’ Alton: One Family’s Life in Alton, Illinois”

sign for "The Leveretts' Alton" exhibit

This exhibit will be on display in the IHLC Reading Room (room 324) on the third floor of the Main Library from February to May 2018.

In celebration of the bicentennial of Illinois statehood (1818-2018), the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections presents “The Leveretts’ Alton: One Family’s Life in Alton, Illinois,” an exhibit featuring archival materials dating between the 1840s through the 1860s from the Leverett family, who settled in Alton early on in its development. Alton, located north of St. Louis on the bank of the Mississippi River, served as a major port of trade and travel and played a significant role in Illinois history.

Newlyweds Warren and Mary Ann Leverett moved from New England to Alton in the 1830s, where they soon became involved in the community. Photographs, letters, and other personal papers offer insight into one family’s experience living in Alton during a period of growth, as well as what life was like in southwestern Illinois during and after the tumultuous period of the Civil War.

This exhibit was created in conjunction with the Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s exhibit “Designed, Displayed, and Discarded: Ephemeral Printing in Alton, Illinois, 1835-1855.”

2017 Exhibit: “Home: Illinois Immigration Stories”

Poster for "Home: Illinois Immigration Stories" exhibit

This exhibit will be on display in the IHLC Reading Room (room 324) on the third floor of the Main Library from late October to January 2017.

The Illinois History and Lincoln Collections presents “Home: Illinois Immigration Stories,” an exhibit featuring archival documents from three families who immigrated to the United States and chose to make Illinois their home. Two of the families, the Gutmanns and the Stevens, emigrated from Europe in the mid-1800s, eventually settling in Champaign County. The third family, the Alayus, emigrated from the Philippines in the early 1900s and settled in Chicago. Photographs, letters, and notebooks from the three families show how each sought the opportunity to create a new home in Illinois.

2017 Exhibit: “‘Prepare for the Stormy Times Before Us’: Chicago’s Haymarket Affair”

Exhibit poster for "Prepare for the Stormy Times Before Us": Chicago's Haymarket Affair

This exhibit will be on display in the IHLC Reading Room (room 324) on the third floor of the Main Library from late August to mid-October, 2017.

In honor of Labor Day, the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections presents “Prepare for the Stormy Times Before Us: Chicago’s Haymarket Affair,” an exhibit that explores both the event and its aftermath through selected print and archival materials. On May 4, 1886, violence erupted at a labor rally held in Haymarket Square, Chicago, when an unknown assailant threw a bomb into the crowd soon after the police had arrived to disperse the attendees. The violence at Haymarket Square deepened xenophobia and anti-labor sentiments not only in Chicago, but also around the world. This exhibit explores the initially peaceful rally that quickly turned into a scene of chaos, as well as the controversy surrounding the subsequent trial and its ramifications.

New IHLC Reading Room Location: Now in Room 324 of the Main Library!

Photo of the new IHLC reading room in 324

In order to create more space for researchers, as well as for mounting small exhibits, the IHLC reconfigured its public space and staff areas in July 2017. Our reading room is now in the largest room we have, room 324. The reading room includes our reference desk, a larger table for researchers, a public computer and scanner, space for our reference book collection, and two new exhibit cases that will feature rotating exhibits on Illinois history and Lincoln. The ox yoke (which was allegedly made by Abraham Lincoln) also remains on display at the head of the research table. Come by and check out our new space!

2017 Exhibit: “Working for Change: Stories of Labor History in Illinois”

labor_history_exhibit_2017

This exhibit was on display in the North-South Corridor of the first floor of the Main Library from June 5-August 30, 2017.

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the Steelworkers Summer Institute at the University of Illinois, the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections has collaborated with the University Archives and the Champaign County Historical Archives to present this exhibit on the history of labor in Illinois. Labor organization and activism across a variety of industries, from the sweatshops of Chicago to the mines of southern Illinois, have a rich history throughout the Prairie State.  Drawing from collections held at these local repositories, the exhibit focuses on select figures and stories that exemplify the impact of labor activism in Illinois.

2015 Exhibit: “A Nation in Tears: 150 Years after Lincoln’s Death”

Image of Abraham Lincoln This exhibit, featuring items from the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, was on display in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois from February 12 to May 4, 2015.

If you missed it, the exhibit catalog is still available for download.