Historical Records Grant Recipients Illinois State Archives

Since June 2010, the ISHRAB has awarded 105 Historical Records Grants totaling $322,270.39 to Illinois historical records repositories. Funding for the ISHRAB Historical Records Grant program was provided by a State Board Programming grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Illinois SHRAB Grant Sites

2021: 8 Grants Totaling $28,222

Clinton: Vespasian Warner Public Library District
$1,490 to purchase supplies to properly preserve and organize its collection as the first step to get the materials described and digitized.

Elgin: Elgin Area Historical Society
$3,919 to convert an index of negatives to PastPerfect and attach the negative images of underrepresented communities in Elgin to PastPerfect Online and Illinois Digital Archives.

Princeton: Bureau County Historical Society
$2,262 to digitize and create an online finding aid for the Bill Lamb collection, representing a visual history of the Bureau County community spanning seven decades.

Libertyville: Lake County Forest Preserve – Bess Bower Dunn Museum
$4,841 to digitize a collection from the 16 year old infantryman Orson V.Young of Company D and the official records of Company B of the 96th Illinois Regiment.

Peoria: Peoria Historical Society
$4,200 to digitize the Moses Pettengill Collection, shining light into the world of the abolitionist, church leader and friend of Abraham Lincoln.

Bloomington: McLean County Historical Society
$5,000 to digitize 5,600 images from its Pantagraph newspaper photo negative collection from 1952.

Evanston: Center for Women’s History & Leadership
$1,511 to create online folder level access to 700+ subject and biographical vertical files.

Chicago: Southeast Chicago Historical Society
$5,000 to archival records work for materials currently lacking accession numbers and conservation work relating to display panels of the Memorial Day Massacre of 1937.

2020: 10 Grants Totaling $33,536

Chicago: North Park University
$3,761 to improve access to the Dorothy Vann Oral History Collection by contracting with outside experts to assess, conserve, and digitize 38 audio cassette tapes consisting of oral histories related to the North Park neighborhood of Chicago with a focus on Swedish immigration and religious life.

Quincy: Historical Society of Quincy & Adams County
$4,384 to digitize 2000 negatives in the Schott Collection that reflect life in a small Midwestern Mississippi River town and nearby small towns and farming communities.

Chicago: Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
$1,238 to arrange, re-house, and describe the papers of its longest serving director, William J. Beecher (1914-2002). This remarkable collection of unpublished manuscripts, original scientific illustrations, and thousands of photographic prints, negatives, and slides promises to tell a unique story of Academy history, environmental activism, and the natural world in 20th century Chicago.

Belleville: St. Clair County Historical Society
$1,515 to digitize the manuscript collection of the papers of Sen. Alan J. Dixon and make these records available to the public through Illinois Digital Archives.

Chicago: Midwest Nursing History Research Center
$4,309 to digitize parts of the Illinois Training School of Nurses (ITS) Collection, including photographs, documents, and audio oral history files from graduates.

Rockford: Midway Village Museum
$2,873 transcribe and digitize 300 business receipts from the first 50 years of settlement in Rockford, Illinois (1834-1884), and to digitize 1200 color slides of Rockford’s urban renewal and redevelopment efforts from 1964-2002.

Chicago: Northeastern Illinois University
$5,000 in grant funds to digitize the Luis V. Gutiérrez Congressional Archives, including legislative files, press releases, news articles, bills, floor speeches, awards, and photos spanning Representative Gutiérrez’s congressional career from 1993-2018.

Blue Island: Blue Island Public Library
$1,890 to contract with Konica Minolta Business Solutions to digitize 75 rolls of 35mm microfiche film of the Blue Island Sun Standard Newspaper and host it in the Illinois Digital Archives.

Cicero: Czechoslovak Heritage Museum Library and Archives
$5,000 to present and capture the unique history of the Czechs, Slovaks, Moravians and Bohemians in Chicago and the surrounding area by scanning and categorizing holdings (paintings, historical docs, photos etc.), digitizing 3-5 oral history videos, developing K-12 curriculum, creating an online portal on their website, and working with IDA as repository for the digital archives.

Evansville: Evansville Public Library
$500 to convert microfilm of the Village of Evansville’s newspaper, the Evansville Enterprise, (early 1900’s to 1964) to digital to aid in quick public access and to preserve physical copies.

Mahomet: Museum of the Grand Prairie
$1,914 to transcribe 35 oral history interviews from Champaign County’s East Frisian Community. The original audiocassettes were digitized and reformatted with the support of a 2018 ISHRAB Illinois Historical Records Grant award.

2019: 7 Grants Totaling $27,934

Rockford: Rockford University Archives
$534 to preserve faculty and trustee minutes and packets by re-housing these documents into archival folders, remove all binding materials, and ensuring archival standards of three copies are maintained.

Bishop Hill: Vasa National Archives
$5,000 to digitize and make accessible microfilm records from the Grand Lodge, District Lodges and Local Lodges via the Upper Mississippi Digital Image Archive.

Elgin: Elgin Area Historical Society/Elgin History Museum
$2,400 to create access to the Illinois Watch Case Company’s archival materials through the Illinois Digital Archives.

Lisle: Benedictine University
$5,000 to digitize the first and subsequent issues of the school newspaper, originally named “Studentske Listy” (Student Journal) and later changed to “C.-S. Student Life.”

Naperville: Naperville Heritage Society
$5,000 to hire a graduate student to generate finding aids for Naperville Heritage Society’s archival collections to be made available as PDFs on Naper Settlement’s website.

Evanston: Shorefront
$5,000 to digitally transfer, compile metadata and transcribe 58 tapes totaling approximately 55 hours of audio interviews of community members within the historical African American communities on Chicago’s suburban North Shore-Evanston through Lake Forest.

Chicago: DuSable Museum of African American History
$5,000 to support the archival processing and a digitization sampling of the Kathryn Magnolia Johnson Papers and Collection, which consists of original materials comprised of manuscripts, pamphlets, photographs, ephemera and other archival objects.

2018: 6 Grants Totaling $24,000

Chicago: Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
$5,000 to digitize glass plate negatives from CAS/PNNM's collections to illuminate the biodiversity of Illinois between 1898 and 1941. Digitizing these materials will make unique visual records reflecting the natural history of Illinois available through online portals, and provide important contributions to current ecological research and discussions.

Carterville: John A. Logan College
$3.800 to create and implement a digital preservation infrastructure for graphic materials in the JALC Library Archives. The project will deliver a comprehensive workflow for instituting digital access and preservation of archival graphic materials; a condition and action assessment to direct digital preservation efforts; and an online exhibition of graphic materials from JALC's collection of highest archival value.

Chicago: National Museum of Mexican Art
$5,000 to digitize the Museum's collection of photographs in preparation to make it available through a searchable database on its website. Funding will mainly support a contracted archivist to survey the photographs and prepare digital files. Digitized photographs will tell the story of Mexican and Mexican-Americans in Chicago and will benefit community members, scholars, students and educators.

Quincy: Historical Society of Quincy & Adams County
$3,440 to produce high quality digital copies of glass plate negatives taken by Quincyan J.F.C. Schott from 1900 to 1933 and curation of the negatives in archival sleeves and storage boxes in a climate controlled and monitor environment.

Chicago: Gerber/Hart Library & Archives
5,000 to create and digitize finding aids for boxed archival collections. Grant funds will be used for an initiative for creating digitally accessible finding aids, allowing Gerber/Hart to enrich collection accessibility and support the work of its dedicated volunteers.

Mahomet: Museum of the Grand Prairie
$2,713 to digitize 36 audiocassettes containing oral history interviews from Champaign County's East Frisian community. The goal is to produce a digital and reformatted copy of each interview to maximize preservation, allow for transcription and facilitate public access.

2017: 7 Grants Totaling $24,000

Rockford: Midway Village Museum
$3,329 to digitize 800 of its most popular photographs and add them to the museum's website. Photographs include Rockford's downtown, buildings, businesses and factories, and the 1940s girls' baseball team the Rockford Peaches.

Carbondale: Southern Illinois University
$4,441 to digitize, catalog, and make available online a small collection of maps in the Morris Library collection.

Lake Forest/Lake Bluff: Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society
$4,000 to hire a temporary Collections Assistant to prepare collections catalog records and launch PastPerfect Online.

Chicago: Media Burn Archive
$1,500 to create online collection-level finding aids for 35 collections of videos and papers documenting Illinois history and culture.

Chicago: Leather Archives and Museum, Inc.
$3,600 to create a collections management system and exhibit website using CollectiveAccess to make records of over 12,000 objects and 46 archival collections searchable and to expose currently inaccessible images.

Champaign: Illinois State Archaeological Survey
$5,000 for the arrangement, description, and digitization of original photographic images and paper documents associated with early (ca. 1905-1960) mound surveys and archaeological investigations in Illinois.

Aurora: Aurora Regional Fire Museum
$2,130 to inventory and preserve approximately 250 log books from the Aurora Fire Department spanning from the 1920s-1990s. These books chronicle fire calls, EMS responses, and time logs.

2016: 6 Grants Totaling $26,217

Chicago: The Adler Planetarium
$5,000 to arrange, describe, and archivally rehouse the Webster Photographs. The Webster Photographs complement the Webster papers, which have already been processed.

Chicago: Southeast Chicago Historical Society
$5,000 to help with the ongoing archival processing and descriptive work necessary to ensure greater accessibility and in anticipation of creating a future website of museum materials.

Chicago: Loyola University Chicago, Women and Leadership Archives
$5,000 to create a finding aid for paper records from the Mundelein College Collection to be published on-line and cataloged into the world wide library catalog (OCLC). The records document Mundelein College, Illinois's last all women's college, that operated from 1930-1991.

Des Plaines: Des Plaines History Center
$4,000 to digitize a large percentage of photographs in the Des Plaines History Center's collection, which are a key primary source and significant component of historical research, programs, and exhibits.

Lisle: The Morton Arboretum, Sterling Morton Library
$4,317 to purchase digitization equipment to extend a current project to digitize and catalogue unique artwork and archival resources related to author, artist, educator, and ecologist May Theilgaard Watts (1893-1975)

Oak Park: Oak Park Public Library
$2,900 for the implementation of ArchivesSpace, an archives information management application with hosted service and support from Lyrasis. This will ensure that ArchivesSpace will be launched in the most effective way for internal workflows and greatest public access.

2015: 6 Grants Totaling $15,750

Rock Island: Augustana College, Special Collections
$3,094 to digitize approximately 1,500 glass plate images that represent unique, valuable, and largely inaccessible pieces of Illinois and Quad Cities history. Subjects include Native American culture, the development of state parks, and the growth of the Rock Island Arsenal.

Mundelein: University of Saint Mary of the Lake
$2,650 to create a comprehensive plan to identify, preserve and facilitate online discovery of the SML Collection. The collection contains manuscripts, printed works, and media that uniquely document the history and character of the university as well as regional, American, and European history.

Batavia: Batavia Public Library
$1,420 to transcribe, digitize, and place online original Civil war letters and diaries (1861–1865) of soldiers from the 52nd and 124th Illinois Infantry Regiments.

Evanston: Evanston History Center
$1,500 to digitize 288 oral history cassette tapes (1970–mid-1990) that document Evanston's African-American, Caribbean, Jewish, Swedish, and World War II veteran communities (among others).

Peoria: Peoria Historical Society
$4,586 to identify, organize, describe, and input the records of items in the Peoria Historical Society Collection into a relational database and place on the Peoria Historical Society website for public access.

Cherry Valley: Cherry Valley Public Library District
$2,500 to describe, catalog, and upload into the Illinois Digital Archives and NIC Libraries catalog 300 digitized photographs depicting small town, rural life in northern Illinois.

2014: 7 Grants Totaling $19,058.90

Chester: Randolph County Archives and Museum
$4,459.10 to process, rehouse, and index the Randolph County Court Case Files, 1809-1859, that are currently folded and stored in 1860-era metal storage boxes.

Chicago: Gerber Hart Library and Archives
$2,515 to purchase shelving to properly house and make more accessible the archival collections

Chicago: Pullman State Historic Site
$2,642 to normalize the demographic information about residents of the planned community of Pullman, 1883-1940.

Darien: Darien Historical Society
$995 to purchase archival supplies to properly preserve the Society's photograph collection and make it more accessible to the public.

Evanston: Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
$4,009.10 to process, digitize, and provide access to the archival records of the Chicago Training School for City, Home, and Foreign Missions (1885-1934) and its founder and first principal, Lucy Rider Meyer.

Wheaton: Theosophical Society in America
$732 to purchase archival-quality enclosures to properly house the architectural records of the Society's headquarters building.

Winnetka: Winnetka Historical Society
$3,706.70 to inventory, assess, de-duplicate, rehouse, catalog, and create an online exhibition to document the John Ott Time-Lapse Photography Collection.

2013: 6 Grants Totaling $15,839

Bloomington: McLean County Museum of History
$1,194 to purchase acid-free negative storage envelopes for the preservation of approximately 6,300 photograph negatives from the local newspaper, The Pantagraph, spanning the years 1934–1939.

Chicago: Chicago Film Archive
$2,500 to begin digitizing the Ruth Page Video Archives which consists of 130 tapes that include hours of interviews with choreographer and Chicago dance giant, Ruth Page; dancers Maria Tallchief, Delores Lipinski, and Larry Long; and dance company performances.

Freeport: Stephenson County Historical Museum
$2,254 to rehouse and digitize approximately 1,150 glass plate negatives that include images which provide valuable insight into the life of a prominent local family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Peoria: Peoria Historical Society
$2,500 to hire staff to create a database that will provide accessibility to the Peoria Historical Society's historical records collection.

Peru: Peru Public Library
$2,500 to digitize 97 audio tapes and accompanying transcripts of Illinois Oral History Interviews that are currently inaccessible due to disintegration.

Tuscola: Museum Association of Douglas County
$4,891 to properly accession, accurately catalog, and correctly store Douglas County archival materials that were previously stored in donut boxes.

2012: 15 Grants totaling $40,325.99

Chicago: Loyola University
$5,000 to digitize the Mundelein College Audiovisual Collection, which documents Illinois' last all-women's college, to increase access and use of this collection as well as ensure its preservation.

Chicago: Ridge Historical Society
$2,410 to develop the Morgan Collection by prioritizing and implementing actions addressing its preservation, access, and organization.

Chicago: Chicago Film Archives, NFP
$2,095.99 – for the digital transfer and preservation of the Ruth Page 1/2" at-risk videotapes.

Effingham: Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association, Inc.
$847 to purchase archival storage boxes and shelving to adequately store historical documents and make them more accessible.

Evanston: Frances Willard Historical Association
$4,500 to digitize and provide online access to the transcription of American social reformer Frances Willard's 50 volumes of handwritten journals, dating from 1855-1896.

Jacksonville: Illinois College
$4,902 to strengthen and organize work currently underway at the College to preserve local historical documentary materials, to organize a local history archives, and to make these documents available to students, scholars, and the general public.

Kankakee: Kankakee County Historical Society
$500 to purchase archival enclosures to preserve and properly store local historical materials.

Macomb: Western Illinois Museum
$1,400 to upgrade the current collection management software program to more effectively and accurately manage archival holdings.

Plainfield: Plainfield Historical Society
$4,648 to arrange and describe the Vertical Research Files in order to identify primary source materials, improve public access, digitize primary documents and photographs, and create a new finding aid.

Princeton: Bureau County Historical Society
$4,935 to purchase archival boxes and shelving for the preservation of a collection of 18,000 glass negatives taken between 1866 and 1923 by Princeton photographer, H. W. Immke.

Quincy: Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County
$2,298 for the purchase of and conversion to PastPerfect-Online to make the historical records holdings more accessible to a wider audience.

Rochelle: Flagg Township Museum and Historical Society
$864 to purchase preservation materials to inventory, document, properly store, and preserve a collection of maps and plats.

Urbana: Champaign County Historical Archives
$1,691 to purchase archival boxes to rehouse the McCandless Photography Collection in order to provide long-term preservation and to facilitate physical access and storage.

Utica: LaSalle County Historical Society
$3,735 to identify, record, label, and scan approximately 5,000-6,000 photographs of subjects

Willowbrook: Darien Historical Society
$500 to purchase archival storage materials to house historical documents and photographs.

2011: 10 Grants Totaling $27,385

Bloomington: McLean County Museum of History
$4,999 to purchase storage cabinets to properly organize and preserve the architectural renderings and documents related to central Illinois architect Arthur L. Pillsbury.

Chicago: Chicago Film Archives, NFP
$4,000 to stabilize and catalog the final series of 16 mm films in the Morrison-Shearer film collection.

Coal City: Coal City Public Library District
$2,500 to hire staff to create a searchable online index of names of casualties in the First District as published in the Coal Reports of Illinois 1882-1927.

Decatur: Decatur Public Library Foundation
$3,000 to hire a consultant to create a "Local History Collection Mission Statement" with forms on accepting donations and a process on handling items to be added to the collection.

Elmhurst: Theatre Historical Society of America
$3,500 to purchase archival enclosures and boxes to re-house photographic slides and photographic negatives and transparencies.

Geneseo: Geneseo Historical Museum
$764 to catalog and preserve photographs, documents, and other primary source materials.

Lake Bluff: Vliet Center for Lake Bluff History
$600 to purchase a Sandusky flat file for the safe storage of the center's maps and oversized documents.

Monmouth: Monmouth College
$2,650 to develop a detailed processing plan that addresses the needs of the 58-linear-foot collection: physical organization; intellectual control; description; preservation; and digitization.

Murphysboro: General John A. Logan Museum
$3,000 to purchase a scanner to produce digital images of the documents, photographs and maps in the General John A. Logan Museum's archival collections in order to add images to collections files and to store images on an off-site server.

Rock Island: Rock Island County Historical Society
$2,372 to purchase a thermohygrometer and archival folders and envelopes to process and preserve a collection of commercial photographs that depict Rock Island County businesses and the Quad Cities International Airport.

2010: 16 Grants Totaling $40,002.50

Athens: Athens Municipal Library Heritage Collection
$3,328 to hire a professional cataloger to catalog materials not found in OCLC or the local library system's databases, purchase archival flat file drawers to house original area maps, and digitize photos, books, textiles and documents.

Bloomington: Bloomington Public Library
$648 to conserve issues of two historic Illinois newspapers and purchase supplies to house miscellaneous historic newspaper issues.

Champaign: Parkland College
$2,597 to hire a consultant to provide a report and recommendations on how manage the college's archives.

Chicago: Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
$2,500 to complete the arrangement and description of 40 linear feet of research files, correspondence, photographs and other materials.

Chicago: Media Burn Independent Video Archive
$4,991 for the preservation, access and arrangement of historical records documenting the people and events Chicago.

Chicago: Old Town School of Folk Music
$4,910 to inventory, process, re-house and create a finding aid for the school's photo and documents collection.

Columbia: City of Columbia
$1,381 to inventory, organize, catalog and preserve key documents related to the history of the city and surrounding area.

Crete: Crete Public Library District
$4,730 to digitize a rare and fragile glass-plate negative collection, out-of-print history books, and part of a historical newspaper collection.

Danville: Vermilion County Museum Society
$2,541 to encapsulate 350 local blueprints and create a research database.

Darien: Indian Prairie Public Library
$968 for the conversion of 22 volumes of the Darien DuPage Progress to microfilm.

Des Plaines: Des Plaines Historical Society
$2,500 to contract the services of the Chicago Film Archives to inspect, evaluate and repair home-movie film in the DPHS collection and transfer the film content to DVD storage medium.

Evergreen Park: Evergreen Park Public Library
$2,650 to identify, describe and preserve the library's local history collection.

La Grange: La Grange Area Historical Society
$1,260 to transfer the collection catalog from an unsustainable custom database to a standard industry software package.

Mendota: Mendota Museum and Historical Society
$923.50 to transfer the acquisition catalog from an outdated database to a standard industry software package.

Peoria: Springdale Cemetery & Mausoleum
$1,700 to hire a temporary archivist to inventory, arrange and describe the Cemetery's archival.

Springfield: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation
$2,375 to conduct a preservation assessment for a collection of 15 significant 19th-century original, oversized maps of Illinois towns and counties in need of repair.