Local History and Genealogy Blog

Try-It Illinois is now available! (October 1 through November 30, 2014)

Try-It! Illinois 2014, the fourteenth annual statewide database trial, sponsored by Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois State Library is now available. Come visit the Archives and get your password!

Joseph William Royer, Architect of Schools and Early Urbana

Urbana native, Joseph William Royer is well-known for being the architect of The Urbana Free Library (1917), the Champaign County Courthouse (1901), and Urbana High School (1913). But his designs extended beyond Urbana and Champaign County, and even Illinois reaching into Iowa and Indiana.

Town & Gown Speaker Series: World War I in Champaign County, September 18, 2014

WWI recruiting station, Champaign, IL

The Champaign County Historical Archives is partnering with the Student Life and Culture Archives at the University of the Illinois to present a Town & Gown Speaker Series.  Our inaugural event takes place Thursday, September 18, 2014 and looks at the local impact of World War I.  Come join us for an evening of period music, poems from a native solider, local headlines, and letters from the front lines.

Wonderful Wednesdays


For weekly Wednesday Evening Hours in the Archives!

Starting now join us every Wednesday from 9:00am - 9:00pm for all your research needs. 

Coming Home: The J.O. Cunningham Journals Make Their Way Back to Urbana

You may have read the Tom Kacich article in the News-Gazette a few weeks ago about the miraculous discovery of early Urbana resident J.O. Cunningham’s journals in Kerrville, Texas. The journals describing Cunningham’s 1853 arrival in Urbana have now themselves returned to the community. The Champaign County Historical Archives is pleased to announce that The Board of Cunningham Children’s Home has approved a resolution to donate the journals to the Archives. 

J.O. Cunningham journals

Virginia Turns 100!

Happy Birthday, Virginia!

Archives volunteer and longtime Champaign County resident Virginia Lovingfoss will celebrate her 100th birthday today! Virginia was born and raised in Philo, Illinois and now lives in Urbana. At 100 years old Virginia volunteers at both the Champaign County Historical Archives and Carle Hospital.