Local History and Genealogy Blog

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.

How a Railroad Company Helped Create a City

Railroads have been a large part of the Illinois landscape for nearly two centuries. They have reshaped the terrain, commerce and even towns and cities. One such location completely transformed by railroads was the city of Champaign.

Happy 140th Birthday Urbana Free Library!


In a few days the Urbana Free Library will be approaching a very important milestone. July 2, 2014 marks 140 years of community service. The library has a rich history, all starting with a group of men interested in creating a library.

Join the Archives for the Market at the Square!


The Champaign County Historical Archives will be at the Urbana Free Library's table at the Market at the Square on the third Saturday of each month, beginning tomorrow (June 21). Stop by to view historical documents and artifacts, grab a brochure, and take a look at some of the books that feature a variety of items from our collection. We hope to see you there!

Have you ever heard of PERSI?

PERSI, or the Periodical Source Index is the largest host of genealogical journals worldwide. Home to over 11,000 journals, many no longer in print, PERSI is a hidden gem for researchers and genealogist alike. Indexed are roughly 2.3 million articles concerning local history and genealogy spanning from 1800 to 2009.

Easily searchable, PERSI is extremely user friendly with multiple subject heading for simple website navigation.

·         Under the PEOPLE heading, users can search for ancestor names across the 2.3 million articles