Local History and Genealogy Blog

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.

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.