Local History and Genealogy Blog

Pinning Down Your Family History: How Pinterest can help you display, organize, and share your family and community history

Want to learn creative ways to make your family history more accessible? Interested in participating in a local community online “pinboard?” This program will give you the skills you need to confidently use Pinterest to compliment your family history and local history research. Participants will learn the basics of Pinterest, as well as how to effectively share and organize family photos, memories, and documents. Read more about Pinning Down Your Family History: How Pinterest can help you display, organize, and share your family and community history

"Veterans of Champaign County" Photograph Set on Flickr

With Veterans Day just around the corner, it is the perfect time to check out the newest photograph set on the Urbana Free Library Digital Collections Flickr page: "Veterans of Champaign County." This set can be accessed at the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/98945443@N05/sets/72157637157159524/. Read more about "Veterans of Champaign County" Photograph Set on Flickr

Try-It Illinois

It's that time of year again!

For the next two months, October 1-November 30, 2013, Try-It! Illinois offers library staff and users of the more than 5,000 ILLINET member libraries the opportunity to survey and evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois. Read more about Try-It Illinois

Ellis Island, Castle Garden, Customs, and the Old Barge

We all learned as school children how our immigrant ancestors came to America through Ellis Island. The real story about where and when immigrants entered the United States is much more complicated than the story we grew up with. Ellis Island was a New York gateway for the arrival of U.S. immigrants from roughly 1892 to 1924. Although it was by far the largest port of entry and millions arrived during that time, it was one of many ways to enter the United States. Read more about Ellis Island, Castle Garden, Customs, and the Old Barge

"I wish you were here if only for a short time."

Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi to the Union armies commanded by Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War. It was a seminal moment: the Confederacy was now split in two and commerce could once again flow from the farms of the Midwest down the Mississippi River virtually unimpeded. Read more about "I wish you were here if only for a short time."