Local History & Genealogy

Phone: 217-367-4025
archives@urbanafree.org

The Champaign County Historical Archives is a department of the Library that maintains a research-level collection on the history and genealogy of Champaign County and its residents. Come explore our rich holdings of archives and special collections that document local life from the 1830s through the present day.  Archives staff can also help you search the extensive collection of family and local histories; Champaign County court records, including probate, guardianship, and chancery case files; birth, marriage, death, and naturalization records; newspapers, city directories and cemetery records. The majority of these materials are indexed and cataloged in the Local History Online catalog. Other resources include databases that provide access to genealogical resources worldwide, including records from FamilySearch’s Research and Library System. 

Planning a visit 

The Champaign County Historical Archives is located on the second floor of The Urbana Free Library and is open to the public.  Your visit does not require an appointment.

For hours, information on driving directions, and parking, please visit the library's Find Us and Hours page.  We do ask large groups to contact the Archives in advance so we may better prepare for your visit (K-12 students welcome!).

Making a Donation

To donate special collection materials documenting the history of Champaign County, please contact Anke Voss, Director of Special Collections & Archives at 217-367-4025 or avoss@urbanafree.org. Donations of books, photographs, postcards, family papers and organizational records, and monetary gifts are always welcome. Donations and bequests of materials are accepted by the Archives staff with the understanding that they are judged on the basis of the Archives Collection Managment Policy. Materials that fall outside the scope of this policy are not added to the collection. We will work with you to determine the most appropriate disposition of the material and to conclude a gift agreement. Donations are tax-exempt. Donors are responsible for assigning a value to donated items.