The Archives collections are open to the public for research. Reference staff are available to help patrons find the information they need. Although an appointment is not necessary to use Archives materials, visiting our catalog, Local History Online, or sending us an email or calling us on the phone may save you time. Reference staff can answer questions, refer you to appropriate materials, or help you plan a research visit. Archives staff can do only brief research to answer questions based on information found in our catalog. For in-depth research, request our list of local researchers (fees vary) who specialize in genealogy and local history.
If you are unable to visit in person, please consult our Local History Online catalog at http://archivescatalog.urbanafreelibrary.org/polaris/. This site allows a comprehensive search of the holdings of the Champaign County Historical Archives, helpful hints, contact information, instructions for downloading a Record Request Form and costs associated with having copies made. If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 217-367-4025.
Since the Archives collection is not comprehensive, the time may come when you might need to look at material that is located elsewhere. In some cases, books, censuses, newspapers and other microfilms or photocopies may be obtained through interlibrary loan. There is a fee per interlibrary loan request, which helps pay a portion of the amount that lending libraries charge the Archives (fees may vary). Interlibrary loan requests within the state of Illinois are free of charge. Interlibrary loan request forms are located at the Archives reference desk.
FamilySearch Affiliate Library Services
The Champaign County Historical Archives is a FamilySearch affiliate library of the FamilySearch’s Research and Library System. This designation means library patrons have convenient access to the wealth of genealogical resources available through FamilySearch. FamilySearch is the world’s largest repository of genealogical records and manages the famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. FamilySearch is extending access to its collections by circulating microfilms of the historic records through select public libraries. It is a priceless resource for those interested in discovering their family tree. FamilySearch charges a fee to order microfilm. Contact us at 217-367-4025 for current prices. Once the film arrives, patrons can use the microfilm readers (which can print or save to your portable drive) at the Champaign County Historical Archives for viewing. The Archives staff can help patrons see what films are available, place film orders, and answer research questions. Patrons also can place their orders from home by visiting the catalog at FamilySearch.org and selecting CCHA as the designated pick-up point.
Photocopying and Scanning
Nearly all material in the Archives can be photocopied or scanned except those materials that are subject to copyright restrictions or are too fragile to copy. A copy machine containing acid-free paper is located in the Archives reading room. Also available are machines for copying (print/scan) microfilm and microfiche, as well as flatbed scanners for printing/scanning. There is no charge for scanning images on-site. For self-service copying, copies are 10¢ each for black & white, 50¢ for color; the machine will accept up to $5.00 bills.