The Archives reference staff is always willing to help beginning genealogists, answer specific questions, or assist visitors in finding desired materials. They also can answer mail requests for specific information, but time limitations do not permit staff to do research for patrons. For more in-depth research, request our list of local researchers (fees vary) who specialize in genealogical and local history research.
If you are unable to visit us at the library, please consult Local History Online, the convenient and comprehensive single-search access to holdings of the Champaign County Historical Archives. If you want copies of materials listed in Local History Online, please submit your requests in writing using the Records Request Form (PDF), including a non-refundable fee of $10.00 (cash or check) for every ten items requested.
Make check payable to: The Urbana Free Library.
Champaign County Historical Archives
The Urbana Free Library
210 West Green Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801-5326
Since the Archives collection is not comprehensive, the time may come when you might need to look at material that is located elsewhere. You can determine what is available by consulting a number of bibliographies or other compilations of specific materials. The Archives reference staff can assist you in finding and using these resources. In some cases, books, censuses, newspapers and other microfilms or photocopies may be obtained through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan request within the state of Illinois are free of charge. There is a fee per interlibrary loan request for out-of-state material which helps pay a portion of the charges lending libraries make to the archives (fees may vary). 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 local residents interested in discovering their family tree.
There is 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 can also place their order from home by visiting the catalog at FamilySearch.org, and selecting the CCHA as the designated pick-up point.
Photocopying and Scanning
Nearly all material in the Archives can be photocopied or scanned except those materials which 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.