Champaign County Historical Archives
The Champaign County Historical Archives, as repository for the county, maintains a microfilm collection of local newspapers going back the late-1800’s. My focus today will be on newspaper obituaries, and how they have been accessed over the years by historians and genealogists, and how you can access them today.
Transcripts of The Urbana Free Library Local History Roundtable discussions
While spending time with your family over the holidays, chances are you heard stories about the “good old days” from your grandparents, aunts or uncles, or parents. Perhaps you can’t get enough of these reminiscences. If that’s the case, check out the Champaign County Historical Archives collection of over 250 oral histories.
In honor of Thanksgiving, here are some historical facts about to share at your dinner table. We hope you have a wonderful holiday, and we'll see you back at the Archives on Friday.
- This mayoral proclamation appeared in the Champaign Gazette and Union on November 18, 1868:
Champaign Gazette and Union, 18 November 1868, p. 1
Curious about how Champaign County celebrated food in years past? As we dive into a season of friends, family, and food, take a look at some culinary exhibits from the Local History and Genealogy department.
Peterson's Cafe, ca 1913; Champaign County Historical Society Photographs, Photograph 246a;
Champaign County Historical Archives, Urbana, IL.
In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, spiritualism, the belief that the dead could communicate with the living, especially through a medium, gained popularity and renown. It was a movement that garnered ardent enthusiasm from its followers, including author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and psychologist William James, among others; and was lambasted by its detractors, such as novelist Mark Twain and magician Harry Houdini.
Carl Bontemps (kneeling on stand) addresses some of the 171 boys who registered for swimming instruction on the first day of lessons at the Crystal Lake Park pool. This was the original round pool; it has been remodeled twice since this photo was taken.
Come into the cool Archives this summer and dive into our vast photo collection!