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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.Read more about 19th Century Seance in Urbana
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!Read more about Boys Only
Visit the Champaign County Historical Archives and check out our newly-arranged reference area, complete with a handy stand-up table for spreading out atlases, and a great view of the courthouse painting.
Marnie, Archives Assistant
Many researchers that visit us are familiar with research resources such as Ancestry.com. Today I'd like to focus on one that doesn't get quite as much recognition: HeritageQuest Online. HeritageQuest Online is a collection of databases, all of which are very useful to history and genealogical researchers. Included under its umbrella are: Read more about HeritageQuest Online - Focus on Archives Resources
For the month of February to commemorate Black History Month, we here at the Champaign County Historical Archives will use this space to highlight the history and contributions of the African-American community of Champaign County.
One of the resources available to us is our Photo Atlas application. It allows us to place historical images in their geo-spacial context on the map. Additionally, audio-visual content can be attached to the description as well. Read more about Historically Black Champaign-Urbana