You may already know that the Champaign County Historical Archives has a large collection of local newspapers from 1852 to the present day. In addition to well-known popular publications like the News-Gazette, Courier, and Daily Illini, we also have microfilm copies of papers from smaller communities, such as the Homer Enterprise and the Tolono Herald. If you're looking for news from one of CU's independent presses, like the Spectrum, Sidewinder, or Octopus, we have print copies available for perusal in the reading room.
Local History and Genealogy Blog
Last month FamilySearch announced it was discontinuing its microfilm loan program and set an order deadline of August 31, 2017. Due to system outages during the week of August 20, 2017 FamilySearch has decided to extend circulation an additional week.
We get a lot of interesting questions through our Ask an Archivist service, where anyone can call, write, or email their queries about Champaign County history. Recently, I received a fun question that read, in part:
Can you help me, please?
The worst acronym award has to be granted to SPEBSQSA or the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. I stumbled across a photograph envelope with this weighty society name one afternoon and immediately had to look inside. What I found did not disappoint.
Archives staff was saddened by the death of Janet Anderson, a community leader and activist, last weekend. Ms. Anderson served the public in numerous capacities: she worked as a nurse at Carle and Burnham Hospitals, participated in numerous groups promoting public health initiatives, and served on various boards, including the Champaign County Board, from 2000-2012. Her work with community groups like the League of Women Voters and Champaign County Health Care Consumers earned her numerous awards lauding her leadership and social action.
The circus was a favorite summer pastime for residents of Champaign County in the early 20th-century. The Hagenbeck Trained Animal Show visited Champaign County on two occasions in 1905 and 1906. Residents came from all over to see shows and parades featuring exotic animals such as bears and elephants.
The Chanute Collection contains 8 folders and one oversized box of aerial photographs. The photographs were taken of the base throughout its entire operation from 1917-1993. Viewing photographs from the following decades show how Chanute transformed over the years:
The Archives is sad to announce that longtime volunteer Virginia Lovingfoss passed away July 19, 2017 just a month shy of her 103rd birthday. She began volunteering at the Archives in 1986 and only ‘retired’ from her volunteer activities after she turned 100.