Finding Photographs

Our Photographs Collection contains over one million photographs of local people and locations, dating from the mid-19th century to the present. So, how does one go about finding a specific photograph in a collection so vast? Here are some tips.

Recently Processed Women's Groups (Part 3)

Seven collections of women’s groups have recently been processed by Archives staff and are now available for researchers.

Part 3 highlights Fortnightly Club Records and Carley Friendship Club Records.

Part 1 introduced W.I.R.E. Records, Daughters of Union Veterans Records, and the Near O’Kin Bridge Group. Part 2 featured the National Council of Negro Women and the Medra Club.

Recently Processed Women's Groups (Part 2)

Seven collections of women’s groups have recently been processed by Archives staff and are now available for researchers.

Part 2 highlights the National Council of Negro Women and the Medra Club.

Part 1 introduced W.I.R.E. Records, Daughters of Union Veterans Records, and the Near O’Kin Bridge Group.

The next and final part will feature Fortnightly Club Records and Carley Friendship Club Records.

Heart of Urbana Gremlin

“Roses are red, violets are blue;A peek onto Main Street,Will provide a story for you.”                                                           - The Heart of Urbana Gremlin

The Morning Courier awoke to that mysterious greeting on their doorstep, February 14, 1979. Looking down the street, Courier reporters discovered that parking meters and store and office doors in the downtown Urbana area were festooned with Valentine’s greetings of red ribbon apparently the work of Urbana’s ‘Gremlin.’

Recently Processed Women's Groups (Part 1)

Seven collections of women’s groups have recently been processed by Archives staff and are now available for researchers.

Part 1 highlights W.I.R.E. Records, Daughters of Union Veterans Records, and the Near O’Kin Bridge Group.

Later blog posts will highlight the National Council of Negro Women, the Medra Club, Fortnightly Club Records, and Carley Friendship Club Records.

Famous People from C-U: The Time Has Come

Christopher Brian Bridges, son of Roberta Shields and Wayne Brian Bridges, was born in Champaign, Illinois on September 11th, 1977. Christopher spent his early years in the Champaign-Urbana area. At nine years old, Christopher moved to Chicago with his mother after his parents divorced. In Chicago, he attended Oak Park & River Forest High School. Christopher and his mother then relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where he finished high school and attended Georgia State University studying music management.

Interesting Ordinances from Urbana, 1916

Our first post about Urbana City Codes was from 1954. After seeing some of the interestingly worded codes from that year what will Ordinances of City of Urbana Illinois of 1916 have in store? Read on to find out.

For those ordinances that still exist in some form, the current code will be listed. The current Code of Ordinances City of Urbana, Illinois can be found on Municode.

Fred Turner Woodblock Prints

Every Christmas from 1946-1974, friends of Fred and Betty Turner received an original woodblock-printed card. Soon after Christmas, planning for the next year, the couple would choose a historical Illinois building or structure, take a photograph, then design, carve and print the image by hand. Their theme was “Illinois History through Woodblock Prints.”

Every veteran has a story. Make sure yours is heard.

Home to the former Chanute Air Force Base for 76 years, Champaign County has a long history of wartime participation and civilian support. 

This Veterans Day, The Urbana Free Library would like to make its patrons aware of the Illinois Veterans’ History Project. The project in conjunction with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, creates a permanent record of the names and stories of Illinois war veterans and civilians who served during wartime.

Vriner’s Confectionary: the flavor of a bygone era

Sugary, sweet treats have been a highly traded and well-loved food for over a millennium, and by the 1800s over 380 factories were built in the United States to manufacture candy. Many of the larger manufacturers have withstood the change in time, allowing their names to become synonymous with the fast approaching holiday season, but we often forget about the smaller confectionary shops they started out as. At the turn of the 20th century, we had a few shops that called Champaign County home. The longest running one was Vriner’s Confectionary.

Ellis Island Records Available Free Online

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! FamilySearch has announced that Ellis Island Records are now online for free. Not just a few, but the complete archive of Ellis Island Records! These include passenger arrival records and passenger lists all for your perusal.

Try Out 'Try-It! Illinois!'

Try-It! Illinois is the annual statewide database trial sponsored by Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois State Library. It offers the staff and library users of more than 5,000 ILLINET member libraries the opportunity to survey and evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois. 

Urbana Money

There are few occasions in which printing your own money would be an appropriate solution to a financial crisis. However, Urbana did just that during the Great Depression.

Interesting Urbana City Codes from 1954

Where would our society be without laws? They are some of the most important things when it comes to keeping people safe and holding others accountable.

The enduring mystery of Amelia Earhart

Earhart with Arthur C. Willard, Urbana, IL, 1935 

The perennial mystery of Amelia Earhart has been in the news once again with the International Group for Historical Aircraft Recovery’s paper that ‘analyzes radio distress calls’ heard in the days after Earhart’s 1937 disappearance in her attempt to be the first woman to circumnavigate the world.