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Illinois State Guide

 General view of part of the South Water street Illinois Central Railroad freight terminal, Chicago, Ill.
General view of part of the South Water street Illinois Central Railroad freight terminal, Chicago, Ill.
1 transparency : color.
April 1943
Farm Security Administration
Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction Number:

Related Resources

American Folklife Center

Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection

This collection consists of approximately 344 sound recordings, 14,141 photographs, 269 folders of manuscript materials, 2 videorecordings, publications, ephemera, administrative files, and field notes produced and collected during the 1977 Chicago Ethnic Arts Project field survey from 1976-1981; but primarily during fieldwork conducted by fourteen folklorists directed by the American Folklife Center in 1977.

Finding Aids to Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture: Illinois Collections

The Archive of Folk Culture holds approximately 2700 collections consisting of more than 150,000 sound recordings and 3 million items. At this time only a portion of them have catalog records and finding aids. Contact the Folklife Reading Room for additional information about collections.

Folklife in Your State: Illinois

The collections of the American Folklife Center contain rich and varied materials from Illinois that document the diversity of the state's folk traditions. Among its unique recordings are blues, dance, and Lithuanian music from Southern Illinois. Illinois's Local Legacies Projects, an exploration of local traditions and celebrations is available on the Center's Web page.

Illinois Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture

The collections in the Archive of Folk Culture include folk cultural material from six continents, every U.S. state and territory, and the District of Columbia. Place names that are linked have online guides; for non-linked items contact the Folklife Reading Room.

National Sampler: Selections from Illinois Collections

The American Folklife Center's holdings of materials from individual states are so extensive that exploration of them can be challenging. To provide an introductory tour for Library of Congress patrons, educators, researchers, and the general public — and to display some of the wonderful audio and visual treasures amassed over the past eight decades — the Center is undertaking the online National Sampler Project.

America's Library

America's Library is especially designed for kids and their families. The site contains rare and sometimes unusual items from the collections of the Library of Congress.

Explore the States: State of Illinois

Jump Back in Time: Illinois Entered the Union as the 21st State, December 3, 1818

Digital Collections & Services

Chronicling America

This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1836-1922 from more than 20 states and the District of Columbia. Search this collection to find selected newspaper articles that mention events in Illinois.


American Treasures at the Library of Congress: Lincoln at Springfield (Memory)

Contains Harper’s Weekly artist William Waud’s sketches of Lincoln’s coffin on view in Springfield and Cleveland, Illinois.

Humanities and Social Sciences Division

Bibliographies and Guides

U.S. State Poets Laureate

This site provides the names of all current state poets laureate of the United States. It also includes a history of the laureateship in each state, as well the District of Columbia, and attempts to provide a comprehensive listing of all prior state poets laureate. Included is information on the position of State Poet Laureate in Illinois.

Law Library of Congress

The Guide to Law Online

Guide to Law Online, prepared by the Law Library of Congress Public Services Division, is an annotated guide to sources of information on government and law available online. It includes selected links to useful and reliable sites for legal information on U.S states and territories, including Illinois.

Prints and Photographs Division

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings Recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey

This collection contains images of structures identified as the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Click on “Illinois” to view images of the Robie House, Unity Temple and other noteable Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the state of Illinois.

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC using the subject heading United States--Illinois to find digital images related to Illinois, such as prints, photographs, and political cartoons. Search in PPOC using the term Illinois or names of cities, towns, and sites to locate additional images.

Teachers Page

Features & Activities

Primary Sources by State

The Library of Congress has rich documents and artifacts from every state, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Click on Illinois to view historic artifacts and cultural materials from the state.

Lesson Plans

Creating a Primary Source Archive: All History Is Local

Examine the interplay between national, state, local, and personal history. Students produce a digital collection of primary sources from their family or local community based on the collections in American Memory.

Exploring Community Through Local History: Oral Stories, Landmarks and Traditions

Students explore the local history of the community in which they live through written and spoken stories; through landmarks such as buildings, parks, restaurants, or businesses; and through traditions such as food, festivals and other events of the community or of individual families.

Local History: Mapping My Spot

Students create their town’s history for coming generations and place themselves on the map in a literal as well as figurative sense, by producing portions of an updated version of an early twentieth century panoramic map from the American Memory collections.

Today in History Link disclaimer

January 16

On January 16, 1896, Henry F. Kallenberg, an instructor of physical education at the University of Iowa, welcomed Amos Alonzo Stagg, athletic director at the recently founded University of Chicago, to Iowa City for an experimental game in a new sport. The contest, refereed by Kallenberg, was the first unofficial college basketball game played with five players on each side. The University of Chicago won by a score of 15 to 12.

March 21

Legendary showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., impresario behind what became known as the Ziegfeld Follies, was born on March 21, 1869 (possibly 1867), in Chicago, Illinois.

May 7

Archibald MacLeish, poet, dramatist, and ninth Librarian of Congress, was born on May 7, 1892, in Glencoe, Illinois.

May 27

Frontiersman, lawman, army scout, gambler, and legendary marksman James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was born on May 27, 1837, in Troy Grove, Illinois. As a youth, Hickok became acquainted with the risks incurred by those willing to take a stand against slavery. His father frequently assisted escaped slaves as they made their way north through Illinois and young Hickok joined in the adventure. Hickok left home in 1856, moved to Kansas to farm, and became involved in the Free State movement.

June 23

Robert Louis "Bob" Fosse was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 23, 1927. Over the course of an almost fifty-year career as a performer, director, and writer, Fosse emerged as one of the finest choreographers to work in American musical film and theater.

July 21

On July 21, 1899, Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. During Hemingway's boyhood, his family spent much time enjoying hunting and other sports. The love for the great outdoors and the physically active life his father instilled in him remained with Hemingway for the rest of his life.

September 6

Social reformer and pacifist Jane Addams was born on September 6, 1860 in Cedarville, Illinois. In 1889, Addams and her traveling companion Ellen Gates Starr, purchased a large vacant residence, the former Hull mansion, on Chicago's industrial west side and opened their doors to the neighboring, mostly immigrant, community. Starr and Addams's Hull House initially provided welfare assistance to needy families and recreation facilities for slum children. Today, Hull House continues to build on the enduring vision of Jane Addams through a rich array of services serving several hundred thousand people in Chicago.

November 7

On November 7, 1837, Elijah Parish Lovejoy was killed by a pro-slavery mob while defending the site of his anti-slavery newspaper in Alton, Illinois, The Saint Louis Observer. His death both deeply affected many individuals who opposed slavery and greatly strengthened the cause of abolition.

November 28

The first American automobile race took place at 8:55 a.m. on November 28, 1895, when six "motocycles" left Chicago's Jackson Park for a 54 mile race to Evanston, Illinois and back through the snow.

December 2

At 3:25 P.M. on December 2, 1942, the Atomic Age began inside an enormous tent on a squash court under the stands of the University of Chicago's Stagg Field. There, scientists headed by Enrico Fermi engineered the first controlled nuclear fission chain reaction. The result, sustainable nuclear energy, led to creation of the atomic bomb and nuclear power plants—two of the twentieth century's most powerful and controversial achievements.

December 3

Illinois entered the Union on December 3, 1818. The 21st state takes its name from the Illinois Confederation—a group of Algonquian-speaking tribes native to the area. An Algonquin word, "Illinois" means "tribe of superior men."

Veterans History Project

Veterans History Project Home Page

The Veterans History Project (VHP) collects and preserves the remembrances of American war veterans and civilian workers who supported them. Browse the database by state of residence to locate veterans from Illinois.


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  May 23, 2017
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