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Museum News Archive

Practicing Inclusion at the McLean County Museum of History

Museum Librarian Bill Kemp leads a group of students on a Social Justice tour.

The McLean County Museum of History welcomes and values all visitors. We are committed to representing the entire community by sharing your history, your story. In fact, it is part of our mission to “reflect the diversity of McLean County,” and we take that mission seriously. As an educational institution, the Museum’s job is to illuminate stories and foster opportunities for dialogue so people can learn from the experiences of one another—whether they lived 1,000 years ago or today. These stories must serve both as mirrors that reflect ourselves and as windows that allow us to view the wider world.

On the Square Quarterly Magazine -- Fall 2019

Newsletter -- Summer 2019

Richard and Judy Buchanan Named 2019 History Maker Honorees

Richard and Judy Buchanan

What happens when you mix a Chicago Irish Democrat with a small-town Illinois Baptist Republican?  - The amazing community servant duo of Richard and Judy Buchanan.

Jana Edge named 2019 History Maker Honoree

Jana Edge

In 1988, a group of local activists became exploring a “Sister City” relationship with a Russian community, hoping to lessen Cold War tensions.  Jana and Orlyn were in the delegation to the Soviet Union and eventually decided upon Vladimir as Bloomington-Normal’s sister city.  Locally, she was called a “communist, unpatriotic” and threatened, including anonymous phone calls:  “We know you are home alone right now.”

Henry Gay Named 2019 History Maker Honoree

Henry Gay


It’s a rough road from the Louisiana cotton fields to Bloomington-Normal, with obstacles every step of the way.   Henry Gay Sr. completed that journey with dignity and standing up for human rights.

Newsletter -- Spring 2019

Newsletter -- Winter 2018/19

Newsletter -- Fall 2018

Newsletter -- Summer 2018

Don Munson Named 2018 History Maker Honoree

Donald G. Munson was born September 26, 1941, in Gibson City and attended Gibson City schools.

Paul and Sandra Harmon Named 2018 History Maker Honorees

Paul and Sandra Harmon shake their heads when they’re referred to as a “power couple,” but that’s how many people in the community describe them. This reluctant “power couple” first met during their freshman year at the University of Dubuque in Iowa, marrying shortly after they graduated in 1964.

Ronn Morehead Named 2018 History Maker Honoree

Ronn grew up in Normal, Illinois. Working in his father’s tavern as a young man, Ronn feels, shaped him and helped prepare him for the workforce.

Lovell Named Executive Director

Adam Lovell, of Reedsville Wisconsin, has been named the new Executive Director at the McLean County Museum of History.

2018 History Makers Announced

The McLean County Museum of History announced on Tuesday four recipients of the 2018 History Makers award to be presented during the Museum’s sixth annual History Makers Gala on Thursday, June 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Newsletter -- Spring 2018

Pages from the Past Available Now

This highly anticipated second volume of Pages from the Past: Stories from the Sunday Pantagraph, is now available for purchase. Volume 2 includes 77 new installments from Bill Kemp’s weekly feature.

A message from our Museum director

Illinois Bicentennial flag raising kicks off year of programs

Members of the public, elected officials, and the local American Legion Honor Guard/Color Guard pose with the Illinois Bicentennial flag before the ceremony on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. (Photo by Candace Summers)

The State of Illinois will celebrate its 200th birthday on Dec. 3, 2018. To help kick off a yearlong celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial, communities across the state hosted a simultaneous Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony at noon on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.

Collection Storage Improvement Fund Drive Underway

Surgeon kit of Dr. Lee Smith, 26th president of the McLean County Medical Society.

This holiday season, the McLean County Museum of History is raising $5,500 to upgrade our collections storage space to meet museum and archival standards and ensure our collections are preserved for future generations. Our collection contains more than 20,000 objects donated from local residents of McLean County and beyond.

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