Request for Museum Images: Personal Use - Fees and Conditions

The McLean County Museum of History contains a treasure trove of photographs and other images from the 1850s to the present. The types of photographs range from daguerreotypes and albumen prints common in the nineteenth century to Kodachrome prints and Polaroids of the twentieth century to the ubiquitous digital images of today. There are photographs relating to the history of McLean County covering a plethora of topics, including agriculture; architecture; athletics; business; education; entertainment; the military and religion. Images in the collection come in various formats, including original prints, negatives and slides.

The Museum also holds a collection of large-format items such as blueprints, floor plans, posters, broadsides and maps.

We are happy to make these materials available to researchers, genealogists, students and the general public. After all, our mission is to share the rich history of McLean County with you!

That said, the processing, cataloging and continued preservation of the Museum’s image collections involve a significant expenditure of Museum staff time and resources, ranging from the purchase of proper storage materials to the maintenance of climate-controlled archives. As a non-profit institution, more than 70% of our operating budget comes from the contributions of Museum members and supporters. We hope you understand and appreciate the importance of caring for such a collection.

Two types of fees are associated with requesting Museum images. First, there is a fee to create a digital file of the requested image (see reverse and third page of this handout). A second fee would apply only if the image is to be used in a commercial endeavor, such as a forthcoming book or company brochure, to cite two representative examples (see separate “Commercial Use Fees and Conditions” handout for additional information).

Note that some items may be too fragile to extensively handle, digitally scan, photograph or photocopy. Museum staff reserves the right to determine the suitability of making copies of any images and items in the collection.

The Library/Archives welcomes questions. You may direct queries to or the phone number listed above. You are also welcome to visit the Library/Archives, located on the Museum’s second floor (appointments are preferred but not required).