Finding Aids

Detailed inventories of archival collections housed in our onsite archives.

Annette, Mme

Perhaps the best local newspaper reporter at the turn of the century wrote for the Bulletin and published a column as simply “Mme....

Moses Montefiore Temple

On May 14, 1882, a group of men of the Jewish faith met in Bloomington “for the purpose of forming a Congregation.” One week later it...

Wayman AME Church Archaeology

In the summer of 1992, an archeological excavation was conducted at the Wayman A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) Church at 806 N....

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Architecture of McLean County

Thousands of images of the built environment, from the earliest cabins to construction of homes in the 21st century.

Work in McLean County

Thousands of images showing hundreds of occupations that helped build McLean County, and the people who labored within them. 

Public Life in McLean County

Images in this collection include clubs, schools, parades, sports, service organizations, government, and medicine in McLean County.

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Links to dozens of publications about McLean County history, digitized by the Museum and other institutions

Black History

Publications include History of the Illinois Association of Club Women and Girls, 1901-1975, History of African Americans in McLean County, Wayman AME 175 Year Anniversary, and more!

City Directories

Thanks to a partnership with Bloomington Public Library and intern Noah Tang, local directories from 1855-1920 have been digitized, and are available on the Internet Archive.

34 items

General Reference

Good Old Times in McLean County, The Biographical Record of McLean County, Illustrated History of McLean County, and much more.

17 items

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Map Of McLean County, Ill. 1886.

David Rumsey Map Collection

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Pages from our Past Articles

Articles on various topics, written by Museum Librarian Bill Kemp for the Pantagraph

New Year’s Eve 1919 meant hope for better times

One hundred years ago, New Year’s Eve 1919 brought hope for better days to come. After all, the nation had been deeply scarred by the...

Washington Home couple worked ‘through the heart’

“Cooks and counselors, painters and referees, they are also mom and pop to up to twenty children,” it was said of Louise and Napoleon...

Lightning a menace, past and present

On May 20, 1897, a heavy afternoon shower accompanied by a “brilliant electrical display” passed through the Lexington area, catching...

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Onsite Resources

Stevenson-Ives Library

The Stevenson-Ives Library contains more than 15,000 books and periodicals with a focus on McLean County and Central Illinois history and genealogy.

Object Collection

Our object collection of more than 18,000 artifacts preserved at the Museum document the growth and development of McLean County from the prehistoric period through the present.


The Museum's Archive features a wide-range of primary and secondary source material relating to the history of McLean County, from the 1820s to the present.


Links to even more McLean County history online!

Social Justice Walking Tour

On this website, you will find stories of events and people in and around Downtown Bloomington, Illinois, that illustrate the evolution of our city over time.

Digital Exhibits

Read the rich histories featured in our Challenges, Choices, and Change as well as Abraham Lincoln in McLean County exhibits from anywhere!

Internet Archive

Browse hundreds of resources we have uploaded over the years

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Use Policies

Digital Reproduction Policy

Addresses use of digital cameras and personal scanners in Library/Archives.

Fees for Personal Scans of Archival Images

If you want our staff to scan an image from our Archives for personal use, see this document.

Fees for Scans of Archival Images for Commercial Use

If you want our staff to scan an image from our Archives for commercial use, see this document.