Harvey Graves was born to Sam S. and Clara May Myers Graves in Randolph in 1911. He wed Lottie Whitenack in 1942 (died 1967); Lavon Elder in 1968 (died 1982); and Roberta Lonergan.

Graves worked as a route salesman for Normal Sanitary and Laesch Dairy. Later he worked in maintenance for Illinois State University, and finally as a court bailiff in Bloomington. He was a member of several local fraternal orders.

This collection includes personal correspondence, newspaper articles, genealogical information, photographs and slides, financial records, and other memorabilia.