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Researching African American History in McLean County

Published: October 5, 2018

Researching African American History in McLean County- Bibliography and Archival Collections

McLean County Museum of History Library

  • Beier, Lucinda McCray
    A Matter of Life and Death: health, illness and medicine in McLean County, 1830-1995. [Bloomington, IL]: McLean County Historical Society, 1996
  • Bloomington-Normal Black History Project
    We The People Tell Our Story. comp. and ed. Mildred Pratt. Bloomington, IL: Bloomington-Normal Black History Project, 1987.
  • Cabek, Melanie, Mark D. Groover and Scott J. Wagers
    Health Care and the Wayman A.M.E. Church: historical archeology. Tucson, AZ: Society for Historical Archeology, 1995.
  • Ekberg, Carl, Anne Malone, and William Walters
    The Legacy: a survey of the historical architecture of Normal Normal, IL: Town of Normal, 1990
  • Ives, Elizabeth Stevenson, and Hildegarde Dolson.
    My Brother Adlai. New York: Morrow, 1956. Note: She mentions employees including some represented in the oral histories.
  • Jelks, Edward B., and John W. Muirhead.
    The William Carey Barton Family: a study in historical archeology. Bloomington, IL: Bloomington-Normal Black History Project and McLean County Historical Society, 1996.
  • Kinneman, John.
    A Report: survey of the Twin-City Recreation Center, Bloomington-Normal, Ill. [Bloomington,IL]: Central Illinois Committee on Community Development, 1957.
  • McLean County Genealogical Society.
    African-American Residents of Bloomington-Normal, IL, 1885-1917. Normal,IL: McLean County Genealogical Society, 2002.
  • Muirhead, John W.
    A History of African-Americans in McLean County (Ill.) Bloomington, IL: Bloomington-Normal Black History Project and McLean County Historical Society, 1998.
  • Orser, Charles E., and David W. Babson.
    Families and Cabins: archeological and historical investigations at Wessyngton Plantation, Robertson County, Tennessee. Normal, IL: Midwestern Archeological Research Center, Illinois State University, 1994.
  • Richardson, Harriet Fyffe.
    Quaker Pioneers. Milwaukee, WI: Press of Gillett & Co., 1940. Note: Includes information on the Duff family.
  • Turner, Glennette Tilley.
    The Underground Railroad in Illinois. Glen Ellyn, IL: Newman Educational Publishing, 2001.
  • Wagers, Scott J.
    McLean County Blacks in the Civil War. [S.l.:s.n.], 1993.
  • Washington, Caribel and Scott J. Wagers.
    Wayman A.M.E. Church: One Hundred Fifty Years of History, 1843-1993. Bloomington, IL: [Wayman A.M.E. Church], 1993.
  • Williams, Rick.
    African-American Churches in Bloomington-Normal: the development of Black Baptist, Methodists and Disciples in the 19th and early 20th centuries. [History Department Honors thesis] [Normal, IL.: Illinois State University, History Department], 1991.

Books in Other Area Libraries

Illinois State University, Milner LibraryHarrison, Edgar Agustus. The Financial Status and Occupational Opportunities for Negroes in Bloomington-Normal[MS Thesis]. Normal, IL: Illinois State Normal University, 1950. Studies in Education (Normal, IL); no.128.
Illinois State University, Milner LibraryPhelps, Landra G.. From Negro to Black to African-American: name changes and their effect on Black residents in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois [MS Thesis]. Normal, IL: Illinois State University, 1999.
Heartland Community College Library
Illinois State University, Milner Library
Illinois Wesleyan University, Ames Library
Pirtle, Carol. Escape Betwixt Two Suns: a true tale of the underground railroad in Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Univerity Press, 2000.
 Pratt, Mildred A Tribute to Love. Bloomington, IL: Heartland Publishing, 2002.
Bloomington Public LibraryWells, Wyatt. The background of the Negro in McLean County [Archival material], 1940
Bloomington Public LibraryWilliams, Rick D. Black Disciples in McLean County, Illinois: a history of the Second Christian Church, Normal and the Third Christian Church, Bloomington. Normal, IL: Illinois State University, 1990.

Archival Materials

These materials are available for in house use only. Much of this collection is unprocessed so be sure to ask the Librarian for assistance.Information about African-American history and families in McLean County is located in the Archives under the following box and/or folder names. Also check the Archives card catalog and the photo index for additional resources.

Note: If you are making a special trip to use these materials please call first to be sure someone will be available to assist you. Phone: 309-827-0428, ask for the Library.

Duff Family (7 boxes)
Major Collection of Letters from Liberia
Photograph Collection -- BNBHP
Photograph Collection -- Subjects -- BNBHP
Whittaker Collection
Black History (Not BHP)
BHP Papers

  1. Churches
  2. Clubs and organizations
  3. Dean Collection
  4. Family Information
  5. Military
  6. Organizational papers
  7. Sanders/Clark Collection

Additional Web Sites about African American History

Links open in a new tab.

eBlack Champaign-Urbana - A collaborative portal on African-American history
Illinois Alive! - African American Experience
The Hartford Black History Project
African American Perspectives
Afro-American History
African-American History - Slavery in America