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Illinois History Research Guide: Introduction


This guide has been developed to provide links to resources that might be useful in research about the history of Illinois. It provides information on searching WestCat and I-Share, indexes that can be used to locate information about Illinois history and links to digital and other collections that might be useful in doing research about the history of Illinois. If you have any questions or need assistance, please ask at the Main Reference Desk (2nd Floor, Malpass Library), or the Quad Cities Library. The Libraries also provide assistance via e-mail.

What this guide will help you find!

Sources: Primary and secondary sources are required for many history assignments.

Primary sources are original documents that include, but are not limited to newspapers; federal, state, county, and city government reports, records, and other official documents; photographs; diaries; memoirs; personal papers; unpublished manuscripts; letters; published collections of writings.

Secondary sources tend to be an analysis of original primary sources. They include, but are not limited to monographs (focused book-length studies of specific subjects, events, themes, etc.); biographies; journal articles; documentary films.

Key things to look for in the documents to explain and shape the scope of your research!

What is the timeframe? What towns, cities, etc. will you investigate? Which people, social groups, classes, or individuals will you study? What themes, institutions, and events will be addressed in your work?


Other Library Guides

These links go to specific library collections relating to Illinois History.