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Government Documents & Information: State & National Archives

What is an Archives?

Image result for image search greek templeAn archives is a collection of documents and/or items that contain information for research. The contents of archives may include diaries and letters, as well as official records, statistics and data sets, memos, photos or videos, newspapers, and many other types of primary sources

Primary sources contain firsthand information from people directly connected to a particular topic, issue, or period. These sources may be used to understand or interpret the past, or to provide context for current events or practices, among other things. 

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Image result for national is the website of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which preserves important legal or historical documents created by the U.S. Federal government. 

Search the National Archives Catalog for archived government documents HERE

The National Archives at Chicago holds permanent records created by federal agencies and courts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. 

Illinois State Archives

Image result for illinois state sealThe Illinois State Archives "serves by law as the depository of public records of Illinois state and local governmental agencies which possess permanent administrative, legal, or historical research values. Its collections do not include manuscript, newspaper, or other nonofficial sources."

The Illinois State Archives Global Database allows you to search records in the state archives, as well as databases of Illinois veterans, state vital records, and the holdings of state university archives, and more all at once. To access a list of individual databases and records, click HERE.

The Illinois Digital Archives contains "the digital collections of the Illinois State Library as well as other libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois." The archives includes photographs, glass negatives, oral histories, manuscripts and letters, postcards, videos, newspapers, maps, and more.