ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
About the Illinois State Archives
The Illinois State Archives was established in 1921. Margaret Cross Norton, its first director, gained an international reputation for her work in its administration and in the development of professional archival practice in the United States. The Archives Building in Springfield was rededicated in Norton's honor in 1995.
The State Archives serves 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. These records are available to the public, officials, and scholars at the Norton Building and at seven regional depositories located on state university campuses throughout Illinois. The Archives provides access through a series of printed and electronic guides, and by in-person, mail, telephone, fax, and Internet database reference services.
- general oversight of the Archives and its services
- budget, personnel, and accounting
- administrative liaison to the Archives' Advisory Board
- administrative liaison to the State Records Commission, Local Records Commission, and the Local Records Commission of Cook County
- David A. Joens, Director — 217-782-3492
- Robert Boots, Chief Deputy — 217-782-1082
- Lori Roberts, Assistant to the Director — 217-782-3492
- Electronic Records Archivist — 217-557-1085
This section accessions state governmental records, provides physical control over these records holdings and provides reference to state governmental records holdings.
- John Reinhardt, Section Supervisor — 217-524-6700
- Reference Unit — 217-782-4682
Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) Section
This section operates a system of Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) and provides reference to local governmental records holdings.
- Karl Moore, IRAD Supervisor — 217-785-1266
- Barbara Heflin, IRAD Supervisor — 217-782-3645
This section provides intellectual access to Archives' holdings. Its services include publishing guides to state and local records holdings, preparing special finding aids for significant record series, developing teaching packages that are made available to Illinois educational institutions free of charge, and issuing a newsletter three times a year.
- Catheryne Popovitch, Publications Supervisor — 217-524-9844
Restoration Laboratory Section
This section operates a laboratory for the conservation and restoration of documents housed within the Archives.
- Restoration Supervisor — 217-782-2610
Records Management Section
This section schedules state and local governmental records (including, but not limited to, electronic records, paper records, and paper records that are digitized or microfilmed) for disposal, intermediate retention, microfilming, records center storage, and transfer to the Archives.
- Robert Boots, Section Supervisor — 217-782-1082
- State Records Management Unit — 217-782-2647
- Local Records Management Unit — 217-782-1080
- Patrick Davis, State Records Center Supervisor — 217-782-6809
This section microfilms original source documents and produces Computer Output Microfilm (COM) for the Secretary of State's office and other state agencies.
- Fred Eschenfeldt, Section Supervisor — 217-782-5188
- Jason Thomas, Microfilming, Imaging Unit & Processing Lab Supervisor — 217-782-5895
Margaret Cross Norton Building
The Margaret Cross Norton Building was constructed from 1936 to 1938 as the official repository of state documents of permanent value. Prior to its construction, valuable military records were kept in the State Arsenal, located at the site of the present State Armory in Springfield. In February 1934, a 10-year-old boy set the Arsenal on fire, destroying many of the military documents and records. Following the fire, Secretary of State Edward Hughes supported legislation to construct the State Archives Building. The limestone-faced building was designed to protect the state's records of enduring value from the hazards of fire, humidity, heat, vermin, theft and exposure. The names of twenty-three men and two women are engraved around the top of the building. These individuals, chosen by the State Board of Art Advisors, made contributions to the cultural, social, educational, political and economic development of both the state and nation. All of the honorees were deceased before the building opened:
John Peter Altgeld (1847-1902)
Philip Danforth Armour (1832-1901)
Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912)
Peter Cartwright (1785-1872)
John Crerar (1827-1889)
John Deere (1804-1886)
William Rainey Harper (1856-1906)
John Milton Hay (1838-1905)
Edmund Janes James (1855-1925)
Julia Clifford Lathrop (1858-1932)
Victor Fremont Lawson (1850-1925)
Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931)
Joseph Medill (1823-1899)
Walter Loomis Newberry (1804-1868)
George Mortimer Pullman (1831-1897)
John Aaron Rawlings (1831-1869)
Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932)
Otto Leopold Schmidt (1863-1935)
Adlai E. Stevenson I (1835-1914)
Melville Elijah Stone (1848-1929)
Gustavus Franklin Swift (1839-1903)
Theodore Christian Friedrich Thomas (1835-1905)
John Todd (1750-1782)