Today I will be talking about the Illinois Digital Archives (IDA). Previously I had written about the DPLA, another robust online archive. You may find some of the same material there depending on if the holding institutions are from Illinois.
Created in 2000, the IDA acts as a grand repository for the digital collections of the many cultural institutions and libraries in our state. I would recommend anyone with an interest in state history to check out them out. There is also a surprising amount of local material for some of the larger cities near Chicago. There is a glut of photos, documents, artifacts pertaining to great matters of state or to a larger than average tomato. It is also a wonderful resources for genealogists.
If you are looking for information on someone in a certain time period, a plat book is valuable resources to find out more about the land they may have owned. They can be tricky to read sometimes. but there are numerous resources online that can help you dig through them, including this blog!
For those interested in World War I, here are a few collections I found interesting:
The Illinois section of the Veterans’ History Project. Entries not only include a detailed fact sheet on each veteran, but there is usually several corroborating documents attached such as newspaper clippings and photos. More information and the means to submit your own questionnaire for you or someone else can be found here.
A very unique collection detailing the lives of several women who attended Illinois State Normal University and served in World War I. Collected from numerous correspondences with the head librarian at the time, it provides a wonderful viewpoint into the time period. Highlights of the collection include the post war questionnaire of each women as well as piles of photos, letters, and other artifacts.
One of the best ways to get a feel for a period is through the music. Not only does each entry have a detailed write up including sheet music, but you can listen to most of the music by AIFF, MIDI, or MP3. One that caught my eye was “Don’t take my darling boy away!” Not all songs about World War I are strictly jingoisms.
These were just some of the ones I liked, I’m sure all of you will find something that sparks your interest. For more information, go to:
Illinois Digital Archives (IDA)
See you at the library!