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A service of the Illinois State Library and the Office of the Illinois Secretary of StateILLINOIS DIGITAL ARCHIVES

Oral History

Illinois Firefighter Line of Duty Deaths Digital Image Collection browse-->>

The Illinois Firefighter Line of Duty Deaths Digital Image Collection documents the ultimate sacrifice of Illinois firefighters who died in the line of duty over the past 150 years. Providing access to this history memorializes the firefighters, increases awareness of their sacrifice, and supplies contemporary firefighters with valuable "lessons learned" from the various deaths. Funding for this project was awarded by the Illinois State Library (ISL), a Division of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Additional information about these fallen firefighters, including summaries of the incidents where they were fatally injured, is available through IFLODD, the Illinois Firefighter Line of Duty Deaths Digital Image Collection Database

Illinois Veterans' History Project browse-->>

On October 27, 2000 President Bill Clinton signed into law Public Law 106-380 establishing the Veterans' History Project. This law charged the Library of Congress with the responsibility of collecting and preserving the wartime memories of our nation's veterans and those civilians who supported the war efforts.

The Illinois Secretary of State's office has been a partner with the Library of Congress in the Veterans' History project since November 2003 and officially launched the Illinois Veterans' History Project in November 2005. The Illinois Veterans' History Project began with the collection of written information about Illinois veterans through use of the Illinois Patriot Information Form. In September 2007 the Secretary of State's office entered the next phase of the project, collecting oral histories of Illinois veterans. These histories will now be available through the Illinois Digital Archives.

Mount Prospect History browse-->>

This collection includes items related to the history of the village of Mount Prospect and some of the surrounding area. Businesses, churches, government agencies, organizations, residents, and schools are represented by photographs, newspaper clippings, oral histories, documents and ephemera. Most of the items are from the Mount Prospect Historical Society but items from the collections of the Mount Prospect Public Library and other area groups are also included.

Oral Histories of Centralia browse-->>

In 1975 a project to commemorate the American Revolution Bicentennial was undertaken by the Centralia Public Library. The result is this collection of oral histories created by local residents who talk about their personal experiences and their family histories. Topics covered include: Education, railroading, oil industry, mining (including the story of the Number 5 mine disaster), agriculture, businesses, churches, and ethnic groups.

Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield browse-->>

The Oral History Collection at UIS consists primarily of material collected by the Sangamon State University Oral History Office from 1971 to 1991. Some oral history memoirs have been added in recent years by volunteers and UIS graduate history students. The collection includes the memoirs of a wide array of people including: coal miners; members of the African-American, Italian-American, Jewish, and other ethnic communities in central Illinois; Illinois legislators and politicians; farm families; WWII conscientious objectors and prisoners of war; members of Springfield churches and clubs; teachers in rural one room schools; and many others.

The collection is a vital record of life in Illinois and beyond from the late 19th century to the present, and preserves the memories of many individuals whose experiences would not otherwise be recorded.

This oral history collection is housed in Archives/Special Collections at Brookens Library, University of Illinois at Springfield. A guide to collection may be found at http://library.uis.edu/archives/collections/oral/contents.html

Park Forest -- An Illinois Planned Community browse-->>

Park Forest began in 1946 as a dream held by Carroll F. Sweet, Sr., to build a "G.I. Town" for returning veterans. Due to the lack of building during the Depression and World War II, the returning veterans and their young families faced a severe housing shortage. Carroll F. Sweet, Sr., introduced Nathan Manilow, a Chicago builder to Philip M. Klutznick, who was working in Washington D.C. as head of the Federal Public Housing Authority. Both men thought the dream was worth bringing to reality. The result was the first post-World War II planned community to include a shopping center and all of the amenities of modern life built in to the original plan. The plan was turned in to FHA in November 1946. Move-ins began in August 1948. On February 1, 1949, at the suggestion of the builders, Park Forest was incorporated as a village. By October 1949, 3,010 rental units had been completed. Construction of "For Sale" homes was begun by 1950.

World War II -- From Homefront to Warfront browse-->>

Audio and video recordings of oral histories are accompanied by photographs, correspondence, and memorabilia from private collections to illustrate the home front and warfront lives of Coal City, Illinois area residents during World War II.

Special tribute is given to those who paid the supreme sacrifice.

For more information about this project, and other local history collections, visit this link at the Coal City Public Library site.