About the Archives
The Galesburg Public Library’s Archives & Special Collections, located near the adult services area in the Illinois Room, contains a research collection of rare books, original manuscripts, local histories, city directories, school yearbooks, newspapers, maps, photographs, and other materials reflecting the heritage and history of Galesburg and the surrounding area.
If you have questions about the archives, contact the archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the library at (309) 343-6118.
Donating to the Archives
The goal of the Galesburg Public Library Archives is to collect, document, preserve and make available for research materials relating to the history of the city of Galesburg and Knox County.
In general, the Archives collects manuscripts, photographs and other non-written records, family and personal papers, maps and atlases, and printed and published materials relating to Galesburg. Additional guidelines on the scope of materials accepted can be found in the library’s Materials Selection Policy, but are not exhaustive and do not guarantee an item will be accepted.
All donated materials must be accompanied by a signed Deed of Gift.
If you are interested in donating materials, contact the archivist.
Using the Archives
The materials housed in the archives are priceless and irreplaceable. For this reason, items may only be viewed when the archivist is available. Please contact the archivist before making a trip to the library to ensure they will be able to assist you.
Searching the Archives
Books, pamphlets, and microfilm that are in the archives are cataloged in the library’s collection. They can be found through the search function at the top of this page.
We are proud to have more than 10,000 photographs in our collection. A selection of these photos has been uploaded to the library’s Flickr account. To get information about photos not included on the Flickr page, contact the archivist at email@example.com.
Photos on the Flickr page are low-resolution scans of photos for personal use. For high-resolution photos, or to get permission to publish, contact the archivist.
Many of the manuscripts, records, and other documents are not currently processed. To view any of the materials below, or to find out more about what materials we may have in the archives, contact the archivist.
Manuscripts Available for Research
Harold May Holland collection | BC-2
The Harold May Holland collection includes park commission papers (File 1, 1921-53), papers from the U.S. Government, especially regarding a patent in discus throwing, photography (File 2 1893-1958), and catalogs on football and tennis (File 3, 1910-1914).
Fred Seacord collection | BC-3
The Fred Seacord collection includes receipts, bills (folders 1-3), and correspondences (folders 4-6) from the years 1886-1916.
Ladies Benevolent Society collection | BC-4
The Ladies Benevolent Society collection includes papers and cash accounts (folders 1-2), minutes, and financial reports (folders 3-7) for society from the years 1882-1894.
Timothy Moshier collection | BC-5
The Timothy Moshier collection includes correspondences (folder 1), business records and tax receipts from 1868-1879 (folder 2), and checks from 1866-76 (folder 3).
George Appleton Lawrence collection | BC-6
The George Appleton Lawrence collection includes correspondence, bank statements, and pamphlets concerning George Appleton Lawrence, from the years 1910-1921 (folder 1, general papers and pamphlets) and 1920-1927 (folder 2, bank statements and correspondence).
Women’s Aid Society collection | BC-7
The Women’s Aid Society collection includes minutes (folders 1-2) and financial records (folder 3) for the society from the years 1895-1905.
Daniel Meek collection | BC-8
The Daniel Meek collection includes records (folder 1), contracts (folder 2), and deeds (folders 3-6) from the years 1822-1871.
Carl Sandburg Association collection | BC-9
The Carl Sandburg Association collection includes correspondence (folders 1-8), pamphlets and papers( folders 9-10), and letters and poems (folder 11) from 1935-1957.
Pearl Gordon Vestal collection | BC-10
The Pearl Gordon Vestal collection includes copies of articles and other writings from the years 1935-54 (these are the years the copies were made. Original publishing dates are also on the copies).
Knox County Sesquicentennial Commission Records collection | BC-11
The Knox County Sesquicentennial collection includes correspondence (folders 1-5) and planning materials (folders 6-14) for the sesquicentennial celebration of Knox County that took place in 1968. The documents are from 1966-1969.
Knox County Historical Society collection | BC-12
The Knox County Historical Society collection includes minutes, records of membership (folders 1-2), and annual reports (folder 3) for the society from the years 1905-1910.
Galesburg Water Advisory Committee collection | BC-13
The Galesburg Water Advisory Committee collection includes correspondence (folder 1) and reports regarding water sourcing (folder 2) and fluoridation of the water in Galesburg (folder 3), from the years 1950-56.
Dorcas Society collection | BC-14
The Dorcas Society collection includes records and notes of meetings from the years 1867-1891.
Presbyterian Church, Eden, Illinois collection | BC-16
The Presbyterian Church of Eden collection includes records from the church, including notes on meetings and records of baptisms.
Grand Army of the Republic | BC-17
The Grand Army of the Republic collection includes minutes from the years 1885-1907.
Psi Psi Psi Sorority, Nu Chapter collection | BC-18
The Psi Psi Psi | Nu Chapter collection includes miscellaneous documents (boxes 1-3), minutes from the chapter for the years 1947-55 (box 4 & box 5 folder 1), as well as a copy of the bible belonging to the chapter (box 5 folder 2).
The Galesburg Club collection | BC-19
The Galesburg Club collection includes treasurers’ and secretary reports (box 1), records, members lists, and miscellaneous documents (box 2), and minutes (boxes 2-5) from the years 1898-1966.
Euterpean Club collection | BC-20
The Euterpean Club collection includes minutes (box 1), programs (box 2), expenditure notices, and miscellaneous documents (box 3) from the years 1891-1900.
Ashbury Family collection | BC-21
The Ashbury Family collection includes letters from the years from the years 1836-1875.
Turner Family Letters collection | BC-22
The Turner Family collection includes letters from members of the family from the years 1850-1898.
Freemasons, Alpha Lodge #155 collection | BC-23
The Freemasons Alpha Lodge #155 collection includes pamphlets, a script for a play, receipts of membership (boxes 1-2), and a ledger of members from the years 1863-1874 (box 3) for the years 1863- 1975.
Mary E. Allen collection | BC-24
The Mary E. Allen collection includes papers and records from the years 1900-1909.
Knox County Bicentennial Commission collection | BC-25
The Knox County Bicentennial Commission collection includes planning documents, pamphlets, and newspaper articles from April-October, 1975.
First Universalist Church collection | BC-26
The First Universalist Church collection includes records, pamphlets, program lists (boxes 1-2),miscellaneous papers (box 3 folder 1), and a newspaper article box 3 folder 2) from the years 1855-1956.
Dell E. McMullin collection | BC-27
The Dell E. McMullin collection includes diaries (folders 1-2) and military papers (folder 3) from the years 1899-1901.
Galesburg Township, Polls collection | BC-28
The Galesburg Township collection includes poll books and tally sheets from elections for the years 1897-1915, missing years 1899-1901.
Galesburg Township, Men’s Vote collection | BC-29
The Galesburg Township – Men’s Votes collection includes poll books and tally sheets for the years 1914-1916.
Galesburg Township, Women’s Vote collection | BC-30
The Galesburg Township – Women’s Votes collection includes poll books and tally sheets for the years 1906, 1912, 1914, 1915, and 1916.
Knox County, Illinois, Lands Listed for Taxation collection | BC-31
The Knox County – Lands Listed for Taxation collection includes taxation lists from the year 1857.
Galesburg Township, Ballots and Affidavits collection | BC-32
The Galesburg Township – Ballots and Affidavits collection includes ballots and affidavits from the township for the year 1898.
Office of the City Clerk collection | BC-33
The Office of the City Clerk collection includes registers of Illinois electors for the years 1867-1910.
O. T. Johnson Company collection | BC-34
The O.T. Johnson Company collection includes insurance papers (folder 1), minutes (folder 2), and papers regarding the sale of the company (folder 3) from the years 1926 and 1927.
Eckstrand-Peterson and Peterson-Harrison collection | BC-35
The Eckstrand-Peterson and Peterson-Harrison collection includes letters, receipts, and newspaper clippings from the years 1872-1892.
Cedar Township School collection | BC-36
The Cedar Township School collection includes pamphlets (folder 1), book list (folder 2), teacher pension and salary receipts (folders 3-4), school supply receipts and school law (box 2) from the years 1912-1928.
Copley Township School Dist. 60 collection | BC-37
The Copley Township School Dist. 60 collection includes receipts, annual reports (box 1 folder 1), insurance papers (box 1 folder 2), board meeting minutes (box 1 folder 3),treasurer reports (box 1 folder 4), miscellaneous papers, (box 2 folders 1-4), teachers’ salary and pension receipts (box 2 folder 5-box 3), and teachers’ papers (box 5) from the years 1919-1949.
Ruth Sickle, GHS collection | BC-38
The Ruth Stickle – GHS collection includes yearbooks (folder 1), certificates (folders 2, 5), invitations (folder 3), programs (folder 4), and students’ papers (box 2) from the years 1901-1980.
Jaycees, Galesburg collection | BC-39
The Jaycees – Galesburg collection includes letters, postcards, pamphlets, and miscellaneous papers and publications from the years 1945-1948.
Rotary Club, Galesburg collection | BC-41
The Rotary Club, Galesburg collection includes Membership rosters for the club for the years 1917-1983.
First Christian Church collection | BC-42
The First Christian Church collection includes pastor’s notes on marriage, births, funerals, etcetera from approximately 1921-1940.
Allen Park P. T. A. collection | BC-43
The Allen Park P. T. A. collection includes P. T. A. minutes (box 1), financial and check records, correspondences (box 2), budgets (box 3 folders 1-4), and student records (box 3 folder 5) for the years 1955-1981.
Bateman School P. T. A. collection | BC-44
The Bateman School P. T. A. collection includes correspondences (folders 1-5), membership records (folder 6), and treasurer’s reports (folders 7-8), from the years 1936-1972.
Coldbrook P. T. A. collection | BC-45
The Coldbrook PTA collection includes PTA secretary notes (folders 1-2), certificates, and miscellaneous papers (folder 3) from the years 1951-1982.
Grubb School P. T. A. collection | BC-46
The Grubb School P. T. A. collection includes letters, a list of past presidents (folder 1), and minutes (folders 2-3) from the years 1927-1989.
Nielson School P. T. A. collection | BC-47
The Nielson School P. T. A. collection includes a president book (box 1 folder 1), meeting minutes (box 1 folder 2), budgets (box 1 folder 3), treasurer’s reports and records (box 1 folder 4), and miscellaneous papers (boxes 2-3) from the years 1969-1982.
L. T. Stone School P. T. A. collection | BC-48
The L. T. Stone School P. T. A. collection includes correspondence (box 1 folder 1), receipts and disbursement records (box 1, folders 2-3), minutes (box 1 folders 4-5, box 2 folders 1-2), treasurer’s reports (box 2 folder 3), and scrapbooks (box 2 folders 4-5) from 1928-1976.
Weston School P. T. A. collection | BC-49
The Weston School P. T. A. collection includes minutes, reports (folder 1), program evaluations (folder 2), correspondence, and newspaper articles (folder 3) from 1929-1982.
Uxores Society collection | BC-52
The Uxores Society collection includes correspondences (folder 1), cards and pamphlets (folder 2), articles (folder 3), notes (folder 4), minutes, and a president’s notebook (folder 5) from the years 1959-1972.
Fortnightly Club collection | BC-53
The Fortnightly Club collection includes record books (boxes 1-3), minutes (boxes 4-5), constitutions, budgets, attendance records, miscellaneous papers (box 6), programs (box 7-8), and correspondences (box 9), from the years 1892-1982.
Knox County Medical Society collection | BC-54
The Knox County Medical Society collection includes minutes and attendance records for the years 1935-1985.
Memorabilia for Galesburg’s Sesquicentennial collection | BC-55
The Memorabilia for Galesburg’s Sesquicentennial collection includes pamphlets (folders 1, 3), articles (folder 2), and planning documents (folders 4-5) regarding Galesburg’s sesquicentennial celebration from the year 1987.
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan collection | BC-56
The Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan collection includes charters by-laws (box 1 folder 1), advertisements (box 1 folder 3), pamphlets (box 2 folder 1), and miscellaneous papers for the bank from the years 1893-1989.
Founder’s Fountain Project collection | BC-57
The Founders Fountain Project collection includes contributions (folders 1-2), advertisements (folder 3), and financial papers (folder 4) from the years 1978-1981.
Bank of Galesburg Papers collection | BC-59
The Bank of Galesburg Papers collection papers and correspondence from the years 1903-1911.
1994 Lincoln-Douglas Debate Reenactment collection | BC-60
The 1994 Lincoln-Douglas Debate Reenactment collection includes a letter (folder 1), pamphlets and advertisements (folder 2), hand fans (folder 3), and newspaper articles (folder 4) from the year 1994.
Weinberg Arcade Roof Garden Papers collection | BC-61
The Weinberg Arcade Roof Garden Papers collection includes letters (folder 1), written memories (folder 2), newspaper articles (folder 3), and miscellaneous items (folder 4) from the years 1929-1996.
Rio Township School District 5 collection | BC-63
The Rio Township School District 5 collection includes a copy of the treasurer’s book from the years 1847-1919.
League of Women Voters collection | BC-64
The League of Women Voters collection includes bulletins (box 1 folder 1, box 2 folders 3-5), pamphlets (box 1 folders 2), minutes (box 1 folders 3-9), yearbooks (box 2 folder 1), histories (box 2 folder 2), letters (box 3 folder 1), a proclamation (box 3 folder 2), and miscellaneous records (boxes 4-5) for the years 1920-1998
Galesburg Bicycle Club collection | BC-65
The Galesburg Bicycle Club collection includes newspaper clippings and letters regarding bicycle races and the club from the years 1882-1987.
DAR, Rebecca Parke Chapter collection | BC-66
The DAR, Rebecca Parke Chapter collection includes programs for the chapter from the years 1901-1911 (folder 1) and 1941-1942 (folder 2).
Kellogg, Drake and Company collection | BC-67
The Kellogg, Drake and Company collection includes inventories (box 1 folder 1), payment records (box 2 folder 2), annual reports (box 2 folders 3-4), and auditor’s reports (boxes 3-4) for the company from the years 1893-1951.
Prairie Players collection | BC-68
The Prairie Players collection includes playbills and booklets for the company.
Walnut Grove Township collection | BC-69
The Walnut Grove Township collection includes a receipt booklet (box 1 folder 1) and tax lists for the township from the years 1861-1894.
Home Culture Club collection | BC-72
The Home Culture Club collection includes programs (box 1), newspaper articles (box 2 folder 1), and a reflection (box 2 folder 2) from the club for the years 1902-1997.
American War Dads collection | BC-73
The American War Dads collection includes letters (folder 1) and organizational papers for the organization from the years 1948-1951.
Alice Palmer Papers collection | BC-74
The Alice Palmer Papers collection includes newspaper clippings and election related materials from 1956-1965.
Knox County Homemakers Extension collection | BC-75
The Knox County Homemakers Extension collection includes programs (box 1), membership lists and minutes (box 2), Persifer and Rapatee Unit Minutes (box 3), minutes and records (boxes 4-7), miscellaneous papers (box 8), Knox and Truro records (box 9), Galesburg and Orange Units records (box 10), and newsletters (boxes 11-13) for the society for the years 1933-1991.
Women’s Society of Cameron Chapel collection | BC-77
The Women’s Society of Cameron Chapel collection includes minutes for the society from the years 1926-1950.
George C. Miles collection | BC-78
The George C. Miles Collection includes bank papers and a fraternity yearbook (folder 1), deeds (folder 2), and miscellaneous papers (folder 3) from the years 1882-1935.
Orpheum Theatre collection | BC-79
The Orpheum Theatre collection includes advertisements (box 1 folder 1) and letters regarding the theatre’s construction for the years 1915-1916.
Robert A. Giles collection | BC-80
The Robert A. Giles collection includes letters from (folders 1-3) and to (folders 4-5) Robert, as well as miscellaneous papers (folder 6) from the years 1944-1947.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Club collection | BC-81
The Oliver Wendell Holmes Club collection includes programs for the club from the years 1900-2002.
Knox County Health Department collection | BC-83
The Knox County Health Department collection includes reports (box 1 folder 1), brochures (box 1 folder 2), budgets and financial documents (box 1 folders 3-4), endorsements (box 1 folder 5), handouts (box 1 folder 6), laws (box 1 folder 7), letters (box 1 folders 8-9), literature on the department and other health departments (box 1 folders 10-25), miscellaneous papers (box 2 folders 1-2), and newspaper articles (box 2 folders 3-4) from the years 1988-1992.
Main Street Project collection | BC-84
The Main Street Project collection includes a variety of papers regarding the project from the years 1977-1980.
Rotary Club Rosters collection | BC-85
The Rotary Club Rosters collection includes rosters for the club from the years 1958-2000.
Sandburg Days Festival collection | BC-86
The Sandburg Days Festival collection includes memoir entries for a contest during April, 2001.
William Mason collection | BC-87
The Mason, William collection includes letters (folder 1) and postcards and sympathy cards (folder 2) from 1918.
Galesburg Street Railroads collection | BC-88
The Galesburg Street Railroads collection includes miscellaneous papers and documents on street cars (box 1) and newspaper articles (boxes 2-6) from the years 1870-1931.
Mears Advertising Incorporated collection | BC-89
The Mears Advertising Incorporated collection includes advertisements (box 1) and papers regarding the company’s work in Galesburg (box 2) circa 1900.
Study Club collection | BC-90
The Study Club collection includes member directories (Box 1), minutes (box 2 folders 1-5, box 3, and box 4 folders 1-4), and financial papers (box 4 folder 5), correspondence (box 4 folders 6-7), and miscellaneous papers (box 4 folder 8, box 5) for the club for the years 1910-2007.
Panama Canal Collection | BC-91
The Panama Canal collection includes photographs of the collection from the years 1911-1913.
WWII Letters from Floyd Ragsdale collection | BC-93
The WWII Letters from Floyd D. Ragsdale collection includes letters from the years 1943-1946.
Beta Sigma Phi collection | BC-94
The Beta Sigma Phi collection includes letters (folders 1-2) and miscellaneous papers (folders 3-4) for the sorority for the years 1940-1955.
S. S. Galesburg Carpenter’s Log Books collection | BC-95
The S.S. Galesburg Carpenter’s Log Books collection includes notes from the S.S. Galesburg’s carpenter for the years 1920-1921.
Churchill Chemical Company collection | BC-96
The Churchill Chemical Company collection includes addendums (box 1) and miscellaneous papers (box 2) for the year 1970.
Exchange Club Booklets collection | BC-97
The Exchange Club Booklets collection includes booklets and a scroll for the club from the years 1933-2009.
Kiwanis Club of Galesburg | BC-98
The Kiwanis Club of Galesburg collection includes booklets from the years 1965-2014.
Diaries of Thomas W. Presson | BC-103
The Diaries of Thomas W. Presson collection includes diaries from the years 1888-1892.
C. B. & Q. Railroad collection | BC-104
The Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad collection includes miscellaneous papers (folder 1), photos and maps (folder 2), administrative documents (folder 3), newspaper articles (folder 4) historical papers (folder 5), and notes on station reuse (folder 6) about the railroad from the years 1852-2010.
The archivist is available to fulfill research requests and help find information in the archives.