The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library has a new feature that might reduce the time and effort spent on genealogical or historical research.
An index of issues of the Illinois State Journal and its predecessors from 1831 through 1860 is now searchable online at http://www.illinoishistory.gov/lib/default.htm. The index, originally developed in the 1940s and 1950s, covers the first issue of the Sangamon Journal on November 10, 1831 through January1832; the Sangamo Journal from 1832 – 1847; the Illinois Journal from 1847 – 1855; and the Illinois State Journal from 1855 – 1860. The index provides an on-line alternative to the 1,300-page index that previously could only be used by patrons who physically visited the library in Springfield.
The online searchable index will be of interest to historians of all types, as it lists alphabetically and chronologically all of the people, places and things covered in the Springfield-based newspapers from1831-1860. The original, massive index, which still remains, was compiled by James N. Adams of the Illinois State Historical Library from 1944 to 1953.
“The availability of this digital index is a boon to local historians and genealogists, as they will be able to search the index online before visiting the library to examine the newspaper issues on microfilm,” said Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library newspaper librarian Jan Perone. “This will save a lot of time and effort by helping those researchers quickly and efficiently narrow their search for the newspapers they need.”
The Presidential Library has 5,226 newspaper titles, including the Illinois State Journal and its predecessors, on more than 100,000 reels of microfilm. It is the world’s largest source of Illinois newspapers on microfilm, and all of those are available on interlibrary loan at no charge through local public and educational libraries.
To view a complete offering of newspaper listings available through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, visit http://www.illinoishistory.gov/lib/newspaper.htm.