African American Heritage

A genealogy database devoted to African American family history research, this collection was created in partnership with leading African American genealogists and recognized leaders in genealogical information to develop a comprehensive mix of resources, records, and tools specifically pertaining to African Americans.



Access historical issues of hundreds of Illinois newspapers, including the Oak Park Oak Leaves (1902-1977). For the family genealogist, local history buff, and anyone looking for local articles, advertisements, editorials, classified ads, and obituaries.

Early Peoples

For elementary, middle and high school students. Covers the origins and rise of each civilization; the role of women; methods of warfare; daily life and customs; diet; housing; legal system; religion, and holidays.


Start here to find out about people in other countries! Listen to the national anthem, look at pictures, and try recipes. Learn about each country’s history, customs, and government, and see what everyday life is like. 

Digital Sanborn Maps

For historians, genealogists, and the general public, this is a collection of Sanborn fire insurance maps for Illinois.

What are Sanborn maps? The Sanborn Map Company published these large-scale plans for fire insurance purposes, including the outline of each building, the size, shape, construction materials, height, and location of windows and doors. The maps also give street names, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers.


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