Please consider joining the Society by visiting our website and selecting the “Membership” option found under “Support Us” tab.  Thanks!


The Illinois State Historical Society was founded in 1899 to foster awareness, understanding, research, preservation, and recognition of history in Illinois.  We are glad to assist you in a better appreciation of our state’s history.  Please consider joining the Society by visiting our website and selecting the “Membership” option found under “Support Us” tab.  Thanks!



Become a member

Please consider joining the Society by clicking here membership area





 “The Conversation”

Care about Illinois history enough to make a solid (bronze) commitment to the Illinois State Historical Society? Donors of $2500 or more will receive “The Conversation,” a limited (25 total made) edition casting of a new statuette by renowned Lincoln sculptor John McClarey on the theme of the first conversation at the White House between Frederick Douglass and President Lincoln, which took place on August 10, 1863. This is truly a wonderful keepsake and a statement about the power of listening in a world drowning in noise. Call or email today to donate and own a piece of history.



Latest news

Some tidbits from the Summer 2024 Journal of the ISHS

A landmark court case spawned by a 1930s sit-down strike at an Illinois manufacturing plant, an admirable but flawed effort to transcend racial and ethnic divides in East St. Louis in the years after World War One, and an interesting history of the early Illinois “salt industry,” entwined with slavery and frontier entrepreneurship are featured in the latest edition of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.

“Production and Labor in the Gallatin County Salines, 1803-1850,” by James Cornelius explains the excitement about rights to mining salt and how it eventually created sanctioned slavery in a free state. This anomaly would pester efforts to make Illinois a state and almost lead to a constitutional change allowing slavery.

Distinguished scholar and author James R. Barrett shares his insights on writing history and the centrality of Illinois and Chicago to significant historical problems.



Be on the lookout of these upcoming features in the July/August 2024 Illinois
The Lincoln collector, #24
Illinois Women Artists, #59, Bessie Helstrom
201….and counting! Collinsville Presbyterian Church
Forgotten Voices of Illinois History: Frank Marshall Davis
Early ISU educator Richard Edwards
Guest essay: With 200 years of hindsight
Mural, mural on the wall, or how to get really P.O.’d
Good to know you, Mr. Smith
Historical headlines: Illinois and “The Marvelous land of Oz”
Illinois, 1944: The POWs next door
Camp Ellis, beginnings
A visionary, a spectacular shot, and the birth of televised golf
Prairie footpaths: Following the French in Illinois
William E. Lilly: Author of the >rst Lincoln biography by an African American