- Illinois State Archives
Margaret Cross Norton Building
Springfield, IL 62756
Telephone: (217) 782-4682
Fax: (217) 524-3930
Hours and holidays: Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Central Time Zone); Holidays
1st Saturday of month 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (except on holiday weekends)
Map, directions, and public transportation:
- from the north on I-55 (Lincoln): Merge onto I-55 S toward Springfield. Merge onto IL-97 W via EXIT 98B, 3.3 mi. Turn left onto N 2nd St, 0.5 mi. Turn right onto E Edwards St, 0.1 mi. The State Archives is on the right behind the State Museum.
- from the east on I-72 (Decatur): Merge onto I-72 W/US-36 W toward Springfield. Stay straight to go onto IL-97 W/E Clear Lake Ave W. Continue to follow IL-97 W, 3.1 mi. Turn left onto N 2nd St, 0.5 mi. Turn right onto E Edwards St, 0.1 mi. The State Archives is on the right behind the State Museum.
- from the south on I-55 (Litchfield): Merge onto I-55 N toward Springfield. Keep left to take I-55 Bus N via EXIT 92A-B toward 6th Street/I-72 W/Jacksonville, 3.7 mi. Turn left onto S Grand Ave E/I-55 Bus S. Continue to follow S Grand Ave E, 0.3 mi. Turn right onto S 2nd St, 0.6 mi. Turn right onto E Edwards St, 0.1 mi. The State Archives is on the right behind the State Museum.
- from the west on I-72 (Jacksonville): Merge onto I-72 E/US-36 E toward Springfield. Take the I-55 Bus Loop N exit, EXIT 97B, toward 6th Street/Springfield, 0.3 mi. Merge onto I-55 Bus N, 3.1 mi. Turn left onto S Grand Ave E/I-55 Bus S. Continue to follow S Grand Ave E, 0.3 mi. Turn right onto S 2nd St, 0.6 mi. Turn right onto E Edwards St, 0.1 mi. The State Archives is on the right behind the State Museum.
- Public transportation: All SMTD bus routes stop within 4 blocks of the capitol complex and Illinois State Archives.
Internet sites and databases:
The Illinois State Archives preserves county and state records, including pre-Chicago fire documents. They have indexed vital records, early land grants, military records such as muster rolls and Civil War registers. All federal and state censuses are available. Their surname card index covers much of the collection.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Illinois State Archives, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.
- Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana, premier periodical collection, including Midwestern genealogies, local histories, databases, military, censuses, directories, and passenger lists.
- National Archives Great Lakes Region (Chicago) old federal court and agency records for Illinois and Midwest U.S. federal censuses 1790–1940; military service and pension indexes, passenger lists, naturalizations, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, Fold3.
- Newberry Library, Chicago, a large repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records mostly from the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.
- Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), Springfield, HQ of 7 regional archives of local Illinois county/town records: birth, marriage, death, land, tax, voting reg., probate, naturalization, civil & criminal court, coroner, poorhouse, jail. For Sangamon County see IRAD-University of Illinois at Springfield.
- Illinois State Library, Springfield, state/federal records, federal censuses to 1920, plat books, IL county histories, Sanborn fire insurance maps, Rev. War pensions and bounty land warrants.
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Main Library one of the best book collections in America, including county histories, and farmers registers. Think of it as another archives for Illinois.
- Sangamon County Clerk births, marriages, deaths.
- Sangamon County Historical Society educational programs, historic buildings, and museums.
- Sangamon County Circuit Court Clerk divorce, probate, court, and naturalizations.
- Sangamon County Recorder land records.
- Sangamon County Coroner suspicious or unusual deaths.
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois recent civil and criminal cases.
- Illinois Dept. of Health Vital Records, Springfield, birth, marriage, death, adoption, and divorces.
- Illinois State Genealogical Society, Springfield, research guidance, teaching via webinars and the ISGS blog for free, death certificates 1916-1947 for a fee. No research requests.
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, genealogy, plat maps, atlases, oral and county history, cemeteries, census, vital records, naturalizations in many counties.
- Lincoln Library, Springfield, indexed obituaries, city directories, the Sangamon Valley Collection has photos, yearbooks, histories, and maps for studying Sangamon and surrounding counties.
- Repositories in surrounding counties: in Illinois: Cass, Christian, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Menard, Montgomery, and Morgan.
- Arlington Heights Memorial Library a huge collection, with printed genealogies, manuscripts, periodicals, newspapers, special aids, surname folders—a great overall genealogy collection.
- Chicago History Museum 20 million manuscripts, letters, certificates, diaries, genealogy charts, log books, journals, memoirs, minutes, muster rolls, scrapbooks, sermons, speeches, and telegrams.
- Chicago Title and Trust for a fee they will search property records prior to the Chicago fire.
- John A. Logan College Library, Carterville, this library is a focal point of Southern Illinois genealogy. Their collection is huge.
- Peoria Public Library enjoys a large genealogy and local history department, including many indexes, DAR files, and basic genealogy resources for the plains states.
- Pritzker Military Museum and Library, Chicago, 45,000 military history books, unit histories, photos, uniforms, equipment, insignia, and ships of many world militaries. They help genealogists.
- South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society, Hazel Crest, a very good collection with local histories, genealogies, naturalizations, Pullman Car Works personnel, obituaries, church histories.
- Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Lovejoy Library best library in southern IL with a large genealogical collection of newspapers, biographies, county histories, family folders, and maps.
- Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Rock Island, IL, Swedish church records, census, passenger lists, lodges, newspapers, directories.
- University of Chicago Library plentiful historical records, including Durrett Collection of historical Kentucky and Ohio River Valley manuscripts of early people in the Ohio Valley.
- Urbana Free Library their strength is Champaign County history, but they have good basic genealogy for the entire United States including printed genealogies, manuscripts, family folders.
- Asher Library, Chicago, Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies 500,000 books, and films.
- Brethren Historical Library and Archives, Elgin, IL, cultural, socio-economic, theological, genealogical, and institutional history of the Brethren.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives, Elk Grove Village, IL, serves historians, congregations, synods, genealogists and others interested in Lutheran history.
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago Archives parish records, priest biographies, sacramental, school, or orphanage records.
- Repositories in surrounding states: Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin
- National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), St. Louis, MO, military and civil services personnel records. For servicemen and servicewomen discharged from 1912 to 1953. 
- Polish Genealogical Society of America, Milwaukee, WI, 60,000 books on Polish history, art, culture, and reference.