The Regional History Center has as its basic goal to acquire, preserve, and make available to the public the most significant historical records of the northern Illinois region. The center actively collects historical material from the 18 northernmost counties of Illinois, excluding Cook County. Since 1964 the center has evolved from a small university archival unit to a multifaceted research center containing three related sets of historical records available to researchers; Regional Collections, University Archives, and Local Government Records.
Holdings in the Regional Collections include original manuscripts and records generated by private individuals, institutions, and organizations from throughout the area, with emphasis on several major themes in the region’s history: agriculture, politics, ethnic heritage, commerce and industry, the role of women, and urban expansion. University records that have permanent historical or administrative value are housed in the University Archives. These materials include governing board proceedings, records of university administrative offices, faculty papers, records of student government and organizations, a range of publications, and extensive photographs of campus life. The Local Government Records collection, as part of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository system administered by the Illinois State Archives, has the responsibility of preserving local public records and making them available to researchers.