COA Brainstorming: Illinois State Archives commemorates the state Bicentennial

30 Aug 2018 3:55 PM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

The Chicago Open Archives (COA) Brainstorming Session happened earlier this month. CAA Steering Committee Member and representative from the IL State Library Andrew Bullen joined us to talk about the Illinois bicentennial. He shared many resources for archivists, historians, students, researchers and the public, and provided the summary below. If you missed the event, but are interested in the COA theme, we hope you find this helpful!


The Illinois State Archives and the Illinois State Library are celebrating the bicentennial in a variety of ways. The State Library has developed a directory of authors who were born in or lived in Illinois ( Recently, we have moved it to a database platform that allows us to (among other things) map authors to cities and towns all over the state. The Archives and the Library along with Illinois State Historical Society has developed an Illinois authors book of the month club. For August, the book is “Bloody Williamson” ( We have also collaborated with to create an Illinois Authors poster featuring the names and home locations of more than 200 Illinois authors. The poster will be out shortly.

The Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board ( ) has chosen the bicentennial as its theme for its statewide October Archives month poster.

The Archives will shortly unveil an on-line exhibit featuring the 100 best documents at the Archives. The exhibit is designed to showcase the 200 year plus history of the state of Illinois and features such documents as the four Illinois Constitutions, several Lincoln documents and records related to the I & M Canal, the founding of Chicago and the Haymarket Riot. The Archives has been a part of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission from its beginning and has actively worked on its projects. 

The Library has an online directory of Illinois Businesses that have been in  existence for at least a century at The recognition of efforts include a celebration of Centennial (1918) efforts as well. The Library has digitized a number of works from the Centennial ( and has digitized the official state opera written for the Centennial, “The Masque of Illinois” (

Finally, 2018 is also the Centennial of another important event in Illinois’ history, the ending of the First World War. Both the Archives and the Library have been a part of the official World War One Illinois Centennial Committee (


For more information on COA 2018 and to register, please visit our page.

Thank you to Andrew and all who attended!

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