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Library of the Peoria Historical Society

On deposit at the University since 1980, this collection contains more than ten thousand items pertaining to the history of Peoria and central Illinois. Among the holdings are: a nearly complete run of city directories beginning with 1844, most cross indexed by occupation, business, and street address; biographical dictionaries covering residents from 1880-1912; an index with abstracts for fifteen area newspapers published between 1834 and 1864; city and county maps including Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlases; and almost 275 linear feet of vertical files containing ephemera indexed by broad subjects such as family and street names and business and organization types. Holdings also include a library of publications by area authors, a reference collection of books on central Illinois history, and thousands of photographic images of early Peoria, a number of which can be viewed online at CARLI Digital Collections.

Full Texts of Significant Work Online

Coles, Edward. Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, in conformity to the provisions of the act of fifteenth May, 1820, for the relief of the inhabitants of the village of Peoria, in the state of Illinois. Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1821.
http://www.archive.org/details/reportofsecretar00cole

Ballance, Charles. The history of Peoria, Illinois. Peoria, Ill.: N.C. Nason, 1870.
http://www.archive.org/details/historyofpeoriai00ball

Rice, James Montgomery. Peoria city and county, Illinois; a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1912.
Vol. 1. http://www.archive.org/details/peoriacitycounty01rice
Vol. 2. http://www.archive.org/details/peoriacitycounty02rice