June 2019
Have you ever wanted to record your family's or community's stories? This introductory workshop will guide you from your initial idea to a finished project. We will discuss planning and conducting your interview, and give an overview of helpful technology. We'll also provide examples, additional resources, and highlight some local oral history projects.   
The workshop will be presented by Kathryn La Barre , an Associate Professor at the School of Information Sciences, Archivist and Zine Librarian at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, and Librarian at the Rantoul Multi-Cultural Center. A longtime Urbana resident, she’s been involved with several Oral History projects, and teaches a graduate level seminar in oral history at the University of Illinois.
The Archives has your summer potluck needs covered with our cookbook collection. Keep your summer fare local by choosing a recipe from our community organizations and church cookbook collection. Here is one of our favorites Cooking with Librarians published by Lincoln Trail Libraries. Longtime UFL librarian Waneta Mehaffey submitted a recipe for Almond Buttercups .
Sanborn Fire Insurance maps were originally created to help insurance companies more accurately assess fire insurance liability. These maps provide a wealth of information, including the size, shape, and outline of individual structures, property boundaries and numbers, and street widths.  The Archives has Sanborn maps of Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, and Tolono dating from 1887. For online access, see the University of Illinois' digital collection .
From the Blog
Here in the Midwest these are a common sight, but did you know that an early plan for a tornado warning system included cannons?

Sergeant Joseph C. Gomez was the manager of the Chandelle Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) Club at Chanute Air Force Base in the 1950s. As the manager of the Chandelle, he was responsible for operating one of the premiere night spots for young Chanuters to gather and party at the base. The Chandelle offered nightly concerts with a sunken dance floor and full-service bar. They even permitted gambling and offered slot-machines for a period. The December 1957 Chandelle calendar from our files reveals a month filled with different events that included regular and special dinners, game nights, and lots of music from live acts. The Chandelle also offered a barbershop, a la carte meals, and pizza pie pickup and delivery. They kept late hours: open until midnight Monday-Thursday, 1am on Friday, and 2am on Saturday. 

In these photos we see Gomez interacting with different guests at the Chandelle. In the group photo, Gomez identified the bow tied gentleman to his right as a very popular dance partner in the club, and the young woman as the bookkeeper at Chanute who came from England. The ballroom displayed on the postcard shows the layout of the Chandelle and location of its two bars. Despite the limited information on Gomez and few photographs that remain, these records provide a unique perspective of the base. Leisure, relaxation, and socializing were essential to base personnel who dealt with the daily stresses of a military life.
Think You Know Champaign-Urbana?
Try our trivia quiz
Q. Where did R.E.O. Speedwagon take the photo found on the back cover of their “T.W.O.” album?
Events at the Archives & Beyond
  • Oral History Workshop, Saturday, May 25, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm | The Busey-Mills Reading Room (First Floor), The Urbana Free Library

  • The Story of the Irish in West Virginia, Champaign County Genealogical Society, Tuesday, June 11, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm | The Jean Evans Archives Room (Second Floor), The Urbana Free Library [Rescheduled]

  • Research Night with Champaign County Genealogical Society, Wednesday, June 12, 7:00 pm -8:30 pm | The Jean Evans Archives Room (Second Floor), The Urbana Free Library

We Want To Hear From You!
Put our Archivists to the test. Ask us your questions about local history and genealogy.
Champaign County Historical Archives | 217-367-4025 | E-mail | Website