May 2019
Library Closed May 26 & 27 for Memorial Day
This workshop presented by  Jennifer Hain Tepper  will introduce attendees to the importance of preserving fragile family books, papers, and photographs and provide introductory information on how to do so. Topics that will be covered include general storage tips, problems to look for, examples of usual deterioration, and different types of possible treatments – both novice and professional. Participants are encouraged to bring an item from their family collection that they are interested in preserving for discussion with the group.

Jennifer Hain Teper  serves as the Velde Preservation Librarian at the University of Illinois Libraries overseeing conservation, collections care, digital preservation, and digitization services throughout the library system. 
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.
Patton Woods in the far northeast corner of Champaign County was named after ' Grandma' Jane Cade Patton (1824-1921) an early settler to East Central Illinois. The 19-acre track is known for its variety of wildflowers in the spring. Now is a great time of year to take a hike and check it out.
'Tales from the General Store' a student journalism project from the late 1980s and 1990s focused on the history and culture of South Central Illinois is available for FREE through the Digital Public Library of America .
From the Blog
Jackson Luker’s Pan-O-Cake was born in a fit of pique when a Kroger grocery store opened and started selling angel food cakes for well under what his bakery could afford. Luker was so upset he left his cakes in their pans and did not return to them until after the sale was over. Luker found his cakes still in fresh condition and realized he could sell his cakes by mail as well as from his Urbana store front.

The Curtiss JN-4D “Jenny”
The first airplane to reach Chanute Field was a Curtiss JN-4D “Jenny.” Traveling over sixty mph, Chanute Captain W.W. Spain passed over the base on Tuesday, July 3, 1917 at 11:25am. Residents from Rantoul and nearby Paxton gathered on the streets and watched from railroad tracks as the Jenny flew more than 1,000 feet above them. The flight in question was a ten-mile trip from Buckley to Paxton, which took eight minutes, and then from Paxton to Chanute, another twelve miles and ten minutes. Fifteen days later on July 18, a dozen Jennies took flight from Chanute with an instructor and trainee in each plane, marking the first formal instruction at the base. The Jenny was new to aviation, released only a month prior to Spain’s flight to Chanute. During World War I, 90% of pilots trained with a Jenny, and following the war, the surplus was sold to civilians. These surplus planes were used for barnstorming air shows and were the first aircrafts used by the U.S. Postal Service. 
Engine: 90-hp Curtiss OX-5
Wing Span: 43’ 7”
Length: 27’ 4”; Height: 9’ 10”
Weight: 1,430 lbs.
Gross Weight: 1,920 lbs. (includes fuel, oil, pilot and passenger)
Speed, Top: 75 mph; Min: 45 mph
Climb in 10 minutes: 2,000 ft.
Air-frame: Wood; Covering: Fabric
Think You Know Champaign-Urbana?
Try our trivia quiz
Q. Where was Lorado Taft’s “Lincoln the Lawyer” statue, currently in Carle Park, originally located?
Events at the Archives & Beyond

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

  • Oral History Workshop, Saturday, May 25, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm | The Busey-Mills Reading Room (First 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