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Recommendations from
Society Curator
on how to research your 
Peoria area history or question:

Start with the Peoria Public Library:

PPL holds three collections; their own history collections, the library of the Peoria County Genealogical Society, and the architectural library of the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation. These collections are located on Lower Level 1 at the Main Library, 107 NE Monroe St, Peoria IL, 61602 (309) 497-2000.
Click here for 
Peoria Public Library Website

Click here for Peoria County Genealogical Society Website

Next search the Society's collection database:

Only a small percentage of the PHS 45,000+ collection is currently in the database or digitized. PHS may have more material, making it worth asking the Society’s Curator if he is aware of additional materials. Society volunteers are working to input all items, but it is a slow and time consuming process. (This is a shameless plug for volunteers!)
Research PHS Collection

Search the CARLI website: 

The Society’s Image Collection is hosted through Bradley University on CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.)  
Search CARLI 

Last visit Bradley University’s Cullum Davis Library Special Collections Center: 

The Society’s Research Collection is located in Bradley University Special Collections climate controlled environment and is comprised of over 1000 linear feet of material. The Cullom-Davis Library is located at 1501 W Bradley Ave,  Peoria, IL 61625  (Please have a valid ID with you to sign into the library.  Special Collections is on the third floor.  You will be buzzed in. You must sign in and fill out a research form.  Pencils only allowed. No food or drink.  Bags must be checked with library staff.)  Please be aware that the Special Collections staff cannot do in-depth research. The staff will answer questions that they can answer quickly, but if more research is necessary, they will point you in the right direction. Or see Research Assistance below. Special Collections phone # 309-677-2822
BU Special Collections


There is some overlap between all the collections, but there are enough unique items and information that to be thorough in your research, you should check all collections. The Curator recommends researching in the order listed above. The digital/online resources are a first step, or at least a concurrent step, to research at Special Collections.  The Society’s Collection is organized rather uniquely by subject headings, so that the more you know when looking at Special Collections, the more success you will have in finding material.

Research Assistance:

The Peoria Historical Society will do research for a fee ($30 per hour for members or $40 for non-members) with a one hour minimum fee charged. Contact the Society’s Office at 309-674-1921 and ask to speak to the Curator or send  an email.


Once you find your information - what are some options?
Check out the Society's
Image Use Policy, Regulations and Procedures
Image Use Fees and Photocopy Fees from PHS

eBay - Giving Works

Do you shop or sell on eBay? You can make a difference by shopping, selling and donating to the Peoria Historical Society at the same time! It's easy, convenient and tax deductible.

Upcoming Events

Pettengill-Morron House Museum Tour

3/4/2018 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

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