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Illinois Historic Newspapers – Historical Collections

Illinois Historic Newspapers - Chicago Historical Collections - History

Illinois historic newspapers, Chicago historical collections, Illinois history collections. All free online.

Illinois History Magazines and Journals – Historical Collections

Chicago Magazine; The West As It Is – Chicago Historical Collections

Vol. 1, No. 1
Chicago: Gager 1857

Gem of the West and Soldier’s Friend – Illinois Historical Collections

Vol 6, 7, 8 (1872-1874). Monthly
Chicago: Gem of the West

See our Illinois Native Americans free books & articles

The Dial – Chicago Historical Collections

Vols I-IV (1840-1844) & Vols 1-73 (1880-1922)

Chicago, New York

‘The Dial’ was established in 1840 as a Transcendentalist magazine, edited by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller. It ceased publication in 1844. In Chicago in 1880 the editor and publisher Francis F. Browne gave his new journal of literary criticism and politics the same name, claiming it was in the same tradition. It achieved national prominence and was the most respected magazine of its type in the Midwest, before declining after 1910. In 1918 it was moved to New York and again became very influential, publishing important artwork, poetry and fiction.

Illinois Heritage – Illinois Historical Collections

Vol 1 No. 1 1997 – Vol 10 No. 6 2008
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society

Illinois History Teacher

Vols. 1-16, 1994-2009
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

See our collection of links to free online archives of U.S. newspapers

The Illinois Monthly Magazine – Illinois Historical Collections

Hall, James, ed.
Vandalia: Blackwell 1831

Vol 1, 1831.

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Springfield Il:Illinois State Historical Society

Group 1: Vol 1 no. 1 1908 – Vol 18, Pt 1 (April-July 1925).
Group 2: Vol 16, No. 1-2 (April-July 1923) to Vol 56 No. 1 (Spring 1963)
Group 3: Vol 56 no. 2 (Summer 1963) to Vol 71 (1978)
Group 4: Vol 72, No. 1 (Feb 1979) to Vol 98, No. 1-2, Spring-Summer 2005
Volumes in Group 3 are PDF documents unsorted by date. It is apparently necessary to open each file to discover which volume it is.

Illinois Historical Journal 1908-2021

You will need a free log-in to JSTOR to access these issues.

See our free novels set in Illinois

The Lakeside Monthly – Chicago Historical Collections

Vols 1-4, 7-9 (1869-1873)

Vols 6-11 (1871-1874)


‘The Lakeside Monthly’, which ran from 1869 to 1874, was edited by Francis Fisher Browne. It was the predecessor to Browne’s more successful Chicago literary magazine ‘The Dial’, which began in 1880 (also found on this webpage). Issues contain non-fiction, fiction, poetry and book reviews. Included were nonfiction articles about Chicago, including a section called “The Rebuilding of the City’ on page 281 of Volume 8 (Oct 1872), which describes the restoration of Chicago in the wake of the great fire of October 1871.


Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society

Indexes are at the same webpage.

Western Illinois Regional Studies

Hall, James, ed.
Macomb, IL: Western Illinois University

Vol 1, No. 1, Spring 1978 – Vol 14, No. 2, Fall 1991. A publication that included articles about the history and culture of west central Illinois.

The Western Monthly Magazine, a continuation of the Illinois Monthly Magazine, Vol 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

Hall, James, ed.
Cincinnati: Taylor & Tracy

Vol 1 – 1833; Vol 2 – 1834; Vol 3 – Jan-June, 1835; Vol 4 – Jul-Dec 1835

Illinois Historic Newspapers

The Cairo Bulletin – Illinois Historic Newspapers

Cairo, IL

Illinois Free Trader

Ottawa, ILL: Weaver & Hise

See our Illinois military history free books & articles

Illinois Farmer – Illinois Historic Newspapers

Springfield: Francis

Chronicling America: Illinois Newspapers – Chicago Historic Newspapers

Library of Congress
Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers

This site at the Library of Congress has a very large collection of historic newspapers from every state in the U.S. In addition to the digitized newspapers, they provide information about other historic newspapers not in their digitized collection. For that database, use the tab “US Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present”.

Historical U.S. Newspapers Online: Illinois – Chicago Historic Newspapers

Bowling Green State University Libraries

This page of BGSU’s LibGuide (Library Research Guide) has links to free online newspaper collections for all states beginning with I. Scroll down for the Illinois collection.

The Ancestor Hunt – United States Online Historical Newspaper Links – Illinois – Illinois Historic Newspapers

The Ancestor Hunt is a very large site with a page of newspaper links for each U.S. state. The Illinois page contains links to numerous free historic newspapers, and includes links to individual Illinois newspapers within major collections such as the Library of Congress American Memory, University of Illinois Farm, Field and Fireside, and Illinois Digital Newspaper.

For more online collections of U.S. historical newspapers, see: Free Newspaper Archives

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections – Illinois Historic Newspapers

University of Illinois Library

As of March, 2019, the website for this collection states it contains 127 newspaper titles with 150,000 issues.

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