Home » Great Lakes States Directory » Illinois Historical Periodicals

Illinois Old Newspapers Free Online – Historical Newspapers

Illinois Old Newspapers Free Online - Historical Newspapers

Illinois historical newspapers free online in collections. Illinois history magazines, recent and vintage. Chicago history periodicals.

Collections of Illinois History Magazines

Chicago Magazine; The West As It Is

Vol. 1, No. 1
Chicago: Gager 1857

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Gem of the West and Soldier’s Friend

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

See our Illinois Native Americans free books & articles

The Dial

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

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

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

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

Collections of Illinois Historical Newspapers

Chronicling America: Illinois 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

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

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

University of Illinois Library

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

Illinois Historical Newspapers

The Cairo Bulletin

Cairo, IL

Illinois Free Trader

Ottawa, ILL: Weaver & Hise

See our Illinois military history free books & articles

Illinois Farmer

Springfield: Francis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top