Photograph collections online

In addition to photos posted or linked to elsewhere in this index, many websites offer photos related to Sangamon County’s past, with little or no additional text. They are offered here for personal viewing.

Important: The Sangamon County Historical Society cannot guarantee that photos in the collections linked below are free of copyright restrictions. Anyone wanting to republish a photo should verify its copyright status first.

Collections are generally unindexed.

Memories of Springfield and surrounding areas : Largely a Facebook nostalgia site, but regular contributors periodically include photos of particular historical interest.

@RichSaal: State Journal-Register photo editor’s Twitter feed focuses on historic photographs from the SJR and its predecessors. Professional eye and technical virtuosity shows.

Illinois Photographic Collection: Often interesting, but very random, selection of 5,500 photographs from the holdings of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. A lot of good material, but it takes some searching to find. There may be limitations on republication. Observe the library’s terms of use.

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Material World of Early Springfield: Erika Holst, formerly with the Springfield Art Association, attempted to compile every known image of pre-Civil War Springfield residents, as well as other views of the city.

Illinois State Fair Museum Foundation: Multiple photos and videos from past Illinois State Fairs, randomly organized.

Vintage postcards: Available on Ebay, CardCow and similar internet sales sites. Card subjects most often are Lincoln-related, but most include an unpredictable variety of other sites as well.

Images for Springfield, Illinois: Very random selection of photos, some historical, produced by Google search. Despite search terms, not all photos are from Springfield or even anywhere in central Illinois.

Springfield Rewind on Facebook: Although the original Springfield Rewind web site is no longer maintained, the Facebook site remains accessible.

Illinois Postcards and Photos: Mixture of photographs and postcards tracing Route 66 through Sangamon County. Note that some information is incorrect (South Grand Avenue is mislabeled several times, for instance, and the name of at least one contributor, Donna Catlin, is misspelled).

Lost Springfield: Photographs from Illinois Capital Illustrated (1898). Photos of the homes of many prominent Springfield residents, taken from a volume originally published by the Illinois State Register. Other sections of Illinois Capital Illustrated, which documented “businesses, public buildings and other scenes,” are not reproduced here.

Mercury Studio Collection, extensive collection of local photographs from the 1940s through the 1970s; negatives are held by Lincoln Library, but the photos have been made available online through the Illinois Digital Archives.

Springfield nostalgia on Pinterest. Melissa Peyton has collected a variety of old photos from The State Journal-Register, Springfield Rewind and the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library.

Springfield Aviation Company collection: Several hundred photos, publications and newspaper clippings dating focusing on Springfield aviation history between 1927 and 1955.

Not online ( mostly): Arcadia Books’ series of photo collections include Springfield: A Reflection in Photography; Oak Ridge Cemetery; The Illinois Statehouse; Springfield Aviation; Springfield’s Sculptures, Monuments and Plaques; and Route 66 in Springfield, by various authors. Portions of some Arcadia books, such as Springfield Aviation and Sculptures, Monuments and Plaques, are on line, though even those are not always easy to find. Most, if not all, photographs in the Arcadia collections are from the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library. More information at Arcadia Publishing.schs logo (2)

Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.


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4 Responses to Photograph collections online

  1. Andrew Trello says:

    Thanks for the mention! I’m honored!

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