Notes from IHA
The tagline for the Illinois Heritage Association is “Helping to preserve the cultural heritage of Illinois.” Our goal is to assist organizations and individuals as they explore the rich history of our state and work to preserve the tangible materials that tell the personal and community stories that make it so interesting. Many IHA members are museums, historical societies, and libraries, but there are also preservation organizations, archaeological groups, and genealogical societies among them. Individual members’ interests encompass history, preservation, education, genealogy, and lifelong learning.
The technical insert with this newsletter highlights a genealogical theme and is especially targeted to those who pursue family histories. It probably will also strike a chord with people who are not active genealogists, for many of us feel a bond with our ancestors. This insert is one of several that the IHA has offered on genealogical topics. Two others are “Is Genealogy History?” by IHA executive director Patricia L. Miller; and “It’s All Relative: Conducting Genealogical Research,” by Faauiga Betts. There are many other inserts that could appeal to people with a bent for genealogy, including some focused on local history research, using libraries, conducting oral interviews, and caring for photographs and artifacts. Some examples are “Cemetery Research: Preservation and Interpretation,” by Carol Bolton Betts; “When Library Research Is Needed: Basics for the Library Visit,” by Jane Nicoll; “Audio Recording Oral History,” by Lynnita Brown; and “Collections Care: What to Do When You Can’t Afford to Do Anything,” by Lisa Mibach.
The IHA circulating library contains materials about local and state history, historic preservation, caring for collections, and saving family stories. The IHA website (http://illinoisheritage.org) has a list of technical inserts and also a list of all of the publications in the library. The inserts may be borrowed from the IHA library or purchased for a small fee. Use of the circulating library is free for IHA members, with only a charge for return postage. Nonmembers may use the IHA library for a minimal fee.
The IHA’s resources reflect the crossovers in the interests of its members. Although some might not identify themselves as historians, preservationists, or genealogists, they share our concern for preserving the built environment, the material culture, and the stories that shape our worldview.