Elgin History Museum





We hope you enjoy exploring these other resources and websites to learn more about Elgin. Please note these sites, except for the Courier News Photo Archive database, are maintained by the owners of the site and not maintained by the Elgin History Museum.

If you are interested in setting up a research appointment please call the museum at 847-742-4248 or email museum@elginhistory.org with your inquiry. Please note that any research done and/or copying done does incur a fee.


HistoElgin Bungalowsric Elgin – An updated interactive map of Elgin that highlights important sites of historic and architectural note.

elginbungalows.com – A colorful and picture rich site dedicated to Bungalow homes in Elgin.


Elgin Genealogical Society – This website is a first stop resource if looking up information about your family roots in the Elgin and how to contact a researcher to help you. Email them directly at elgingenealogy@gmail.com or visit their page on Facebook.


Elgin Area Memories – This website, maintained by Gail Borden Library, is a wonderful compilation of many interesting items such as the historic WatchWord magazines, videos from our local veterans, photos of a devastating tornado in 1920, postcards from another era and much more.

Illinois Digital Archives – A repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library as well as other libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois. View the Elgin History Museum Gylleck Photo Collection or the Elgin American Collection. Elgin American became famous for producing women’s compacts, cigarette lighters and makeup vanities. This collection includes company newsletters, catalogs, and photographs from the 1940s and 1950s.

Courier News and Daily Herald Archives – This database website, maintained by Gail Borden Library, is a way to look up newspaper articles of Courier News and Daily Herald newspapers collected by various years based on author, title and subject. To access an article copy please contact Gail Borden Library. This database also includes the Vital Records Surname (i.e., last name) search which provides a way to find obituaries, birth notices, and marriage announcements listed in Elgin newspapers from July 1, 2002 to date with additional records for newspapers that were published prior to 1915 being entered as time permits.

Catherine and Thorton Thompson Civil War Letters – This blog, maintained by Ken Gough, Elgin Civil War historian, transcribed all 120 letters of Catherine Thompson to her husband Thorton, 1st Lieut. of the 79th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. These copied transcripts will be available to researchers in early 2017 through the Elgin History Museum.

Autolist – An online resource helping those research older, classic cars. Be sure to visit us each year for our Annual Classic Car Show.

Illinois Historic Group Directory – The Northern Illinois Historic League promotes projects and activities that promote local and regional history with its substantial network of historians, colleagues and experts from Illinois and other locations.

BeHistoric You Tube channel – The first series of videos retraces the original lines of the Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin railway, visiting all of the former stations/stops along the Illinois Prairie Path and the Fox River Trail. To date, there are videos for the Elgin, Aurora, Geneva, Batavia, and Main Line branches of the former CA&E railway.


Courier News Photo Archive – A web based database with search feature allows researchers to look up photos through the Courier News Archives dating from 1936-1986.The collection is housed at the Elgin History Museum. To view a photograph please contact the Museum with the Index number so Museum staff to locate the photo for you. Fees will be incur for research services and photo copies rendered.