Museum Collections

The Museum Collections page is currently being updated to better serve both visitors and researchers.
Check back soon to see updates and additions to this page. Thank you for your patience!

The Museum’s collection of over 40,000 artifacts and documents is a vast source for the study of the history of Elgin and the people who call Elgin home.  All items relate to Elgin’s history from 1835 to the present. For genealogical research we recommend contacting the Elgin Genealogical Society. If you are interested in utilizing our research facilities please make an appointment by calling 847-742-4248 or email. Please click on the pictures below to learn more about the archival materials and the lists we have available as downloadable PDFs.

If you are interested in donating items to the Museum’s collections please email or call the museum staff first before dropping off or sending items in the mail. The Museum’s collections of objects emphasizes 4 areas in scope.  The size of all donations must be taken into consideration because of space limitations.

Elgin History Museum Collecting Scope

Living in Elgin: Family life, neighborhoods, religious life, recreation, military and education.

Governing Elgin:  City government, community organizations, and township maps.

Working and Made in Elgin:  Items made in Elgin such as Toastmaster, Elgin Sweeper, Leewards crafts,  and the people who worked in Elgin.

Building Elgin:  Architecture of Elgin including blueprints, architectural remnants, and photographs of buildings.



Watch Case Co

Elgin American

father time 9 x 12

Elgin National Watch Factory


Elgin Road Race

Inside the Watch Factory

Photo Collection