The Archives Building is temporarily closed. Please call the Lake County Discovery Museum for assistance at 847-968-3400.
The Lake County History Archives, part of the Lake County Discovery Museum, provides access to books, documents and photographs featuring the history of Lake County, Illinois. This special collection is available to the general public for research.
The Archives include:
- More than 1,600 postcard views of Lake County towns and resorts
- Large photographic collection of Lake County schools, farms, residences, and individuals
- More than 2,000 photographs and 200 postcard views of Fort Sheridan, the former U.S. Army post
- Plat maps dating from 1861 showing land ownership in Lake County
- School Collection including 52 one-room school histories written in 1918, and township school records with finances and minutes of school board meetings from 1841-1962. School histories are available online through the Illinois Digital Archives:
- Early Motion Picture Industry Collection featuring Edward Amet (1860-1948) of Waukegan, inventor of the Amet Magniscope, the first practical 35mm motion picture projector; and Essanay Studios of Chicago
- Civil War Collection including the history and records of Company B 96th Illinois Regimental Volunteers; letters of Orson Young (96th IL); letters of the Minto Family of Millburn (96th IL); and Adjutant General Reports of Illinois 1861-1865
The Archives Library is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. An appointment will provide staff assistance and access to the Collections. Appointments are available weekdays from 9 am to noon and 1 to 4:30 pm. Phone, mail and email research requests are encouraged.
A number of publications and postcard gifts can be purchased at the shop located in the museum lobby.
Support the museum and receive great benefits by becoming a member of the Friends of the Lake County Discovery Museum. Members enjoy:
- Free daily admission
- Museum shop and research discounts
- Free subscription to the museum's Image File magazine
- Invitations to exclusive members-only events