The Dunn Museum’s collections, which comprise nearly 20,000 artifacts and 1,000 linear feet of archival materials, are securely housed in a modern environmentally controlled care and storage facility. Irreplaceable collections held in public trust are protected with precise temperature and humidity control, as well as security and fire suppression capabilities, preserving Lake County’s cultural heritage for future generations to discover and enjoy. Archival holdings within the Museum's distinguished collections can be accessed by appointment by visitors, researchers and history enthusiasts. Artifacts from the collections are showcased in exhibitions and education programs.
Covid-19 Documentation Project
Each of us is living through a significant moment in history. As the principal steward of Lake County's history, the Bess Bower Dunn Museum is documenting the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the coming weeks and months, the Dunn Museum is collecting stories and photographs that demonstrate how COVID-19 is affecting the lives of Lake County residents, businesses and caregivers.
You can help us by sharing your personal experiences and digital photographs.
Submit Your Story
Collections Donation Inquiry
If you have documents, images, or artifacts that you believe would complement our collection, please tell us about them by completing the online form below. Please do not send unsolicited original materials to the Museum.
What makes a good donation candidate? A strong Lake County connection makes an item a good fit for the museum’s collections. What is the item’s story? Who used it? Was it used and/or made in Lake County?
All potential donations are evaluated by a museum curator, who may contact you with follow-up questions. Donations are then reviewed by the Collections Committee made up of museum staff. If the committee decides that the materials will strengthen the collections, the donation is presented to the Lake County Forest Preserves’ Operations Committee for final approval.
Complete Collections Inquiry Form
Teich Family Reading Room
The Reading Room provides walk-in access to the Dunn Museum’s special library, genealogical resources and reference materials related to Lake County history. An appointment is necessary for use of primary source materials from the Lake County History Archives. There is no fee for accessing the Reading Room, but fees may be incurred for photocopies, scans, printed copies, PDFs, image licensing, and other items.
For more information, email or call the collections staff at LCHA@LCFPD.org or 847-968-3400.
12–4 pm, walk-ins
Lake County History Archives
The vast collections of the History Archives are available by appointment for research in the Reading Room. Appointments must be made three days in advance and confirmed by Dunn Museum staff. Primary source materials include, but are not limited to, photographs, postcards, Civil War correspondence, and school records.
Personal computers are welcome. Cameras, scanners and other personal copying devices are not permitted. Collections staff can make photocopies, scans or PDFs of most archival materials. See below for services and fees.
For more information or to discuss your research project, email or call the collections staff at LCHA@LCFPD.org or 847-968-3400.
10 am–4 pm, by appointment
Mondays and Sundays
The links below take you to school history hosted online by the Illinois Digital Archives.
It's easy for researchers and history enthusiasts from Lake County or around the world to request research assistance. Research requests can be made by mail, phone 847-968-3400, or email LCHA@LCFPD.org.
Services and Fees
$20 per hour
Staff research services, nonprofit use, billed when work begins
$40 per hour
Staff research services, for-profit use, billed when work begins
$10 research fee
This minimum fee, or other fees, may apply for research requests
Fees vary by use for the following requests:
Photocopies, scans or PDFs available for most archival materials
USPS postage for copies returned by mail
Postage is added to all mail orders.
Express mail services (FedEx, UPS) are used only when the researcher's account number is provided for direct billing
Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County
Lake County History Archives
1899 W. Winchester Road | Libertyville, IL 60048 847-968-3400