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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

News Archive

2020 Best of Illinois History Awards

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Although we weren’t able to celebrate this year, we delight in honoring this year’s winners.

The postponement and eventual cancelation of the ISHS’s “Best of Illinois History Awards and Gala” was a disappointment for many of us, as it is the one time of year we get to celebrate the achievement of the people and organizations, publishers, writers, and exhibitors, who each year demonstrate the variety and depth of Prairie State history. We really enjoy meeting our friends and partners in history and thanking them for reawakening our passion for the past, but shutting the celebration down to keep us all safe from the pandemic seemed a wise choice.

It’s hard to believe we are already six months into the year and time to start thinking about the 2021 awards. Before we do that, let’s toast the winners and salute those who sent in the nominations that made this year’s awards possible.

Click the "Read More" button for the list of this year's Best of Illinois History Award winners.

**CANCELLED** 2020 Best of Illinois History Awards Gala

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the ISHS was compelled to postpone and then cancel our “2020 Best of Illinois History Awards Gala,” an annual event in Springfield at which we recognize and celebrate those individuals, institutions, and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to Illinois history in 2019. We will be sending out certifications and other awards to our 2020 award recipients this week.

Women’s Suffrage Explored in New Online Exhibit

Madison County Historical Society

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A new exhibit, Women’s Suffrage in Madison County, has just been added to the Madison County Historical Museum’s catalog of online exhibits available at https://madcohistory.org/online-exhibits/. Assistant Curator, Mary Z. Rose, under the direction of Curator Jennifer Van Bibber, has assembled another interesting and educational exhibit for local residents and students of history.

State Archivist Jesse White and Illinois State Archives Receive $60,000 Federal Grant to Digitize Photo Collection of Illinois’ Historic African American Photographer Doc Helm

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Secretary of State and State Archivist Jesse White announced that the Illinois State Archives has been awarded a $60,178 federal grant to preserve, digitize and provide online access to 21,000 photographs taken by longtime state photographer Eddie Winfred “Doc” Helm.

“Doc Helm served as the official state photographer for half a century, from the 1940s to 1992,” said White. “During this time, he took pictures of presidents, governors, celebrities, citizens, notable events and the ordinary day-to-day operations of state government. He left behind a vast historical record, and this grant will allow the public to view and enjoy his work.”

Illinois Heritage, May-June 2020

Volume 23, Number 1

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This issue of Illinois Heritage looks to the history of previous pandemics and offers some thoughtful instruction on how our ancestors coped with contagion without antibiotics, the CDC, or the Internet. Thanks to Allen Croessmann and John Hallwas for their research and fascination with public health history. 

We also meet some very interesting individuals who added art and perspective to our vision of the Prairie State through our ongoing series “Voices from Illinois History” and “Illinois Women Artists.”

Our other feature articles in the May-June issue deserve your attention too. Beth Young’s article about Civil War-era nurse Louise Maertz is a tribute to our current care providers on the frontlines of the war against COVID-19; the summaries of civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass’s lectures from his 1866 visits to Springfield are revealing of Reconstruction-era politics; and Guy Fraker’s analysis of a forgotten Lincoln legal case should illuminate lawyers and arm-chair scholars alike.

Be safe, practice self-distancing, be kind to others, and share your Heritage.

22nd Annual Conference on Illinois History—Call for Papers and Workshops

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

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The Conference on Illinois History is accepting paper or panel proposals on any aspect of Illinois’s history, culture, politics, geography, or archaeology. We encourage submissions from professional and avocational historians, students, and those engaged in the study of Illinois history at libraries, historic sites, museums, and historical societies.

**POSTPONED** ISHS Best of Illinois History Awards/Gala

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To our friends and colleagues,

In cooperation with state mandates concerning the COVID-19 pandemic requiring cancellation of public gathers of more than 100 persons, the Illinois State Historical Society has decided to postpone its scheduled "Best of Illinois History Awards Gala," originally slated for Friday, April 24, 2020. We are following protocols established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health to ensure the safety of the public and request that all persons experiencing flu-like symptoms stay indoors. Likewise those individuals who have been in personal contact with symptomatic people should error on the side of caution to avoid the spread of the novel corona virus.

The Illinois State Historical Society will maintain regular office hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but those who need to conduct business with the staff are advised to call ahead.

The Society plans to reschedule the "Best of Illinois History Awards Gala" when restrictions of public gatherings have been lifted, and our best wishes go out to the ISHS family. The Society's Annual Meeting will also be reschedule when it is deemed safe and practical for its members to gather and vote for new directors and advisors.

Wishing you the best of health and a happy spring!

William Furry
Executive Director

Illinois Heritage, March–April 2020

Volume 23, Number. 2

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To our readers:

The nominations are in and buzz is building. If you have not already done so, mark your calendars for Friday, April 24 and the “Best of Illinois History Awards Gala,” the night the Illinois State Historical Society celebrates the people, organizations, authors, museums, and historical societies that made history in the Prairie State in 2019. If you haven’t already received your invitation in the mail, call us. We’ll have one in the mail before you can name the state fossil.

This issue of Illinois Heritage contains articles on several fascinating people, places, and events in our state’s past that will stir your imagination, bring you closer to the essence of Illinois and, perhaps, stoke your own creative fires.

Thank you for reading Illinois Heritage. Your membership and gifts keep this organization vital and relevant. We cannot serve Illinois history without you.

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Winter 2019

Volume 112, Number 4

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We close 2019 with three outstanding scholarly contributions to Illinois history. In “Getting to ‘Lake Michigan’: a 350-year Onomastic Odyssey,” Michael McCafferty, a linguist at Indiana University Bloomington, explores the origins of the placename, “Michigan.” While popular translations have long affixed the meaning “big water” to the placename “Michigan,” McCafferty finds that this myth is not supported in the linguistic evidence.

In “A Writer of More Than Usual Charm: The Dynamic Influence of Dr. Milo Milton Quaife and Harriet Martineau on Juliette Magill Kinzie’s Contributions to American Frontier Literature,” literary historian Franklin E. Court traces Quaife’s influence in both elevating Kinzie to, and preserving her place in, the canon of early nineteenth century American frontier literature.

In “Sorrow Comes to All: Bloomington, Illinois’s Demonstration of Community Participation in Civil War Grief,” Megan VanGorder explores the rituals and practices surrounding death and grief in the Civil War.

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