Become a member

Becoming a member not only supports the Illinois State Historical Society, but also delivers excellent benefits to you giving you an excellent source of historical literature and resources. We offer multiple membership options for all stages and income levels. Look at our Membership area to find a plan that will work for you and join TODAY.

Become a member   Donate

Today in history


Three hundred acres of land south of Salt Creek near Riverside is donated to the Chicago Forest Preserve District by Edith Rockefeller McCormick for the establishment of Brookfield Zoo.

View all days in history...

"The Conversation"

Care about Illinois history enough to make a solid (bronze) commitment to the Illinois State Historical Society? Donors of $2500 or more will receive "The Conversation," a limited (25 total made) edition casting of a new statuette by renowned Lincoln sculptor John McClarey on the theme of the first conversation at the White House between Frederick Douglass and President Lincoln, which took place on August 10, 1863. This is truly a wonderful keepsake and a statement about the power of listening in a world drowning in noise. Call or email today to donate and own a piece of history.




Latest News

The Secrets of Lincoln’s Illinois Photographs.

  • 22 February 2023
  • Author: Jenni Dahl
  • Number of views: 252

Event date: 3/24/2023 5:00 PM Export event

       The Elkhart Historical Society will welcome historian Mark Sorensen of Decatur to the podium for the Friday, March 24, 2023, dinner lecture, The Secrets of Lincoln’s Illinois Photographs. 

      Between 1856 and 1861 there were 32 known photo images of Abraham Lincoln taken in Illinois. From the daguerreotype of slick-haired Lincoln preparing to go to Congress, to the only ambrotype of lawyer Lincoln in his “Matlockesque” white coat, to the newly bearded president-elect Lincoln leaving Springfield, historian Mark Sorensen will reveal the back story of thirteen of these images in his illustrated presentation.   

       Mark W. Sorensen grew up in Chicago and began his career teaching social science in the Decatur public schools in 1969. In 1982 he became the supervisor of records management at the Illinois State Archives in Springfield and was later named the assistant director. During his 21-year tenure at the State Archives, he created exhibits which toured the state, found the 1833 record which created the Town of Chicago, and became the leading resource for the history of the current Illinois State Capitol.  

       Since 1990 he also has been active in the Illinois State Historical Society, served as president for two years, and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. In his 54 years in Decatur, he has served on numerous boards and commissions including the city’s Historical and Architectural Sites Commission, the Governor Richard J. Oglesby Mansion board, and four times as president of the Decatur Public Library Board.

      The cost of the event is $45 per person, which includes both the dinner and the lecture. Reservations (required) can be made by calling the Elkhart Historical Society at 217.947.2238. When confirmed, download the reservation form at, fill it out and return with your check within 5 business days to the address on the form to secure your seats. Doors open at Horsefeather’s Wild Hare Café in Elkhart ILat 5:00 pm, and dinner begins at 5:30 pm. The two entrees are Italian Meatballs in red sauce or Crusted Baked Chicken Breast with Alfredo Sauce. For complete menus, see the reservation form below.

Categories: Events
Rate this article:
No rating

View article archives

Upcoming events Events RSSiCalendar export

View the calendar of events

Submit your local history event

Do you have an exciting local history news story or an event that you would like to share? Use this form to submit it and after a quick review it will be added to our news roll or events calendar. The goal is to add news and events from all over the state to celebrate Illinois’ rich history. Get involved and get the word out about news and events in your area.



Illinois State Historical Society   |   Strawbridge-Shepherd House   |   PO Box 1800   |   Springfield, IL 62705-1800

Terms Of UsePrivacy StatementCopyright 2023 by Illinois State Historical Society
Back To Top