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Monday, August 10, 2020

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Photography

Illinois Heritage, July-August 2020

Volume 23, Number. 4

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We are well into the COVID-19 summer and still waiting for the first pitch of the 2020 MLB season. People are marching in the streets, statues of oppressors are coming down, and otherwise reasonable adults are forsaking their PPE for an illusory moment of freedom, despite the risks of sickness and death. The news isn’t encouraging.

But we’ve been in pickles before. Pestilence, war, civil strife––even a canceled baseball season––are in our recent memory. Time to buckle down and…read your Illinois Heritage. The July-August issue is crammed with stories about Illinoisans who scraped through life and rose to challenges the likes we can only imagine. R. O. White, the farm-boy who fought in Mexico; lawyer Elisha Bentley Hamilton, who dodged bullets in the Civil War and politics afterwards; John Francis Snyder, one of the founders of the ISHS, who was a medical doctor, an archaeologist, and a Confederate soldier; and photographer Helen Balfour Morrison, whose photos challenged attitudes of white supremacy in the early 20th century. We also say goodbye to beloved friends and teachers John D. Buenker and Patricia Burnette, who shared their passion for history and inspired us.

Thanks to all of you for your support of the Society during the pandemic, which has challenged us to find new ways to sustain our mission. Your gifts help us keep the lights on, reach out to new audiences, and build on our successes.

Thanks for all you do for the ISHS. Share your Heritage, and keep your mask on.

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.”

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