Please become a member of the ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
so as to receive their bi-monthly magazine, Illinois Heritage and their scholarly publication, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. Students: $30. Individual: $60. Institutional: $75. Send your payment to:
Illinois State Historical Society
University of Illinois Press – Journals Department
1325 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Young Professionals: please consider joining the ILLINOIS HISTORY COLLABORATIVE, a networking group within the Illinois State Historical Society. For more information, please contact Hannah Kline at: or telephone (217) 691-8769.

SangamonLink is the reference website of the Sangamon County Historical Society. It has a wealth of historical information. See:

Banash, Stan. Roadside History of Illinois.(Mountain Press, 2013)

Biles, Roger. Illinois. A History of the Land and Its People. (Northern Illinois University Press, 2005)
Danzer, Gerald A. Illinois. A History in Pictures. (University of Illinois Press, 2011)

Fliege, Stu. Tales & Trails of Illinios. (University of Illinois Press, 2002)
Reps, John W. Cities of the 
Mississippi. Nineteenth-Century Images of Urban Development. (includes some Illinois towns bordering the river) (University of Missouri Press, 1994)
Schneider, Paul. Old Man River. The Mississippi River in North American History. (Henry Holt, 2014) (and watch Viking River Cruise interview with author)

African American Illinois
The Illinois Freedom Project.
Fay, Kathryn O. and Christopher C. Fennell. Paradoxes in designs for New Philadelphia National Historic Landmark. Museums & Social Issues7(2): 209-226.  2012.
Fennell, Christopher C. Surmounting adversities in the Land of Lincoln. In: Broken Chains and Subverted Plans. Ethnicity, Race and Commodities, by Christopher Fennell, pp. 233-254. (University Press of Florida, 2017)
Fennell, Christopher C. Racism’s waste and resilient entrepreneurs. In: Broken Chains and Subverted Plans. Ethnicity, Race and Commodities, by Christopher Fennell, pp. 211-232. (University Press of Florida, 2017)
McWorter, Gerald A. and Kate Williams-McWorter. New Philadelphia.(Path Press, 2018)

A key reference for Alton history and contemporary history is the outstanding podcast series produced by Stephanie Young at Principia College, Elsah:        

Coal in Illinois/Heritage/History/Labor Struggles
Biggers, Jeff. Reckoning at Eagle Creek. (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010)
Corley, Kevin. Sixteen Tons. A Novel. (Hardball, 2014)
Corley, Kevin. Throw Out the Water. A Novel. (Hardball, 2016)
Corley, Kevin and Douglas E. King. Sundown Town. A Novel. (Hardball, 2018)
Rosemary. LAWCHA and the lesson plan. Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas 10(3): 7-9.  2013.
Feurer, Rosemary. Mother Jones: a global history of struggle and remembrance, from Cork, Ireland to Illinois. Illinois Heritage, May 2013: 28-33.
Feurer, Rosemary (director/producer). Mother Jones – America’s Most Dangerous Woman (2007 documentary)
Gorn, Elliott J.  Mother Jones. The Most Dangerous Woman in America. (Hill and Wang, 2001)
Harrell, C. William. Southern Illinois Coal. A Portfolio. (Southern Illinois University Press, 1993/Shawnee Books, 2017)
Keiser, John.
The Union Miners Cemetery: A Spirit-Thread of Labor History. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Autumn, 1969. Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 229-266. Autumn, 1969.                                                                     
, Stanley. The Kingdom of Smoke. Sketches of My People(Brown, 1932) 
Mackey, Charles T. The Carterville Riot. The Independent 51(263): 2686-2687. October 5, 1899.
Mayer, Magdalen, Mara Lou Hawse and Paula J. Maloney. Concerning Coal. An Anthology. (Coal Research Center, SIU-Carbondale, 1997)
Oblinger, Carl D. Divided Kingdom: Work, Community, and the Mining Wars in the Central Illinois Coal Fields During the Great Depression. Second Edition. (Illinois State Historical Society, 2004)
Orear, Leslie F. Mother Jones and the Union Miners Cemetery, Mount Olive, Illinois. (Illinois Labor History Society, 2002)
Rauzi, Harold R. Coal Mines on the Prairie. The Life of an American Community. (2019)
Stockton, Richard. Underground in Illinois. How Coal Miners Live, Work and Sruggle for Unity. (National Research League, 1953 or earlier)

Putting Illinois Coal in a National Context
Andrews, Thomas G. Killing for Coal. America’s Deadliest Labor War. (Harvard University Press, 2008)
GreeneDoyle. The American Worker on Film. A Critical History, 1909-1999. (McFarland & Co., 2010), read pp. 166-184 about the film, Matewan.
Long, Priscilla. Where the Sun Never Shines. A History of America’s Bloody Coal Industry. (Paragon House, 1991)
McGovern, George S. and Leonard F. Guttridge. The Great Coalfield War. (Houghton Mifflin, 1972)

, the 1987 film produced and directed by John Sayles
“Matewan: film and the working class struggle” by John Newsinger. IN: International Socialism Journal, issue 66, 1995. (available on-line:
Shackel, Paul A. Remembering Lattimer. Labor, Migration and Race in Pennsylvania Anthracite Country. (University of Illinois Press, 2018)

French Illinois
Balesi, Charles J. Exploring the Midwest’s French roots. Illinois Heritage 2 (1-2): 4-7. 1999.
Brown, Margaret Kimball. History as They Lived It. A Social History of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois. (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005)
Ekberg, Carl J. French Roots in the Illinois Country. The Mississippi Frontier in Colonial Times. (University of Illinois Press, 2000)
Keene, David J. War and the colonial frontier. Fort de Chartres in the Illinois Country. In: The Archaeology of French and Indian War Frontier Forts, edited by Lawrence E. Babits and Stephanie Gandulla, pp. 229-239. (University Press of Florida, 2013)
Mazrim, Robert F.  At Home in the Illinois Country. French Colonial Domestic Site Archaeology in the Midwest 1730-1800. Studies in Archaeology No. 9 (Illinois State Archaeological Survey, 2011)
Morrissey, Robert Michael. The terms of encounter: language and contested visions of French colonization in the Illinois Country, 1673-1702. In: French and Indians in the Heart of North America, 1630-1815, edited by Robert Englebert and Guillaume Teasdale, pp. 43-76. (Michigan State University Press, 2013)
Reda, John. From subjects to citizens: two Pierres and the French influence on the transformation of the Illinois Country. In: French and Indians in the Heart of North America, 1630-1815, edited by Robert Englebert and Guillaume Teasdale, pp. 159-181. (Michigan State University Press, 2013)
Walthall, John A. and Elizabeth D. Benchley. The River L’Abbe Mission. A French Colonial Church on Monks Mounds. Studies in Illinois Archaeology No. 2. (Illinois History Preservation Agency, 1987)

Mormon Illinois
Andreasen, Bryon C. Looking for Lincoln in Illinois. Lincoln and Mormon Country. (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015)
Beautiful Nauvoo (2019)

Cuerden, Glenn. Images of America. Nauvoo. (Arcadia Publishing, 2006)
Esplin, Scott C. Return to the City of Joseph. Modern Mormonism’s Contest for the Soul of Nauvoo. (University of Illinois Press, 2018)
Gabbert, Dean and Marilyn S. Candido. Nauvoo. (William Street Press, 2006)
Historic Nauvoo

Leone, Mark P.  Roots of Modern Mormonism.(Harvard University Press, 1979)
Pykles, Benjamin C. (2006). “An Early Example of Public Archaeology in the United States: Nauvoo, Illinois, 1962-1969.” North American Archaeologist 27(4): 311-349.
Pykles, Benjamin C. Excavating Nauvoo. The Mormons and the Rise of Historical Archaeology in America. University of Nebraska Press, 2010.

Smith, Alex D. Untouchable: Joseph Smith’s use of the law as a catalyst for assassination. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society12(1): 8-42. 2019

Native American Illinois before the Europeans
Chappell, Sally A. Kitt. Cahokia. Mirror of the Cosmos.(University of Chicago Press, 2002)
Emerson, Thomas E. Cahokia and the Archaeology and Power.(University of Alabama Press, 1997)
Mink, Claudia Gellman. Cahokia. City of the Sun. (Cahokia Mounds Museum Society, 1992)
Pauketat, Timothy R. Ancient Cahokia and the Mississippians.(Cambridge University Press, 2004)
Pauketat, Timothy R. and Thomas E. Emerson, eds., Cahokia. Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World. (University of Nebraska Press, 1997)
Pauketat, Timothy R., Susan M. Alt and Jeffery D. Kruchten. City of earth and wood: new Cahokia and its material-historical implications. In: The Cambridge World History. Volume III. Early Cities in Comparative Perspective, 4000 BCE-1200 CE, edited by Norman Yoffee, pp. 437-454. (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Andreasen, Bryon C. Looking for Lincoln in Illinois. Lincoln and Mormon Country. (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015)
Fraker, Guy C. Looking for Lincoln in Illinois. A Guide to Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Circuit. (Southern Illinois University Press, 2017)

Experiencing the Mississippi River
Ambrose, Stephen E. and Douglas G. Brinkley. The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation. From the Louisiana Purchase to Today. (National Geographic Society, 2002)
Lockwood, C. C. Around the Bend. A Mississippi River Adventure. (Louisiana State University Press, 1998)
, Thomas Runs. Deep Water. The Mississippi River in the Age of Mark Twain.  (Louisiana State University Press, 2019)
Schneider, Paul. Old Man River. The Mississippi River in North American History. (Picador, 2014)
Twain, Mark. Life on the Mississippi. (originally 1883)
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (originally 1884)
Zeisler-Vralsted, Dorothy. Rivers, Memory, and Nation-Building. A History of the Volga and Mississippi Rivers. (Berghahn, 2015)

Carriel, Mary Turner. The Life of Jonathan Baldwin Turner (HathiTrust e-version)
(p. 74: about the need for public land-grant universities such as the U of Illinois)