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Historic Sites and Museums

The Illinois Preservation Agency offers you a range of different ways to experience the state’s history. If you consider yourself to be a history fanatic, Illinois may just be the place for you, because here you can enjoy a variety of activities such as visiting some unique sites or discovering the secret of the ancient archeological sites.

In IL, there are 56 historic sites which cover more than 200 years of its history. These sites stage numerous public programs and performances and they provide great educational opportunities to for residents. If you would like to visit some of these sites and memorials, go to the official website of the Historic Sites Division of the agency and find the historic sites’ list and make your pick.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Illinois is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, located in the heart of Springfield.  The museum exhibits original artifacts that helps revive Lincoln’s contributions to U.S. society. This particular museum is the only one in the state which is managed by a government agency.

Research Illinois History

Whether you’re a tourist interested in IL history, a child eager to learn about the state, or you are just a history enthusiast, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency offers you all of its recourses for learning about the prominent heritage. The agency provides you with the following research tools:

  • An interactive timeline that explores 2,500 years of Illinois
  • Online resources with important historic documents
  • Exhibits and research papers for student historians
  • Viewing of historic photos and past events

Illinois Archeology

When visiting the state of Illinois, you will find that its underwater archaeology showcases an array of impressive hidden treasures and artifacts. Most of the state’s waters contain various shipwrecks that have been around for hundreds of years, and that serve as the immortal grounds for lost treasures, going as far back as to when Chicago was still considered a major shipping port.

The Historic Sites Division, along with diving groups, started a project that aims to locate every underwater site and research these historic wrecks.

Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum is a system of museums and galleries in the state. These museums have showcased a wide selection of art and thus made it more approachable to the general public. The museums not only protect Illinois’ national and historic treasures, but they open their doors to students and researchers who would like to learn more about the state history. The main goal of the State Museum is to  collect, research and exhibit important historic artifacts and documents and then present it to residents for greater knowledge and appropriate use.

Some of the most popular museums in Illinois include the following:

  • The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
  • The DuSable Museum of African American History
  • The Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art
  • The Chicago Botanic Gardens
  • The Cahokia Mounds Museum