Please note that the library does not have manuscript public records such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, naturalization, military, land, court, or other state, county, and local records. The majority of our published materials deal with the time period prior to 1900. Official state records are under the control of the Illinois State Archives. County and other local government records may be held in the appropriate local office, or may have been transferred to one of the Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (for more information contact the Illinois State Archives).
The ALPL does not have original birth, death, marriage, naturalization or adoption records, although the library does have a variety of indexes in the county collections. The following governmental institutions will provide certified copies of these original vital records:
Prior to 1877, Illinois counties voluntarily kept their own vital statistics. Their success varied from county to county. After 1876, the Illinois General Assembly mandated that all counties keep birth, death, and marriage records. This practice continued until the end of 1916 when the Illinois Department of Public Health began keeping those records. These records are kept by the county clerk of each county unless the county received permission to transfer their records to the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD).
The Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records located at 925 East Ridgely, Springfield, IL 62702 has birth and death records, 1917-present; a marriage records index, 1962-present; and Illinois adoption registry, 1917-present. Fees will vary. Their telephone number is (217) 782-6553.
Computer terminals in the Steve Neal Reading Room provide access to census schedules through the library’s subscription to Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest databases.
The Library does not hold census schedules in microfilm format. The Illinois State Archives, Norton Building, Springfield, IL 62756, has indexed federal and state census reports from 1820 until 1850 and a partial index for the 1865 state census. The Archives has a published index of the 1870 federal census and Soundexes for 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920. The 1930 federal census is available but not indexed.
Census microfilm is available on interlibrary loan from the Illinois State Library.