Friday, February 10, 2006

Practical Guide: Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU)

Are you researching an ancestor from Cook County, Illinois? While you’re in town for the NGS Conference, you might consider checking out the holdings of the Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) IRAD. IRAD is short for “Illinois Regional Archives Depository.” It is the system used by Illinois to archive their local governmental holdings. There are seven regional archives in Illinois, each located on a state university campus. They hold items such as vital records, city council meeting minutes, probate records, wills, naturalization records, circuit court records and much, much more. To view the holdings of an IRAD in your area of interest, see the following website: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/GenealogyMWeb/iradsrch.html.
Read More About IRAD


Archived records for the County of Cook are housed at NEIU located on the first floor of the Ronald Williams Library. This depository is reopening on 14 February 2006 after suffering damage from a fire. Fortunately, all of the records survived. Unique to NEIU are over 35,000 records from the City of Chicago which predate the Chicago Fire that took place in 1871. Included are Sanborn maps, atlases, plats, city council proceedings covering 1833-1942; election registers from 1888, 1890 and 1892; to name a few.

The Ronald Williams Library is open Monday – Friday, except state holidays, from 9am – 4pm. This facility is staffed by graduate students and interns who have varying class schedules. For this reason, be sure to call 773-442-4506 to verify their hours. To access this facility from Rosemont, take I-90 East to the Austin Exit. Go East on Foster Ave. to Pulaski Ave. Turn left and follow Pulaski to Bryn Mawr and turn right. Follow Bryn Mawr to the parking entrance. Be sure to obtain a guest parking permit (for a fee) from the Public Safety Office next to the parking lot. Those without a permit will be ticketed.

Happy hunting!

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