The Illinois State Archives has seven Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) to manage archives and records of local governments. One of these is the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) Regional Depository.

The IRAD facility at Eastern Illinois University is located on the first level of Booth Library on the main campus. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-12 p.m.; 1-4 p.m. (except state holidays). Holdings can be searched on the IRAD Search system but need to be viewed onsite at the appropriate regional depository.

Search the Name Index to Illinois Local Governments

  • basic info on name, form of government, county, date established, date incorporated, certified, previous names

Search the IRAD Inventories (list of possible inventories below)

Depositories house local government records that have been deemed significant enough to archive including:

  • county board proceedings files and meeting minutes
  • records of births, deaths and marriages
  • land deeds, mortgage and tax sale records
  • assessors’ and collectors’ tax books
  • poll books and voter registers
  • naturalization records, including declarations of intent
  • probate records, including wills and will records, case files, administrators’ and executors’ records, guardianship records, and inventory and appraisement records
  • civil and criminal court case files, chancery court case files (including divorces), docket books and court proceedings, and insanity proceedings and records
  • coroner’s inquest records and inquest files
  • miscellaneous county records, including almshouse/county home records and jail registers
  • school records, including school trustees’ minutes, pupil registers and school land sale records
  • township records, including township meeting minutes and highway commissioners’ minutes
  • municipal records, including city council proceedings files and meeting minutes, ordinance records, and city election records.

Arthur Local Registrar’s Birth Certificates Index (1868-1925) – EIU 

  • Birth certificates show the name, sex, race and date of birth of the child; the place of birth; the names, ages and places of birth of the mother and father; the residence of the mother; the occupation of the father; the name and residence of the physician or midwife; and the date the certificate was returned to the county clerk.
  • Stillbirth certificates include the names of the mother and father; the date of stillbirth; the sex and place of birth of the child; the residence of the mother; the period of utero-gestation; the cause, if known, of the stillbirth; the name of the physician or midwife and their place of residence; the name of the undertaker; and the place of burial.

Mattoon Court of Common Pleas Case Files Index (1869-1873) – EIU

  • The Mattoon Court of Common Pleas Case Files include common law proceedings. These case files generally show the names of the plaintiff, defendant, judge and clerk of the court; the court dates; and usually the charge or cause of action. Documents contained in these case files include: summonses, affidavits of witnesses, subpoenas, bonds, receipts, depositions, declarations, and decrees and orders of the court. Common law cases involve debt, replevin, assumpsit, breach of covenant, recovery of damages, ejectment and trespass.

Mattoon Death Certificate Registers Index (1899-1918) – EIU

  • The death registers show the certificate number; the date the certificate was filed; the name of the deceased; the date of death; the cause of death; the name of the attending physician; the interment number; the name of the person to whom the permit was issued; and the date of return. Registers occasionally include death certificates and permits from the local board of health for transportation of a corpse.
  • Death certificates show the name, place of birth, sex, color and age of the deceased; the number of years of residence in Illinois; the date of death; the date and place of burial; the name and address of the undertaker; the immediate cause of death; the contributory cause of death; the duration of illness; and the signature and address of the attending physician. Permits from the local board of health for transportation of a corpse show the name and address of the deceased; the time of death; the cause of death; and the signature of the president or clerk of the board of health.

Shelby County Circuit Court Case Files Index (1828-1871) – EIU

  • The Shelby County Circuit Court Case Files include chancery, criminal and common law proceedings. These case files generally show the names of the plaintiff, defendant, judge and clerk of the court; the court dates; and usually the charge or cause of action. Documents contained in these case files include: summonses, affidavits of witnesses, subpoenas, bonds, receipts, depositions, declarations, decrees and orders of the court, jury and witness lists, indictments, warrants, writs of habeas corpus, verdicts, dismissals and transcripts of coroner’s inquests.

Wayne County Coroner’s Inquest Record Index (1888-1960) – EIU

  • Categories of information printed on the page for the coroner to fill out include the inquest number, name of deceased, address and location of inquest, date of inquest, jury’s verdict, juror’s names including foreman, witnesses names, residence, and occupation, testimony of witnesses, description of deceased person and identifying facts. …

These are the counties within the EIU region boundaries: Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Moultrie, Richland, Shelby, Wabash, Wayne

Follow EIU on Flickr to see some of their collections.

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