• Image of Anna Pottery pig flask, cotton handkerchief, fair ticket, and souvenir box from 1893 Worlds Fair.

    Handkerchief
    Maker unknown
    1893
    cotton
    Gift of Nancy Batchelder Fryxell. 2013.77.12
    ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION – ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM
    Souvenir box
    Maker unknown
    1893
    glass, metal, satin
    Gift of Shelley Stewart, 2008.83
    ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION – ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM
    World’s Columbian Exposition ticket
    Maker unknown
    1893
    paper
    Found in Collection, x-885
    ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION – ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM
    Pig flask
    Anna Pottery
    1893
    stoneware
    Gift of Margaret Kirkpatrick, 1965.14.745591
    ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION – ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM

  • Image of wedding shoes.

    1761
    Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
    Gift of Mrs. Robert Gillespie, 1972.028.746876

  • Image of handmade magic lantern.
  • Image of enameled ware dinner bucket.

    Dinner Bucket
    Fancy fare for the working man
    1915
    Illinois State Museum, Illinois Legacy Collection
    Gift of Lee I. Niedringhaus, 2006.149a-d

  • Image of Pickard China bown painted by Ingeborg Klein.
  • Image of etching "Fisherman's Home, Liverpool, Ills., Lee Sturges, 1917.
  • Image of kettle from the Rhoads Kickapoo Indian village site.
  • Detail image of kettle from the Rhoads Kickapoo Indian village site.
  • Image of wedding dress worn by Illinois First Lady Catherine Yates.
  • Image of Chicago Academy of Siciences field trip to Starved Rock.
  • Image of Ring-necked Pheasant mount.
  • Image of winged insect fossil.
  • Image of Chicago Academy of Sciences bird watching class.
  • Image of developoing a photographic enlargement for a diorama.
  • Image of Passenger Pigeon study skins.
  • Image of Chicago Academy of Sciences' Laflin Building.
  • Image of Northern Bobwhite nest.
  • Image of the main beam of the antlers of an extinct Stag-Moose.
  • Image of artist, Robert Larson, rendering of the extinct Stag-Moose.
  • Image of coal mined in Illinois.

Celebrating the Illinois Bicentennial Through Museum Objects

The Illinois State Museum and the Illinois Association of Museums are pleased to present a virtual exhibition titled The Story of Illinois: The Illinois Bicentennial Through Museum Objects. This exhibition consists of objects from the Illinois State Museum’s 13.5-million-object Illinois Legacy Collection along with objects from other Illinois museums, such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Adler Planetarium, Pullman State Historic Site, Wabash County Museum, and many more.

The complete Story of Illinois goes beyond the past 200 years since statehood.  It also includes Illinois history going back millions of years. Over the next year,  museums throughout Illinois will contribute object images with fascinating details that illustrate their significance to the Story of Illinois. Taken together, objects in these collections run the gamut from 400-million-year-old marine fossils to modern art, with millions of objects in between, each with its own story to tell. It is a unique treasure, and it is the foundation of exhibits, educational programs, scholarly research, and pride throughout the state.

We hope you will explore, discover, and learn more about Illinois' unique history, and please share what you learn with others. Then, be sure to visit the contributing museums to see some of these objects firsthand.

To get started, you can browse by selecting Time PeriodCategory, or Object Contributors on the menu bar above, or you can search using the Custom Object Search option.