• Image of Dr. Isabella (Garnett) Butler’s medical bag and instruments.
  • Image of 1909 Economy Motor Buggy, Model E.
  • Image of Nina Chesebro photo scrapbook page.
  • Image of N-4 "Jenny" over Chanute Field.
  • Image of Kellogg 500 telephone.
  • Image of Chanute Field in 1918 during flu epidemic.
  • Image of S.S. President Grant postcard.
  • Image of greeting card.
  • Image of Advance Flyer and Exposition Flyer train collision in Naperville.
  • Image of Kroeler Manufacturing Company furnature room model.
  • Image of 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition scapbook.
  • Image of Illinois Art Glass.

    Birds ashtray
    The Dearborn Glass Company
    c. 1957-1965
    Fused glass
    Gift of Michael Mueller. 2012.151.2

    Blot square bowl
    The Higgins Studio
    c. 1951-1957
    Fused glass
    Gift of Michael Mueller. 2012.151.9

    Arabesque bowl
    The Dearborn Glass Company
    c. 1957-1964
    Fused glass
    Gift of Michael Mueller. 2012.6.6

  • Image of mourning bodice worn by Mary Lincoln.

    c. 1875-1880
    Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
    Gift of Mrs. F. J. Patterson, 1971.35.746797

  • Image of Illinois Art pottery.

    The American Terra Cotta and Ceramic Company
    c. 1904-1906
    Condell Fund purchase. 1996.94
    Chicago Crucible Company
    c. 1920-1932
    Condell Fund purchase. 1989.24
    Haeger Potteries
    c. 1940-1950
    Gift of the Lincoln Land Depression Era Glass Club. 2000.32.1

  • Image of bench from Lincoln's home.

    a. Wooden bench owned by the Lincolns
    b. Object was made in Springfield, IL
    c. Object was made circa 1845 and used by the Lincolns until 1861
    d. Proper Name: Settee or Bench
    e. Object was made by local Springfield carpenter Solomon Conant

  • Image of the cradle used by the Lincoln children.

    a. Cradle used by the three youngest Lincoln boys
    b. Object was most likely made by a furniture manufacturer in New York or North Carolina
    c. Purchased by the Lincolns at John Williams Dry Goods Store in Springfield probably around the time Edward Baker Lincoln was born in 1846 and used by the Lincolns’ sons until at least 1854.
    d. Proper Name: Cradle
    e. Unknown carpenter or manufacturer

  • Image of one of five copies of Gettysburg Address, written by Abraham Lincoln.
  • Image of note written by Joseph Smith.
  • Image of Illinois flag flown in Vietnam War.
  • Image of portrait company salesmans sample case.

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.