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By Dr. Bonnie W. Styles
Museum Director Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum has been a supporter of I & M Canal Regional Special Collection since its inception. We are honored to be a participant in the Corridor in Time digital exhibit. The Illinois State Museum promotes discovery, learning, and an appreciation of Illinois’ natural, cultural, and artistic heritage. The Museum’s extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is headquartered in Springfield with branch facilities in Chicago, Lockport, Lewistown, and Rend Lake.

Researchers in the Illinois State Museum’s interdisciplinary Landscape History Program integrate geology, botany, zoology, and archaeology to document long-term changes in climate, landforms, plant and animal communities, and human interactions with the land, with special emphasis on the Pleistocene (Ice Ages) and Holocene (the current Interglacial). Archaeologists, historians, and art historians explore the rich cultural history of Illinois from the earliest Native American populations to the ethnically diverse populations of today.
Provided below are links from the museum’s web site that provide insight into the natural and cultural history of Illinois and the Illinois & Michigan Canal Corridor from the distant past to today.

Environmental Change in Illinois:

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/changes/

  • Go under "Welcome" and select "Enter Flash Site" (two options are available)


Ice Age Environments and Glaciation:

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/ice_ages/
http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/larson/

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/changes/

  1. Go under "Welcome" and select "Enter Flash Site" (two options are available)
  2. Click on the small Illinois State graphic (top right)
  3. Select "Frozen"
  4. Select "Tundra" or "Forest-Prairie"

Current Interglacial Environments:

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/changes/

  1. Go under "Welcome" and select "Enter Flash Site" (two options are available)
  2. Click on the small Illinois State graphic (top right)
  3. Select "Current"
  4. Select any environments of interest.


Prairies and Prairie Development:

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/midewin/index.html
http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/prairie/index.html


Native American Heritage:

http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/nat_amer/index.html


History:

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/athome/welcome.htm

For Further Reading

Illinois State Museum: http://www.museum.state.il.us/

Killey, Myrna M., Illinois’ Ice Age Legacy. Geoscience Education Series 14. Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, 2007.

Styles, Bonnie W., Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments. The Living Museum 66 (2-3):6-16. Illinois State Museum, Springfield, 2004.

Theodor, Jessica and Jeffrey Saunders, Illinois’ Rocky Past. Illinois' Rock Past Unearthed. Illinois State Museum, Springfield, 2004.