Special Collections

The Library offers the following special collections:

  • Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection / I & M Canal Archives

    The Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection consists of a variety of materials relating to 19th century American canals, with a concentration on the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and the history of northeastern Illinois where the canal is located. It also has materials on most of the pre-Civil War canals of America. This material consists of bound volumes, pamphlets, annual canal reports, and 19th century maps, both manuscript and printed. In addition, it has photographs, prints, manuscript letters, and memoirs relating to the construction and operation of canals, and those industries associated with canals. It also houses some canal artifacts. It has a total of over 10,000 items, making it one of the largest canal collections in the United States. The Collection is located on the second floor of the library and is open by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling (815) 836-5579 or (815) 836-5665.

  • Government Documents

    The Federal Depository Library is open to the public during all Lewis Library hours. The Depository Librarian or Reference Librarian can assist with access to this collection.