The Regional Collections include original manuscripts and records generated by private individuals, institutions, and organizations from throughout the eighteen northern Illinois counties. The collections span the period from 1800 to the present and focus on several major themes in the region's history: agriculture, politics, ethnic heritage, commerce and industry, the role of women, and urban expansion. To provide documentation in these areas of interest the Center actively collects the historical records of farmers and their organizations, businesses and retail stores, state and local politicians, churches, cemeteries, civic agencies, individuals, women's organizations, and labor unions. In addition, the Center holds vertical file manuscripts, county and local histories, atlases and plat books, city directories, maps, broadsides, posters, photographs, oral histories, genealogical journals, and core reference printed materials on the history of northern Illinois that complement the manuscript collections.
Regional Manuscript Collections (RC) - The RCs refer to the private manuscript collections as described above. Each Regional Collection has a Collection Inventory that may include an Introduction, Scope and Content, Historical Sketch, Subject Tracings, and an Inventory Listing. The Inventory Listing consists of a box by box, folder by folder listing of what is held in each Regional Collection.
Vertical File Manuscripts (VFM) - The VFMs are similar to the Regional Manuscript Collections but usually consist of only one or two folders. They are grouped by county. The counties are listed alphabetically.
Thesis and Dissertations (Thesis) - The Theses and Dissertations included here were written by NIU graduates and deal with subjects in the Regional History Center's collecting scope.
Genealogy Vertical File Manuscripts (GVFM) - The GVFMs are generally publications written by family historians, local genealogical, or historical societies. They are grouped by county. The counties are listed alphabetically.
The Index to the Regional Collections is similar to an index in a book. The subject listing will lead you to the specific type of material such as RC, VFM, Thesis, or GVFM.