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Illinois Regional Archives Depository
The Center’s Local Government Records collection is part of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) system administered by the Illinois State Archives. The Regional History Center at NIU serves as one of the seven regional depositories throughout Illinois involved in preserving local public records and making them available to researchers. These records are older documents used by historians, genealogists, and local government officials. For more recent records contact the County Courthouse. Types of records available vary from county to county and may include: birth, marriage, death, naturalization, probate, and deed records. NIU IRAD housed records for the following eighteen counties: Boone, Bureau, Carroll, DeKalb, DuPage, JoDaviess, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago. Each depository has a computer generated listing of the records available in their facility and in the other six depositories throughout the state. This list and access to the available online databases can be accessed through the Illinois State Archives/IRAD website at: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/IRAD/home.html.
The databases available on the Illinois State Archives website for the records held by the NIU IRAD are:
Carroll County Birth Certificates Index, (1877–1913)
JoDaviess County Almshouse Registers Index, (1846–1938)
Kane County Circuit Court Case Files Index, (1836–1870)
Lake County Circuit Court Case Files Index, (1840–1898)
Ogle County Almshouse Register Index, (1878–1933)
Ogle County Naturalization Papers (County Court) Index, (1872–1906)
IRAD interns welcome mail and telephone requests from researchers interested in genealogy and local history. All responses will be through the mail. Letters should be as specific and clear as possible and include the following:
The full names of the persons they are researching.
The approximate year when these persons are expected to appear in the records.
The county which created the records.
Record titles/types to search.
Limit requests to two names at a time and wait for a response before submitting another request. Send inquiries regarding the counties in NIU’s jurisdiction to: IRAD, Regional History Center, Founders Memorial Library Room 400, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115.
Research services are provided at no charge through the courtesy of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. However, there may be a photocopy fee for which you will be billed.
Researchers are welcome to visit the IRAD depository to do their own research. The depository is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to noon and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The IRAD depository is closed Saturdays and Sundays, state holidays, and any weekdays the university is closed. It is best to contact the NIU IRAD depository at 815-753-1807 to check whether NIU has the local government records you are interested in and to make sure the office will be open.