The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County maintains a collection of more than 20,000 items documenting the community’s architectural and social history from the formation of the county in 1825 to the present. The collection contains photographic images, maps, prints, drawings, deeds, diaries, books, and objects. The collection is available to the public for research purposes.
Acquisition/Donations: HSQAC collects items covering the period from 1825 until the present, including a variety of items pertaining to Quincy and Adams County, such as photographs, documents, maps, and other archival material. Objects (other than those just listed) that fit the criteria of time period and connection to Quincy and Adams County will also be considered, as space allows. Items are accepted principally by donation. To inquire about an artifact for donation, please call 217-222-1835 to set an appointment for its evaluation.
Research the Collection in Person: Research hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Visitor’s Center and Library at 425 S. 12th Street in Quincy. If possible, make an advance appointment to allow the staff the opportunity to prepare relevant materials. To schedule an appointment, call 217-222-1835 or email [email protected]
All materials are non-circulating, and must remain in the facility. HSQAC reserves the right to inspect all containers (handbags, briefcases, computer bags, boxes, etc.), outerwear, and persons upon their departure from the campus.
Fees: A research fee of $15.00 an hour is charged to non-members. HSQAC members are entitled to use the library, reference resources, and research assistance provided by staff members free of charge. Inquiries about our holdings and ready-reference questions will be answered without charge by email or telephone. Photocopies may be made on a fee-for-page basis with permission of the staff. The Historical Society enforces its rights of ownership, copyright, and other title of materials in its research collection.
Research by Mail or Email: For researchers who are unable to visit our archives, there is a fee of $15.00 an hour and/or any portion of an hour for research conducted by staff. This includes up to postage for one letter size envelope and up to six photocopies. Additional photocopies and postage carry an additional charge. Research fees apply for staff time, whether or not any relevant information is found. Please include your telephone number and street address with any correspondence.
Photographic Services: Copies of images from the collection can be reproduced for personal use. Images for publications, web sites, framing, etc. may incur an additional fee. The staff will scan images, or as needed, an outside photographer will be retained to make prints. Please contact Jean Kay, Research Librarian, at 217-222-1835 or [email protected] for help with photograph selection, permissions, and fees.
For more information about the HSQAC Collection, either for research purposes, or if you are interested in donating an item to the Historical Society, please contact Jean Kay, Research Librarian, at 217-222-1835 or [email protected]
Search The Collection
The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County (HSQAC) has a vast and frankly, amazing collection. In 2012, we received a grant from the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (using funds awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission). The collection contains over 8,000 records, and new items from the collection are added on a monthly basis. Be sure to check out the website often to see what is new.
The collection is divided into four catalogs: “Objects”, which includes furniture, glassware and fabrics; “Photos”; “Archives”, which includes documents, maps, manuscripts, etc., and “Library”, which is our collection of books and pamphlets.
The bars on the left side of the page display the options available on each page.
In PastPerfect, the software which runs the program, the “Click & Search” option is a quick way to browse all four catalogs:
- Pick a letter to the right of a search term to see the options beginning with the chosen letter.
- Then, click the down arrow to see the individual terms for which you can search.
- Click a search term to beginning searching.
The “Keyword Search” can be the most effective search. The software will search the database in many areas of the record in order to pull up the most records related to your search.
For example, let’s do a keyword search for “tornado”. On the right hand side we will also click “Only records with images”. Our search will bring up over a dozen images of the tornado of April, 1945. By clicking on the number under the picture, you will be taken to a short record describing the photograph.
Another example of a Keyword Search that will bring up results is “Civil War”. This time we will Search “All records”. The Search Results include 4 Object Records, 21 Archive Records, 16 Photo Records, and 2 Library Records. The results displayed include a camp chair, books, maps, letters, currency, military discharge papers, and photographs of soldiers.
The “Advanced Search” gives researchers the opportunity to limit their search by specific fields.
“Random Images” is just plain fun. By clicking on this link, photographs from all four catalogs will be displayed for browsing. Click again on the link that says “More Random Images” and start again. By clicking on the Number under the images, you can find information about the photograph.
“Search Results” are just that … the results of your search.
“Help” will give you more information about the above links.