Illinois Digital Archives

ida-thumb.jpgIllinois Digital Archives is the library's online archive of historical Elgin photographs. The Gail Borden Public Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes, not for commercial use. The library requests that viewers acknowledge the Illinois Digital Archives and the Gail Borden Public Library when using an image from this site. For further questions, please contact Phillip Schneider at 847-608-5226 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Courier-News Photo Archives

Search the Elgin History Museum's collection of film negatives from the Elgin Courier News. To view a photograph please contact the Museum at 847-742-4248 with the Index number for Museum staff to locate the photo for you.

Postcards of Elgin

postcards.jpgEnjoy a walk down memory lane while viewing this collection of picture postcards of Elgin buildings, parks, and landmarks.

Discover historic views of Chicago Street, Villa Street, Lords Park, and Wing Park. Included are beautiful illustrations, photographs from street level, and aerial photographs of the Elgin Area.

Picturesque Elgin 1908


"Messrs McGregor and Whitstruck, publishers of Picturesque Elgin 1908, have sought to place before the public, in as attractive form as possible, the beauty and business of Elgin, Ill., as depicted by the camera. This City, of 25,000 population, is situated in the heart of the picturesque Fox River Valley, surrounded by the most beautiful of landscapes, and the most productive of fertile fields."

Lithographs of Elgin

Elgin Butter Company"Elgin establishes the price for the world. Our Elgin butter is known and recognized as representing the highest quality of creamery butter possible to produce, not only in this country but the world over. China, Japan, the Phillipines, Alaska, Mexico, Cuba, Porto [sic] Rico and the South American countries all use and appreciate our Elgin butter." Description taken from orginal lithograph.

Lithographs of selected schools and companies of Elgin from approximately 1910. Short facts and anecdotes about each company are included.

Views of Old Elgin


Carlos H. Smith, Elgin photographer, donated three photograph albums to the Gail Borden Public Library in 1915. The albums are entitled "Views of Old Elgin" and many photos were taken during  the 1860s and 1870s.