Need help with your local history research? Reference librarians are happy to assist you at the Gail Borden Public Library. Please contact the Information Desk at 847-429-4680 to schedule an individual appointment, or drop in during our normal business hours.
Many owners of historic buildings want to fully understand the history of their property. While unlocking the past of your home can be rewarding, the task of researching and establishing the validity of information can lead you to many sources. How to get started and sources for research are available at the Gail Borden Public Library website.
Located on the second floor, the genealogy collection contains over 4,400 books and hundreds of reels of microfilm. The collection concentrates on Elgin and Kane County, Illinois, but also contains materials relating to twenty-five other states, mostly east of the Mississippi River, and five European countries. Online databases such as Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest Online can also be accessed in this area. The Elgin Genealogical Society also cooperates with Gail Borden by having volunteer members stationed at the library at certain times to assist with research. How to get started and sources for research are available at the Gail Borden Public Library website.
The Elgin History Museum's volunteers can help research old Elgin National Watch company timepieces. They specialize in Elgin watches made between 1867 and the mid-1960s. Visit their Research Services page for more information and download their watch research brochure.
A searchable index of Elgin area articles from the Courier News & Daily Herald is available.
Newspapers and microfilm are held at the Gail Borden Public Library.
Elgin: Days Gone By. E.C.Alft.
According to the preface: "This book is not a narrative of the settlement of Elgin, nor of the growth and decline of its dairy and watch industries, nor of its more recent development as a service center. Rather, it is a selection of vignettes, revised and in several cases expanded, which were published in the "Days Gone By" column of the Daily Courier-News beginning in 1981.
Elgin: An American History. E.C. Alft.
Written in 1984 for Elgin's sesquicentennial, this book chronicle's Elgin's beginnings through the mid-eighties. A special update for the 80's and 90's is also included on the website.
There Used to Be. Steven R. Stroud
A flash-based website based on this original publication by the Elgin Historical Society and the Elgin Heritage Commission.