REJUVENATING ILLINOIS HISTORY

Greetings, history lovers. 


As an Author and Illinois Historian, I not only enjoy learning about our state’s history, but I also enjoy presenting the stories and photographs that make Illinois' history come alive. In my opinion, the next evolution of a modern day historian is to interact with history by allowing others to add to the richness of the article presentations with additional facts, photographs, personal and family experiences. This is where a Facebook group excels by allowing feedback, comments, videos, photographs and images to be added to the presentations, enriching the experience of all readers.

The resources below help students with research and preparation for the Chicago Metro History Fair, the Illinois Regional History Fairs all leading up to the state final competition on Illinois History Day held in Springfield, Illinois each May.


The resources below help students with research and preparation for the Chicago Metro History Fair, the Illinois Regional History Fairs all leading up to the state final competition on Illinois History Day held in Springfield, Illinois each May.

In October of 2012, I started the Facebook group and named it Living History of Illinois and Chicago®. People from around the world and from all walks of life have joined to participate in this social history venue, forming one of the most interesting educational and entertaining groups on Facebook. The group hosts Junior and Senior High School (6th-12th grades) history and social studies classes with their educators, for lesson plans.

I've recruited dozens of Illinois community, township and county Historical Societies, History Museum Directors, Museum Curators and career Historians to join the group. Many of the members are in public service including Mayors and former Mayors from towns and cities all over Illinois. In addition the group is loaded with local media broadcasters, including news anchors and researchers from NBC, ABC, CBS and other TV and cable networks, plus radio personalities from around the state. The group boasts about having a number of professional photographers on-board who share their own photographs of historic places in Illinois.

In 2013, I started the Digital Research Library of Illinois History®. Included in the Library are quite a few of my personal research papers, including series about ‘Lost Town of Illinois’, ‘Chicago’s Forgotten Neighborhoods’, and ‘Defunct Amusement Parks of Illinois’. The Library is sanctioned by and linked from the Chicago Metro History Fair, the Illinois History Fair website and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) as a prime resource for students, educators and the public.

Because of Facebook’s restrictions on each groups number of posted images stored (approx. 5000 per group) the oldest ones are deleted when new ones are posted, I found it necessary to create a way of -- "Saving Illinois History, One Story at a Time." -- before the posts in Facebook get deleted. On November 6, 2016, I founded the Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™. The Journal presents the Illinois history in a friendlier format. Being membership free, anybody online can add their comments to the postings in the Journal.

I offer our members, and the general public, a free Daily Illinois Newspaper. The Living History of Illinois Gazette™ which has current news from all over the state of Illinois.  

To offset the costs of hosting and management fees for the Digital Research Library of Illinois History®, Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™, and the Living History of Illinois Gazette™, I opened an online store with unique Illinois and Chicago logo’d items that I personally designed or re-created. The Illinois History Store® profits fund these Illinois history projects.

Respectfully,

Neil Gale, Ph.D.