Hello. My name is Dr. Neil Gale. As a child, I had no interest in History. Like many of us, I found learning History in elementary school boring. I didn't think remembering dates, names, and events would be helpful as an adult... "in the real world." History could have been more captivating and exciting to me. Teachers didn't seem to try making learning history fun or interesting and didn't present the "results" or aftermath of historical events.

My mom and aunt would take me to antique and collectible shows. At seven, I began collecting antique and vintage Chicago postcards (Chicago proper - no suburbs).

The first time I found an antique dealer's booth with tables of shoe boxes filled with postcards from around the World, I parked myself on one of his folding chairs in front of the many boxes marked "Chicago" and "Illinois." After about two hours, my mom returned to the dealer's booth to find me still looking through and reading the postcards.

Postcards were very reasonable back then, mostly 10¢ to 25¢ each postcard, so I could buy some myself. Furthermore, I learned how to negotiate a lower price when purchasing higher-cost items. I have approximately 5,000 Chicago postcards.

By the time I was in High School, I had developed an interest in American History. Still, the teaching methods mainly relied on memorization. I spent many Saturdays researching Chicago history at the Chicago Historical Society, so 
frequently that the library administrator gave me a free library card. I wasn't even a member of the CHS. Thinking about this administrator today, I realize she played a significant role in honing my research skills and allowing me access to the Chicago Historical Society Library. The 4 donuts I brought may have sweetened my subsequent visits.        
Regional Semi-Finals
Certificate of Outstanding Achievement Award - Finals
The First Chicago Metro History Fair.

Brass Plaque
I wanted to share some unique Chicago postcards as my Chicago postcard collection grew. I opened the Chicago Postcard Museum on November 1, 2007. The Virtual Museum is constructed with lobbies, galleries, rooms, and exhibit halls, just like walking into a brick-and-mortar Museum. Special presentations and collections of rare, antique, and vintage postcards will be displayed.

Listen to Dr. Gale's Interview on WBEZ 91.5 FM, Chicago Public Radio, Eight Forty-Eight Show presents: Passion for Postcards Goes Digital. Hosted by: Stephanie Lecci. February 26, 2008. 

Dr. Gale received his doctorate in Business Management from the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, in 1993.

Below is an article from the Chicago Reader, "Show Us You're [______]." February 2, 2012

As an Illinois Historian, Lincoln Scholar, Publisher, Author, and Researcher, I enjoy learning about Illinois' History and presenting the stories and photographs that make Illinois' History come alive. 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, and personal and family experiences. This is where a Facebook group excels by allowing feedback, comments, videos, pictures, and images to be added to the presentations, enriching the experience of all readers.

The resources below help students research and prepare for the Chicago Metro History Day and the Illinois Regional History Fair semi-finals, all leading up to the state finals competition on Illinois History Day held in Springfield, Illinois, each May.

In October 2012, I started the Facebook group and named it Living History of Illinois and Chicago®. People worldwide 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 52K member group hosts Junior and Senior High School (6th-12th grades) history and social studies classes with their educators for lesson plans. 

On February 21, 2023, I changed the group from PUBLIC to PRIVATE because Facebook's new membership type automatically approved them as members. People will still find the group but must join to post, comment, and participate in this clean and healthy group.

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 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 of having several professional photographers who share their own photographs.

In 2013, I started the Digital Research Library of Illinois History®. The library includes my personal research papers, including a series about 'Lost Town of Illinois,' 'Chicago's Forgotten Neighborhoods,' and 'Defunct Amusement Parks of Illinois.' The library's goal was to be a prime Illinois history resource for students and educators.

Because of Facebook's restrictions on each group's number of posted images stored (approx. 5,000 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 on Facebook are deleted. 

On November 6, 2016, I founded the Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal. "Saving Illinois History, One Story at a Time" is our motto. The Journal presents Illinois history in a friendly [PG-13] format. Being membership free, anybody online can add their comments to the articles in the Journal. It has replaced the Digital Research Library of Illinois History® site, which is now our file server and backup.

email thread snippet
"This Introduction to the group is what I have forwarded. It's about a very well done Illinois history journal named The Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal (https://drloihjournal.blogspot.com/p/index.html)

It covers a wide range of topics, from the earliest days of human habitation in the Illinois area to the present day. The journal was founded in 2016 by Dr. Neil Gale, a Historian, Lincoln Scholor,  and Author. It currently contains 1,800 [PG-13] articles organized into a variety of categories, making it easy to find articles on specific topics. Don't miss the defunct amusement parks articles, it's extremely through.

The breadth of available articles is monumental, and the quality of the writing is consistently high. Articles often using time-period venacular, accompanied by photographs, images, maps, and illustrations, bringing history to life. Dr. Gale has an amazing way presenting complex historical information in a clear and concise way. One person can make a difference."                             
Dr. Barbara  W., Chicago Board of Education. (2023)    

I started a new Facebook group 
on July 28, 2020, the "Abraham Lincoln Forum™."

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 logoed items that I personally designed or re-created. The Illinois History Store® profits fund these Illinois history projects.