Place yourself in the historical record

The UIS History Harvest once again seeks to engage the public in the act of recording Illinois history. This year’s theme, ‘The Great Road Trip,’ will help students build and interpret an archive on the history of travel. Students from both graduate and undergraduate History classes will digitize items


Since its beginnings in 2016, the UIS History Harvest has hosted three events, and will host another Harvest on October 15th,  2022 at the Illinois State Museum. This year’s History Harvest will be the fourth conducted by students at UIS. In 2016 members of the public brought in items of political memorabilia. In 2018 they presented items about “Being Illinoisan.” In 2020, participants were encouraged to bring in items related to the changes in education over the past 50 years. 


 The goal of History Harvest is to democratize the archive and widen our understanding and appreciation of history and material culture. This year’s harvest recognizes that the history of America is rooted in travel and Central Illinois is a major crossroads for broad national adventures. By collecting information on the historical memories and mementos of local people, this 2022 UIS History Harvest provides a unique insight into how ordinary citizens have traveled and interacted with the nation and the world.


The 2022 UIS History Harvest, which focuses on travel and tourism, asks the members of the public to bring in physical objects and documents that represent what the spirit of travel means to them. Please view the items and collections pages for examples of artifacts brought in to be digitized during past History Harvests. After the archive is complete, students will create online exhibits to further illuminate our attendees’ stories. The students and faculty from the UIS history department look forward to the artifacts and stories that will be added to the online archive in 2022. 

The UIS History Harvest is part of a national movement connecting communities and universities through the practice of local history. More background on the national movement can be found here. For more information on the UIS History Harvest, see our Frequently Asked Questions page.


Recently Added Items

Nixon with Peruvian Children


To the right of Nixon is Vernon Copeland.

"How Five Men Found God by C.K. Ober" Wright_Tom_Scan_A_2g


YMCA Religious Tract Handed out to the troops before they shipped out to fight in France during World War I.

"The Deity Of Christ: By Robert Speer" Wright_Tom_Scan_A_2f


The Booklet came from the John Powers Estate Auction in Jacksonville, Illinois 2020 when Tom Wright acquired it.

"Out Of The Fog" Wright_Tom_Scan_A_2e


The Booklet came from the John Powers Estate Auction in Jacksonville, Illinois 2020 when Tom Wright acquired it.

"The Fight For Character" YMCA Booklet Wright_Tom_Scan_A_2d


Given to Corporal Nic Johnson, who served in Le Mans, France. The Booklet came from the John Powers Estate Auction in Jacksonville, Illinois 2020,…