For the month of May, we’re celebrating Illinois innovations in honor of the bicentennial. From cellphones to MRIs to black holes to carbon dating, Illinois has a long history of ingenuity. Follow along on our social media for weekly snapshots of #IllinoisInnovation.
In early 1905, an instructor teaching European history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was called on for a new task by University President Edmund James. The Renaissance historian was to make his way to Randolph and St. Clair Counties in search of a reported stash of unpublished colonial French documents. In those local archives, Clarence Walworth Alvord found not only those French sources – which themselves provided “significant windows into the earliest colonial history of the Midwest” – but a host of other documents on pre-statehood Illinois history called the Cahokia Manuscripts, Kaskaskia Manuscripts, and the Menard Papers.… Read More