SPRINGFIELD – Today, State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) presented Illinois State Archives Director, David A. Joens, and department staff with House Resolution 390 to commemorate the Archives for 100 years of service to the State. HR 390 was adopted by the Illinois House of Representatives in September.
“Under its first director, Margaret Cross Norton, the Illinois State Archives became an internationally recognized leader for archival work,” said Butler. “That tradition has carried on to this day thanks to the dedication the Archives’ staff has brought to preserving the history and records of our State. It was my honor to carry HR 390 in the House and thank the Archives for their work.”
As the function of state government became more complex, then Secretary of State, Louis Emmerson, advocated for the passage of legislation in 1921 to create a division of State Archives to be housed in the State Library Department of the Secretary of State’s office. The new division was created on June 20, 1921, and, as Butler noted, Emerson appointed Margaret Cross Norton as the new division’s first director. Her pioneering work led the Archives to expand their record keeping role and develop improved facilities to safely store and protect valuable historical records of the State.
Today, the Illinois State Archives is a separate department under the Secretary of State’s office. It is responsible for preserving and making accessible the permanent records of the State, overseeing records management programs of state agencies and units of local government, providing microfilming, scanning and records storage services to state government agencies, and operating a regional archives depository system for local government records.
For the complete text of HR 390 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Illinois State Archives, click here.