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Located in Chatham, Illinois
Chatham Area Public Library
Thursday: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm

LH& G Collection

Collection and Scope

The genealogy collection focuses on materials from the US, particularly those areas people came from before they arrive in the Chatham area.  The local history collection focuses on materials on the townships of Chatham, Auburn, Ball, Cotton Hill, Curran, Loami, New Berlin and Woodside.  

The wide range of materials to assist in your research include: 

  • History of Chatham
  • Yearbooks
  • Chatham Clarion Newspaper
  • Family Tree Magazine
  • County Histories
  • Genealogical Indexes and so much more. 

Digital Collections

Chatham Area History collection is comprised of a variety of scanned images related to the history of the villages of Chatham, Glenarm and Loami, and surrounding townships. Images are primarily photographs but also include maps, blueprints and documents.

Chatham Area School History collection is comprised of a variety of scanned images related to the history of the Ball-Chatham School District including those one room schoolhouses and high schools that students from the past have studied at.

The digital collections are hosted at the Illinois Digital Archive.  

Most original materials are archived in the Opal Lee Chatham History and Genealogy Room and are viewable upon request during regular hours of operation.  There are some original material held by the owners like the Ball-Chatham School District.  

Yearbook Collection

Take a step back in time by taking a look at our the yearbooks that we have digitized.  They can be found on the Chatham Area High School Yearbooks & Class Photos Facebook Page

Looking for a home for your unwanted yearbooks?  Consider donating them to the Library!  Once beloved mementos for young students, old high school and college yearbooks are now treasured by genealogists, local historians, and even school reunion planners.

The Opal Lee Chatham History Genealogy Room has a large collection of Chatham area yearbooks, but it does not include all schools or years.  Due to cost, we rely on kind donations to add to this collection.

We would love to add yearbooks that are…

  • From a grade school or high school in the Chatham Area, specifically from
    • Ball High School -- 1950, 1952, 1953
    • Chatham Jr High School -- 1957, 1961, 1962, 1969-1973, 1982-1983, 1984-1985, 1988-1996, 1997-2000
  • In good condition; no mold or water damage, please.