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The Vespasian Warner Public Library's Archive has a large collection of documents, newspapers, photographs, postcards, and artifacts that covers the history of DeWitt County. The library also houses the collections of the DeWitt County Genealogical Society and the DeWitt Clinton Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.


For information about the Vespasian Warner Public Library Archive, please call the library at 217-935-5174 or email


Below are listings of our holdings. Not all images are available online at this time, however, if you would like a scanned copy of any image, please contact Bobbi at


We have begun adding images to, History Pin and the Illinois Digital Archive. We are continuing to add images each week, so be sure to check back.


List of Items in the Vespasian Warner Archives

General Collection

Documents, photographs, and artifacts related to DeWitt County history.

A partial list of photographs in our collection.

Many images are also available in the library's and accounts.

C.H. Moore Collection

This is the original collection from the library's opening in 1908. Includes numerous works on Illinois history and biography.  For information on C.H. Moore, please visit the DeWitt County Museum website.

Civil War Collection

Diaries, photographs, artifacts

Digitization of these items was made possible by a grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.

Clinton Area Yearbooks

Includes Clinton, Heyworth, LeRoy, Kenney, Maroa-Forsyth, and Wapella.

Digitized versions of Clinton yearbooks are available.

Clinton Newpapers

On microfilm. 1854-present.  

DeWitt County World War I Collection

Letters, service records, and photographs. Available in the Illinois Digital Archive.

Helen Hume Thorp Collection

Wapella and Rucker Chapel History


Postcard Collections

General Collection List

Cardiff Collection List

Roque Club of Clinton

Letters, newspaper articles, and photographs.


Weinberg Library of Comparative Religion

Donated by Dr. Harold Weinberg

Archives & Special Collections


Online Library Databases  Only available in the library building.  Only available in the library building.  This website will allow you to view digitized local papers from 1854-1963.

Other Databases

African American Gateway - A growing resource for African American research compiled by Allen County Public Library of Fort Wayne, Indiana

Clinton Cemetery Viewer - Explore City of Clinton cemetery records using this interactive GIS map.  Search by Burial Names or Owner Names.

DAR Genealogical Research System - Online genealogical portal including their Ancestor Database, Member Database, Descendants Database, DAR Library Catalog, and DAR Genealogical Records Committee database.

Digital Public Library of America

FamilySearch -An international, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all people discover their family story.

Find a Grave - Free resource for finding the graves of famous folks, friends and family members 

Illinois State Archives - Illinois birth, death, marriage, and veterans records

Illinois State Genealogical Society -  Indices and databases  provided free to the public by the ISGS

PERSI (Periodical Source Index) - PERSI indexes journal articles published by thousands of local, state, national and international genealogy and local history organizations. It is free to search PERSI, but online access to articles is through subscription only. 

General Genealogy Resources

Cyndi's List - A free jumping-off point for online genealogical research

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter - Daily online genealogy newsletter

Family Search Wiki - Genealogical research advice and information on where to find record collections.  

First Search - Contact the Library for login.

History Pin 

Illinois Digital Archive 

Illinois Online Genealogy Records - Find genealogy records: vital records (birth, marriage, and death), census, cemeteries, probate, land, libraries, societies, churches, newspapers, etc. for Illinois

National Archives: Genealogy Ethnic Heritage - Selection of links to websites that are useful for ethnic genealogical research compiled by NARA

National Archives:  Resources for Genealogists - Selection of links for beginning genealogical research, searchable databases, and preservation tutorials

For Teachers 

American History Teachers' Collaborative - lesson plans, local primary documents, and examples of best practices from a central Illinois collaborative led by the Urbana School District.

DocsTeach - ready to use tools for teaching with documents prepared by the National Archives.

National History Day and Archives Toolkit - a wiki for getting the most out of National History Day.

Databases & Research Tools


The DeWitt County Genealogical Society was formed in 1974 to help collect and preserve genealogical history and other resources about the people of DeWitt County.

The DeWitt County Genealogical Society Website.  

Contact DCGS:

PO Box 632

Clinton, IL 61727


You can also fill out the form below.

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DeWitt County Geneological Society

DCGS items available at the library:

  • Census 1840 - 1930

  • Death Index 1878 - 1980

  • Marriage Index 1839 - 1979

  • Birth Index 1878 - 1915

  • Obituaries

  • Funeral home records

  • DeWitt County histories and atlases

  • Land Records

  • Family files

  • Bible Records

  • Ancestor charts

  • Cemetery records

  • Quarterlies

  • Family histories

  • Clinton city directories (earlist-1915)

  • Circuit Clerk's records index

  • Military Records

  • Probate Records

  • Materials about other counties and states

  • DeWitt County Early Marriage Licences, 1839- 

  • Additional Local Records 

Histoy Blog

While the Library Blog will focus on various Library topics, a History blog post will be published monthly & will focus on the history of DeWitt County & Clinton, Illinois.  

History Blog Posts

Memory Lab

Coming Soon!!!

Memory Lab
Planning a Visit

Coming Soon!!!

Planning A Visit
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