Illinois State University
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Learn more about our online resources of the history of Illinois State University.

General History

  • "The Social Sciences at Normal" by John A Kinneman. Teacher Education, XXV, 4 (April 1963), 1-64. 

    Also available in print: Storage Basement LB 1705 .T36


Book Series

The history of Illinois State University is told through a series of nine books. Eight of the nine are available online in full text.









  • Educating Illinois: Illinois State University, 1857-2007 by John Freed

    Available in print at Milner Library on Floor 6 (call number LD2347 .F74 2009), in the Floor 2 reference collection, and in Floor 6 Special Collections.

Founders Day Video Series

The history of Illinois State University is told through a series of 12 video presentations collectively spanning the period 1857-2006. The series was started in 1995 and completed in 2006. Productions were introduced annually at the Founders Day celebration in February. Each presentation is available online in streaming video.

A three-disc DVD compilation of the productions, entitled Illinois State University Historical Video Series: 1857-2007, is available for checkout at the Learning Resource Center at Milner Library, Floor 6 (ask for Video DVD 1756). Videotapes of individual productions in the series are also available in the Learning Resource Center for viewing in the center.

  • The Founding (1995, 14 minutes)

    Discusses establishment of the university in 185



  • A New Era at Normal (1997, 14 minutes)

    Discusses the post Civil War era at the university and President Richard Edwards.








  • A Vigor Uncoiling, 1956-1967 (2004, 23 minutes)

    Discusses the administration of the university's ninth president, Dr. Robert G. Bone, and the expansion of the university from a teachers' college with 3,000 students to a university with nearly 10,000 students.


  • Unrest, Controversy, and Rethinking the Plan (2005, 32 minutes)

    Covers the period 1967-1977, including administrations of Samuel Braden, David Berlo, and Gene Budig. Discusses campus unrest in the late 60s and early 70s.


Board Proceedings

In its more than 150-year history, Illinois State University has been governed by six boards. Proceedings of two of these boards, the first and the last, are available online.

Board of Education (1857-1917)

The first governing board of Illinois State Normal University was also the first board of higher education in Illinois. Proceedings of the board are available online as part of the Illinois State University History digital collection. Searches of the digital collection will retrieve pages from the Board Proceedings (as well as other materials such as history books, videos, and images).

Board of Trustees (1996-)

Minutes of recent meetings (2006-current) are available online via the Board of Trustees web site.


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About People

  • The Presidents by Mark A. Plummer, Emeritus Professor of History, Illinois State University (2005)

    Brief descriptions of the 17 Illinois State University presidents with photographs.


  • Women of WWI by Jo Rayfield, University Archives, and Morag Boyd and Toni Tucker, Milner Library,Illinois State University (2002)

    Archival materials related to the World War I experiences of 31 women associated with the university.



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Milner Library
Campus Box 8900
201 North School St.
Normal, Il 61790-8900
Phone: 309.438.3451

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Last Updated: 6/30/17