Obtaining Records from the
Illinois State Archives
Margaret Cross Norton Building
Springfield, IL 62756
Telephone: (217) 782-3556
Fax: (217) 524-3930
Email: See Request Form
In order for the Archives staff to locate a death record, researchers should provide the following information:
- Full name of the deceased
- Approximate date of death
- County of death - in this case, Tazewell
- Township (if known)
- Certificate Number (if known)
Researchers are asked to limit requests to two names at a time and to wait for a response before submitting another request. All research, photocopies, and postage is provided free of charge courtesy of the Illinois Secretary of State.
Please note all photocopies from the Illinois State Archives are considered unofficial and uncertified. You can obtain certified copies for an additional $5.00 fee.
Research requests are handled in order of receipt. Response time can be as much as four-six weeks.
Requests are taken by mail, by telephone, by fax, and by email.
The Illinois State Archives is one of the most genealogist friendly archives in the country. For instance, they are one of the few government institutions you will ever find that maintains regular Saturday hours.
The State Archives is located off of Edwards Street - in the capitol complex immediately to the north (behind) the Illinois State Museum and a little south of the State Capitol Building. On Saturdays, you can park right next to the building. On other days, park at the visitors' center (on Edwards Street between College and Pasfield, about one block northwest of the archives) and ask for directions.
Signs to the visitors' center, Illinois State Museum, and capitol complex are posted all over the city including on Interstate 55. Here's a detailed map of the capitol complex.
When you enter the archives, you will need to sign in with the guard. You may take minimal paperwork into the archive's reference rooms with you. Lockers are provided to store purses, briefcases, and other materials while you are in the archives. As in most archives, pencils rather than pens are encouraged.
The staff is very friendly and helpful. They will help get you started and will answer questions but can't spend extended amounts of times helping you research.
Tip: In order to access Illinois death certificates for 1916 - 1947, you must first access the microfiche name index to find the county, death date, and certificate number. This information will then be used to determine which microfilm roll the death certificate is contained on. You can save time at the archives by accessing the copy of the microfiche name index at the society's library prior to your trip to Springfield.
For additional information, visit the Illinois State Archives website.