The Downers Grove Public Library

Local History Section 

The Downers Grove Public Library has organized their local history resources into a separate section of the library to simplify use by local history researchers. The local history section is located in the northwest corner of the second floor of the library. Most of the collection is reference materials, so they are always readily available in the library.  This section features 30 feet linear feet of shelving of books and other materials including:

  • Local history article vertical files – organized by topic
  • School year books and alumni reports
  • Church histories
  • Old maps and atlas – dating back to the 1800s
  • DAR contributed materials
  • Historical Society newsletters
  • Large number of locally produced unpublished manuscripts and materials.
  • Village documents including the architectural surveys done by the village.   


The library also has the following local newspapers on microfilm:

  • Downers Grove Reporter (1895-2013) – early years are incomplete. The library has also digitized the years 1895 to 1922.  Access to these issues are available at https://vitacollections.ca/dgpl/search.
  • Downers Grove Journal (1939-1941)
  • Downers Grove Press (1891-1893) – incomplete
  • Downers Grove Suburban Life – (2013-present)
  • Downers Grove Sun (2002-2006)

Obituary Index

The library also has an obituary index of over ten thousand deaths in the Downers Grove area deaths dating back to the 1800s. This index was developed by Carol Wandschneider, former Downers Grove Historical Society board member. The index can be accessed at https://dglibrary.org/genealogy-services/ 

Additional information on the local history holdings at the library are available at http://www.libraryaware.com/949/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/cb22c453-3c90-4b06-aaa7-6ef775c20a0a and additional genealogy focused resources are available at https://dglibrary.org/genealogy-services/.

Downers Grove Public Library
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