Seeking Information for the Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration

We were recently contacted by Arlyn Booth, Map Coordinator of the Illinois State Library requesting Route 66 information. Can you help her gather the information she seeks?

Update: Arlyn Booth is no longer with the Illinois State Library. Please contact them, nonetheless, as they will direct your email to the appropriate party.

As you may know, the Illinois State Library was chosen to serve as the National Park Service’s (NPS) Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration (ARC) site for Illinois. Tom Huber and I, of the map staff at the Illinois State Library, are the most directly involved in the operation of the Route 66 ARC here. One of the tasks we’d like to accomplish is the updating of the directory that Dr. David Dunaway, of the University of New Mexico, put together several years ago when he first canvassed Illinois for NPS to find out what research and/or archival collections existed in Illinois on the subject of Rt. 66. Each of the 8 states’ Route 66 ARC has or will be creating a directory, or survey, like the one I hope to put together. I hope to make this directory available to everyone, when it is finished, so we are all aware of what exists for researching Route 66.

We are interested in any documentation of Route 66, whether it be on building the road, roadside businesses, travelling the road in its heyday, touring the road now, etc. in the form of vertical files of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, postcards, photographs, manuscript/archival collections of personal papers, oral histories, scrapbooks, business ledgers, diaries, surveys, maps, preservation plans, etc. We are looking mainly for paper collections, not the 3-dimensional objects. We do not want to collect a copy of those items; we simply want to know what other institutions have so the directory will lead researchers to the appropriate open-to-the-public agency for specific topics. Leads on individuals who have pertinent materials would be desirable as well, as long as those individuals would be willing to answer inquiries and share with the public.

I have contacted public libraries, historical societies, museums, universities and a few other institutions in cities on Route 66. Some have responded and some have not yet done so. I am asking if anyone knows of a collection that should be included in this directory, please send me the name and e-mail address of someone to contact about that collection. To share your leads, please contact: Ms. Arlyn Booth, Illinois State Library, 300 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62701

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