Local History

historyDid you know you can access the library’s archived microfilm resources from your home computer? To do so, call us at 815-875-1331 to schedule a day and time. Provide us with the date you need to look at. Our librarians will set it up and provide you with the information you need to log in from home to look through the entries.


By adoption of an ordinance on April 18, 1885, a donation of $11,862.67 made to the City of Princeton by the last will of Nehemiah Matson for the purpose of establishing a free public library was accepted by the city council in trust.

“Greatly enhancing the beauty of the library building is the very tasteful art glass window placed there by Dr. and Mrs. H.M. McKee in memory and in honor of Mrs. McKee’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen G. Paddock. Mr. and Mrs. Paddock keenly appreciated the beautiful in art, literature and nature, and were always identified with every progressive movement in the community. This handsome memorial is a very fitting tribute to their memory” (from The Story of Matson Public Library). The memorial window was installed in the Matson Public Library building in 1913, and transferred to the Princeton Public Library building upon the library’s move in  2007.

Local History Collection Indexes

Index for 1897–98 Bureau County Directory

Directories and Platbooks in the Local History Collection

Family Histories in the Local History Collection

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