In Library Resources

The Steven Lawton Local History Room contains many historical materials, including census numbers, rare books, plat maps, and Princeton newspaper records on microfilm from 1852 to the present. Our research librarian will be happy to help you find the materials you need to search our historical archives.

Did you know you can also 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.

NEW! Digital Access to Princeton Public Library’s Archived Bureau County Republican holdings

With the help of the Friends of the Library, we are beginning to digitize the most recent issues of the Bureau County Republican in addition to microfilm. Years 20XX-20XX are currently available at
Please note that search results bring up the complete issue of the paper, and you will need to scroll through the issue to find the desired reference. See Search Tips below to help pinpoint your search.

Out of Library Resources

Your Princeton Public Library card gives you access to the following databases that provide a wide variety of research data.

Historical Map Works

Based in Portland Maine, Historic Map Works, LLC is an Internet company formed to create a historic digital map database of North America and the world. Drawing on the largest physical collection of American property atlases of its type, it is our aim to be the single best online destination for map enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Historic Map Works’s map collection includes:

  • United States Property Atlases
  • Antiquarian Maps
  • Nautical Charts
  • Birdseye Views
  • Special Collections (Celestial Maps, Portraits, and other historical images)
  • Directories and other text documents

America’s News

amnews new


America’s News is a Web-based collection of national newspapers and news magazines that is free to library patrons and updated daily.  It is part of the NewsBank Special Reports offerings. Click here for more information. Find information on topics related to business, education, politics and more. America’s News includes current and archived issues of hundreds of full-text newspapers from across the nation, including the Bureau County Republican, Chicago Sun-Times, and Peoria Journal Star, and to 28 news magazines, including Smithsonian, Slate, Newsweek, New Republic, The New Yorker, Mother Earth News, and Popular Science.

University of Illinois’ University Library

University Library has digitized 30 years of the Bureau County Tribune (January 1892–December 1922) and is now freely available online.

Bureau County Legal Self-Help Center

This is a free online center to provide legal information for lower income residents who cannot find or afford an attorney to represent them in court, or who are looking for information of topics such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment compensation, powers of attorney and marriage dissolutions. The self-help center is available on any computer connected to the Internet. Princeton Public Library serves as a public access location for the new online center; Princeton Library staff will assist in navigating the online center, but they cannot fill in forms or provide legal advice.


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