Local History and Genealogical Resources

Here at the Dixon Public Library, we are proud of the rich historic heritage of Dixon, Lee County, and Illinois. We are in the process of an extensive project to gather and catalog our local history holdings. At the end of October 2018 we have so far collected together 1850 local history books and pamphlets, nearly 600 items on Lincoln, and another 200 on Ronald Reagan. Many of these items are available for check-out, and the rest can be consulted in the library. Collection guides for the Local History, Lincoln, and Reagan Collections have been written and can be downloaded at the following links:

The library owns copies of most of the City Directories from 1878 to 2007. In addition, the library has available the Dixonian Yearbooks from 1914 - 2018, with the exceptions of the years 1916, 1919, and 1933, which we only own as reproductions.  We also offer access to the Dixon Telegraph with dates from 1851 - 2007 on microfilm.  Later editions are available via our Newsbank subscription (library card is required to access). We have recently added access to the Illinois Collection at Newspapers.com, which can be accessed from the library.

The library also owns around twenty posters dating from the First World War, which will all be returned to display during 2018. A brochure about these posters can be found by clicking the following link:  pdf WW1 Posters Guide (2.52 MB) . To commemorate the centenary of the armistice which ended the First World War, the library recently published a pamphlet called Soldiers of Dixon. This pamphlet includes details of the Dixon men who died in the service of the United States during that war. Paper copies can be picked up for free at the library or it can be downloaded for free by clicking here.

If you have items of local interest that you would like to donate to the Dixon Public Library, please feel free to contact the Director, Antony Deter at the library.

Dixon Public Library also has several publications on local history, which can be checked out, or purchased.

We regret that we do not have a researcher on-site, but researchers will also find scans and indexes of the below historic documents on one of our patron computers:

  • 1928 Dixonian (Ronald Reagan's senior year)
  • Banditti of the Prairies 1947 and 1963
  • Lee County plat map and index, 1921
  • Documents pertaining to the Black Hawk War
  • Documents pertaining to the Dixon Airport
  • Documents pertaining to the history of Dixon
  • A scan of the document "The Green River Ordnance Plant"
  • A scan of the document "Lee County History" published in 1881
  • A scan of the document "Historical Reminiscences" by George Lamb

Some other resources to help historians and genealogists are below.