Established in 1857 as the first university in Illinois, as a normal school; employed a handful of Bridgewater Normal alums for its charter faculty.  American Herbartianism was founded here by Charles DeGarmo and shared with Charles, Frank and Lida McMurray who were at times students and educators here at ISNU.  ISNU had laboratory schools long before Dewey two of which remain in operation today.

Holds official records from governing boards, campus offices, faculty and student governance bodies, committees, colleges, departments and faculty and student organizations.  The University Archives collects and holds the professional and personal papers of faculty, administrative staff and alumni; materials on Illinois educational organizations pertaining to the university; and local manuscripts or archival materials of individuals, clubs or business relating to the university.

Also holds a collection of children’s literature, children’s art, historical textbooks: