Introducing the Pantagraph Negative Collections

Alfalfa Show. 1937. McLean County Museum of History. Pantagraph Negative Collection (1930-1939). Photograph by Olin Piercy. Permission to display given by McLean County Museum of History.

Now included in the IDHH are two collections from the McLean County Museum of History. The Pantagraph Negative Collection 1930-1939 and 1940-1945 include roughly 48,000 scanned negatives from the Pantagraph, a newspaper headquartered in Bloomington. The collections include scans of negatives created by photographer-reporters between 1932 and 1945. The Pantagraph’s origins date back to 1846 and was known for its coverage of regional agricultural concerns, local sports, and community social events in 10 counties surrounding McLean County.  

Family Circle (Pantagraph In House News).1938. McLean County Museum of History. Pantagraph Negative Collection (1930-1939). Photograph by Charles A. Mercier. Permission to display given by McLean County Museum of History.

The collection, donated to Mclean County Museum of History by the Pantagraph, preserves vivid images of the early and mid 20th century, including the rise of industrial agriculture and the Great Depression in Central Illinois. Here’s a few of the gems from their collection: 

YWCA Swim Meet. 1938. McLean County Museum of History. Pantagraph Negative Collection (1930-1939). Photograph by John S. Bowman. Permission to display given by McLean County Museum of History.
Cornhusking Contests. 1938. McLean County Museum of History. Pantagraph Negative Collection (1930-1939). Photograph by Frank Bill. Permission to display given by McLean County Museum of History.
Danvers, IL pet squirrel. 1940. McLean County Museum of History. Pantagraph Negative Collection (1940-1945). Photograph by Harlan Stranger. Permission to display given by McLean County Museum of History.
Along the Road, Chenoa. 1941. McLean County Museum of History. Pantagraph Negative Collection (1940-1945). Photograph by Glenn Steeleye. Permission to display given by McLean County Museum of History.
Boxing, Moline vs. Bloomington, Illinois. 1938.McLean County Museum of History. Pantagraph Negative Collection (1930-1939). Photograph by Percy Olin. Permission to display given by McLean County Museum of History.
Fifth Columnists. 1942. McLean County Museum of History. Pantagraph Negative Collection (1940-1945). Photograph by Ralph O. Baird Jr. Permission to display given by McLean County Museum of History.

For more of these two collections, visit the IDHH.

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