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Archive of: Collection Highlights

Volunteer Reflection: Drew Brandau

My first day here I was given the task of making a finding aid for a nearly 100-year-old collection of World War I material, mainly books and military manuals. A finding aid is a typed inventory of the contents of an archival collection, and as such helps researchers and those interested in the collection find their way around the material.

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Intern Reflections: Back Room Objects

That had to be my favorite day, as it morphed from handling the objects in the room to having several employees in the museum show me the various archives and vaults that I had yet to see. I clearly didn't understand the scope of the museum collections nor what their accreditation meant for a museum in a city of this size.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

A Unique Look At A Hollywood Starlet

Among the many treasures held by the McLean County Museum of History is this portrait of Irene Delroy (pictured above) painted by George Maillard Kesslere in 1929. It hung in the Ithaca, NY, home of her second husband Gerard Oberrender until his death in 1998.

Josephine Sanders was born in Bloomington, IL, on July 21, 1900. She was better known by her stage and screen name, Irene Delroy.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Miller Hatchery Supports War Effort

What do a chicken and a high explosive artillery shell have in common? This sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke, but here in McLean County, they do in fact share something in common!

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Batemans Restaurant & Ice Cream Saloon, 1873, Bloomington Illinois

How long exactly have people been screaming for ice cream? No one really knows for sure; but, I do know that nothing beats the taste of homemade ice cream!

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Spring Is In The Air!

In the Garden painting by Nina Kickbusch Griffin

This painting was created by Nina Kickbusch Griffin for the 1937 All-Illinois Society of Fine Arts exhibition at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. The Society would later present the award-winning painting to The Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School (ISSCS) where it would be displayed for several years before making its way to The Museum.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Collection Highlights

Easter Parade, LeRoy Style, 1937

Easter LeRoy 1937 McLean County Museum of History

On Sunday, April 9, 1937, The Pantagraph ran a photo spread on LeRoy ladies getting ready for Easter church services and family get-togethers.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Soap Box Derby Dreams

The M.E. Doyle Trophy was presented to Eugene Millard after becoming City Champion of the Bloomington Soap Box Derby on July 22, 1937.

The M.E. Doyle Trophy was presented to Eugene Millard after becoming City Champion of the Bloomington Soap Box Derby on July 22, 1937. Millard would go on to win the Central Illinois title and compete at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio.

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Written by Susan Hartzold in Collection Highlights

How much influence can a historic event have on popular clothing design?

This flapper* dress, though not a Paris design, is hand stitched and beaded, and was collected by Marlyn Lawrentz, a Bloomington resident who adored vintage clothing. She donated it to the Museum in 1996. The circular patterning around the neckline was influenced by beaded collars, like the one pictured below, that were removed from Tut’s tomb.

The dress pictured here was designed in the 1920s and was most definitely influenced by an archaeological event.The geometric beaded pattern was influenced by Egyptian design, but what was the event?

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Collection Highlight: Trench Art

Trench art has been created in a number of places besides battlefield trenches – army hospitals, POW camps, machine shops, and towns and villages miles away from the action. Read this post to learn about some trench art in our collection, made by military personnel from McLean County

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