Opening Doors to Madison County History
The Madison County Historical Society (MCHS) is dedicated to preserving the history of Madison County, Illinois, for the purpose of understanding its people, culture, and community. Our mission of “Opening Doors to Madison County History” means we seek to understand our achievements and triumphs, as well as our tragedies and failures. We pursue this knowledge inclusively for all the people in our community, while being sensitive to how the forces of race, gender, national origin, and class have shaped our history.
The Madison County Historical Museum and Archival Library have been a joint operation of the Madison County Historical Society and Madison County government for nearly a century. The Society holds title to the museum complex, consisting of a modern archival library, the 1836 Weir House Museum and the Helms Collection Center, and to the collections. The Society provides funding for building and grounds renovations, museum and library supplies, exhibits, public programs, newsletters and Society operations.
Madison County government leases the property and collections from the Society and provides funds needed for staffing and operating expenses. It is a partnership that has served Madison County well.
Although the museum building is currently closed for a major renovation, staff and volunteers continue to create exhibits, with an exhibit room in the library and a display case at the County Administration Building. They accept new donations, use best practices to preserve artifacts and regularly create on-line exhibits that can be found on this website. At the Archival Library, staff and volunteers assist researchers and work to preserve the collection of books, papers, maps and photographs.
The Madison County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.