Special Collections

The DeKalb Public Library is proud to present the following special collections:

Local History Collection

The DeKalb Public Library’s Local History collection is located on the main floor of the library. It is the library’s oldest and largest special collection. Resources include:

DeKalb city directories dating back to 1899
DeKalb High School yearbooks dating back to 1924
DeKalb County cemetery records
Family histories
DeKalb County census data
DeKalb County plat maps
The Daily Chronicle on microfilm dating back to 1871
Genealogy research resources including databases Ancestry Library and Heritage Quest
Extensive clipping archive with articles of interest about the City of DeKalb and DeKalb County

These reference resources are not available for check out but can be accessed during  the specified hours for the Local History Room. . A copy machine is available. For more information contact Teresa Iversen, Local History Reference Librarian, at 815-756-9568, x2150 or email teresai@dkpl.org

A new Virtual Local History collection has been created and can be accessed anytime at the library’s website. This growing collection includes the digitized version of the City of DeKalb 1859 plat book. You can also access World War II Remembered, the videotaped remembrances of two local WWII veterans, Foster Looney and Don Schoo.

For more information about the Local History collection email Teresa Iversen at teresai@dkpl.org or the Reference Department dkplref@dkpl.org or call 815-756-9568, ext. 2150

Brian D. Slavenas Center for Cross-Cultural Understanding

The purpose of this collection is to provide educational materials on world cultures.

This collection is dedicated to the memory of Brian D. Slavenas of the Illinois National Guard who was a graduate of DeKalb High School. On November 2, 2003, the Chinook 47 helicopter Brian was piloting was hit by a shoulder fired, heat seeking missile while flying over Fallujah, Iraq. The flight engineer who survived the crash recalled Brian’s last words to be, “Automatic rotate”, which put the helicopter into emergency mode. While both pilots and fourteen others were killed, twenty of the 36 people on board survived. To read more about Brian, click here.

Thanks to the generous contribution by an anonymous donor, we have the chance to provide a wide variety of truly global perspectives. The Library is committed to building the collection from this foundation, making use of partnerships, suggestions and donations from the public.

Support our Special Collections

Our Special Collections are funded by donations to supplement the budget of the library. Your generous contribution may be designated as a tax deductible donation of your choosing.


We Accept the following: