The power of the visual image and the spoken word is showcased in the Library's substantial Audio-Visual Collection, with photographs dating from the founding of photography in the 1840s to taped interviews from the present day.


More than 400,000 photographs visually document Illinois politics (especially governors since the 1920s, Adlai Stevenson III, and Senator Scott W. Lucas), labor (Barber-Greene Company, On the Job Illinois, Pure Oil Company, and coal-mining), and family life.

The Library’s photograph holdings of Illinois Civil War soldiers are recorded in the Library’s Boys in Blue Database.  A growing sample of images from the photographic holdings can be viewed at Chronicling Illinois.  All images may be seen in the Library’s Audio-Visual Collection.


More than 5,000 broadsides — most used as posters — are part of the collection, with an impressive group of World War I and II posters.

Audio and Videotapes

Although politics dominates the 10,000 audiotapes in the collection, more than 1,000 are oral history interviews of Illinoisans who fought in World War II and those who remained on the Illinois homefront. All recorded materials of the ALPL’s Oral History program are housed in the Audio-Visual Collection. 

Research Appointments

Appointments to view or use materials are recommended. Contact the Audio-Visual staff at
(217) 785-7955. Personal computers are welcome; cameras and scanners are not permitted.

Use and Reproduction of Materials

For personal research and study. Reproductions of material from the Audio-Visual Collection may be made only for use in the research, teaching, or private study of the recipient. Reproductions may not be made or donated to other repositories by the recipient. They also may not be further reproduced without permission.
For publication or broadcast.  Conditions and fee schedules are listed in the Library's Permission to Use Agreement

Order images

To order an image, complete a Photographic Service Order and return it with payment for the indicated reproduction fee to the Audio-Visual Curator.


Megan Klintworth, MLIS
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
112 N. Sixth St.
Springfield, IL.  62701
(217) 785-7955