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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I research the history of my home?
A: Researching a property’s history is primarily done with local sources. The Illinois Association of Museums offers an excellent two-part guide, “How to … Research Historic Houses,” in its “Publications” section.

Q: How do I find out if my property is already considered historic?
A: The Division maintains a database of historic and potentially historic properties called HARGIS. This inventory lists properties that are on, or eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places. It includes thousands of other properties that deserve consideration for historic status. If your home is located in any of the 70-plus Illinois communities with a local preservation ordinance, the local preservation commission should also be consulted.

Q: I think my building belongs on the National Register of Historic Places. How do I get it listed?
A: The process is explained in the Preserve History section of this website.

Q: Can I get a grant or tax break to pay for preserving a historic building?
A: Although grants for private property owners are scarce, several programs offer tax credits or freezes for historic properties.

Q: How can I get updates about what’s happening at the Historic preservation Division?
A: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or view our calendar of events.

Q: Where is the Lincoln museum located?
A: The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is at:
112 North Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62701
The main phone number is 217-558-8844. The museum is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information visit the Museum’s website.

Q: I'm worried about an old, neglected cemetery in my town. Can you help?
A: Contact Dawn Cobb, Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act Coordinator, at 217/558-8973 or dawn.cobb@illinois.gov, or visit the cemetery preservation webpage

Q: How can my town revitalize its historic downtown?
A: The Illinois Main Street program is a volunteer-driven, preservation-based, downtown revitalization program.

Q. I need research assistance. Do you have a library?
A: The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library includes a huge collection of items from throughout Illinois history. Visit the Library’s website for more about the library and the assistance it can provide.