City of Champaign to Preserve and Increase Accessibility to Historical Documents


At their January 26, 2016, meeting, the Champaign City Council approved a project to preserve Council documents from the City’s inception through the present. This project will also make the documents more accessible to both historians and members of the general public. The documents to be preserved include City Council meeting minutes, resolutions, and ordinances from the earliest days of the City of Champaign when it was part of Urbana. Named “West Urbana,” the City was incorporated as a separate entity named “Champaign” in 1860.

This project is important because the City has just one full set of Council documents from 1857 to the present. In the event of a fire or natural disaster, these important documents could be damaged or even lost entirely. The historical documents will be microfilmed, and copies of the microfilm will be safely stored in multiple locations.  One of these locations is the Champaign County Historical Archives at the Urbana Free Library, where they will be readily accessible to the public.  Digital copies of the documents will also be available on the City’s website and the Champaign County Historical Archives’ website.  The City plans to archive historical handwritten documents from the City’s early years, and is investigating options regarding more recent documents produced on typewriters and computers.

After developing a full scope of services for the project, the City will issue a Request for Proposals to select a vendor to film and digitize the documents. City staff expects the selected vendor to begin filming and digitizing later this year; completing the project in early 2017.


Contact:  Marilyn Banks  |  [email protected]  |  217-403-8940.