Research Services

The Mount Prospect Historical Society strives to facilitate learning and disseminate the history of Mount Prospect by allowing anyone to utilize our museum as a place of research. Whether you are researching your family’s history or looking for a photograph, we have an extensive collection of records, objects, photographs and newspapers that can assist you in your research. Below is information regarding our research policy as well as our research hours and how to make an appointment.

Research Policy

  1. Do not cause any intentional harm or damage to any objects
  2. Do not alter any objects. This means that the object should return to the collections exactly as it was when it was taken out for research.
  3. Some objects may need to be handled with gloves, depending on the material of the object.
  4. A volunteer or staff member must be present at all times throughout the research session.
  5. The use of pens are prohibited in the research room. Pencils only.
  6. Only one accession file can be taken out at a time.
  7. No food is allowed in the research room.
  8. No drinks or liquids are allowed in the research room.
  9. The first five photocopies are free, any additional copies are 10¢ ea.
  10. There is a fee of $10 per print with watermark and $5 per .jpeg with watermark.
  11. There will be a fee of $25 for any image published in any work or scholarly body.
  12. Objects are not allowed to leave the research room.
  13. Objects are not allowed to leave the building.
  14. An appointment must be made at least 4 days prior to research day.

Research Hours

Tuesdays-Thursdays from 10am-3pm

To make an appointment, either call us at 847-392-9006 or email us at

Research Possibilities

If teachers are interested in developing lesson plans that focus on a specific aspect of local history, we have extensive records that they may access for research and development. If an educator would like to work with advanced students on displaying how different resources can be used for research projects we can also set up simple displays of our resources and how they can be used.

Talks on demand

With a highly qualified staff, we can put together talks on different aspects of local history, local businesses, regional planning, prominent individuals, and Mount Prospect organizations at the request of schools. Advanced scheduling is required and a fee may apply.

Third Grade Textbooks

The Mount Prospect Historical Society, in co-operation with local teachers, the Illinois Historical Museum and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources published, a short history of Mount Prospect text book in 2000. The texts are designed to be used as the basis for a series of lessons on local history for students in third grade or above. These short booklets were written with an awareness of the Illinois State Social Science Standards for 2000 to make it easier for teachers to incorporate into existing curriculum. These short books, as well as teacher’s editions and Spanish language texts are provided to local educators free of charge.

General Research Collection: We have an extensive collection of material on subjects related to Mount Prospect in our general research collection. This collection is constantly growing, both through the acquisition of new information and through the processing of backlogged material. Below are descriptions of categories with an approximation of the size of each. Buildings by Addresses: We have files on roughly 250 buildings, organized by address. These are primarily files on individual houses, although there are also files on some commercial and municipal buildings. Every house that has been on our Holiday House Walk has a file, as well as many other houses that have appeared in newspapers, oral histories or in a historical article, some files are extensive and some are quite small.

Business: Our collection holds approximately 150 files on different businesses in Mount Prospect. This includes information on both current businesses and historic businesses.

Churches: We have files on about 45 different churches in Mount Prospect, including some that have been disbanded.

Development: In our Development files we have a series of organizational subgroups to make the history of the community’s growth more accessible. In this category, there are files on the general development of Mount Prospect, development of the Northwest suburbs, and downtown redevelopment plans. There is also related information on the development and history of the rail lines, maps of the community from 1874 to 2002, material on 30 different neighborhoods, and at least plat dates for virtually every sub-development in Mount Prospect.

Events: We have a small collection of material on significant dates in the community’s history, such as village anniversaries, significant weather events, and community events.

Newsprint Collection: The Historical Society recently acquired a large collection of newsprint from the Mount Prospect Public Library. We are still in the process of organizing and this material, but it adds to our existing collection. We have a large amount of newsprint on significant dates and events in the community and region. We also have a large collection of newsprint from Chicago and Illinois papers that discuss national events. These papers have a value for those interested in local history by showing how the Chicago area or the upper midwest responded to some of the largest national news stories in the country.

Organizations: The Society keeps information on nonprofit, charitable, and educational organizations, as well as information on groups in the community. Some files are quite extensive, while others are simply newspaper clippings.

People: We have information on around 500 people and families, who have a connection to Mount Prospect. Some of these files are simply an obituary or an article on a significant life event while others files could make up complete biographies.

Schools: In our collection, we have a file on every school that is standing or has ever stood in Mount Prospect. We also have files on different school districts in which Mount Prospect students are enrolled.

Special Collections: We have extensive collections on certain subjects that are stored outside of our General Research files but are still considered a part of that collection. These include information on: The Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, The Mount Prospect Midget Football League, The Campfire Girls, Randhurst Shopping Center, the local celebration of the National Bicentennial, and former Mayor Clarence Schlaver.

Village: The Society has files on Municipal Departments, village politics by year and a (incomplete) collection of village newsletters. We have large amounts of material on some departments, such as the fire department and smaller files on some of the less high profile departments.

MPHS: The Society also has many files on the history of the Society. This includes detailed information on our museums, restoration projects, events, fundraisers, members, directors and publicity.

Photo Collections: Our collection of photographs is stored separately from our General Research Collection, but uses the same basic categories. Roughly estimated, we have approximately 10,000 photographs, being strongest in photographs of people, businesses, schools, Randhurst, and MPHS. We recently purchased a photographic copy stand through a donation from the Rotary Club; this allows us to make negatives of existing photographs. With this new equipment, we can reproduce photographs much more efficiently and will be using it to expand our photographic collection in the coming months.

Artifact Collection: We have an extensive collection of artifacts that relate to Mount Prospect, the development of the mid-west, and suburban growth. This collection is made up of roughly 6800 objects and includes farming equipment, household utensils, architectural details, textiles, art works, promotional material from different Mount Prospect businesses, personal collections, and period furniture. This collection is stored separately from our research collection, organized differently, and kept with different rules of legal guardianship. We have three separate long-term storage areas that are used to house the artifact collection. The material in our artifact collection is available to the public under supervision however; our long-term storage areas are not open to the public. This means that an individual has to make prior arrangements to have material that they are interested in brought to an area where they can view it. These arrangements can be made through the MPHS office.

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