MCGS Home  About MCGS  Join Us!  Resources
Events  Projects


Email MCGS
Postal Mail:
P.O. Box 488
Normal, IL 61761



Library & Archives
Publications for Sale
Journal 50-Year Tables of Contents
Obituary Surname Index '86-'99
Journal Surname Indexes
Useful Links
Research Volunteers
Donate Items








Research Policy for anyone unable to visit our library

Questions?  Email

access available on
our library computer!

The following indexes are COPYRIGHTED by MCGS
You may link to them, but you may not copy them.

Elmer E. Garst's Record Book©
containing the names, births, and deaths
of residents of Stanford, IL

Former Names of Bloomington-Normal Streets
Sources of Bloomington-Normal Street Names

Index to MCGS Vertical Surname Files©
A-Z (1,980+ names)

Obituary Surname Index 1986 - 1999©
Died in McLean Co., Buried Elsewhere

 Gleanings Tables of Contents 1967 to Present©

Link to the Stevenson-Ives Library Online Catalog


Library & Archive

The MCGS shares the Stevenson-Ives Library & Archive with the McLean County Museum of History.  The library has over 10,000 volumes and 1,500 linear feet of archival material.  Our vertical files contain several hundred surname records.  We have an excellent CD collection, including PERSI--the Periodical Source Index (see below).  This is a non-circulating research facility.  While materials in the archive must be obtained for patrons by trained staff, there is an open-stacks policy in the library.

The Stevenson-Ives Library & Archive is located on the second floor of the McLean County Museum of History on the Courthouse Square in downtown Bloomington, IL. Downtown Bloomington map



Library Hours

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday thru Saturday


Genealogy Research Computers/Printer

Computers are available for online research, and printing. Patrons may order LDS microfilm for use in our library. See available CDs below.




Donations of books and documentary materials
pertaining to McLean County history and people are welcome.  Please contact MCGS ACQUISITIONS Acquisitions Director.


Library Desk Volunteer Charles Lamlein

Volunteers undergo extensive orientation.  They welcome questions from patrons on library holdings and genealogical/historical research.  Interested in volunteering?  Contact the McLean County Museum of History




Our Research Volunteers Are Happy To Assist You!

After an initial email or mail inquiry, all requests for research must be made by regular U.S. mail and accompanied by an initial minimum fee of $10.00 for the first two surnames, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.  Additional surname requests are $5.00 each.  Any additional charges, which may include 25 cents per photocopied page, will be billed.  Please send your request and fee to MCGS, Attn: Corresponding Secretary, P.O. Box 488, Normal, IL 61761-0488.  If you have email, please include it with your request in case someone from the Society needs to get in touch with you with a brief question.



Partial view of Stacks

Journals & Newsletters
Census Index shelves







Platbooks & Genealogy Records card catalog

Patrons may search using our extensive card catalogs which include newspaper indexes, vital records indexes, cemetery indexes, archives index, and books.






Library Location History

The following paragraphs were written by Elizabeth Masters, 1975 MCGS President, probably for a report to the Long Range Committee, Chaired by Paul Benjamin, about a proposed combination of the Genealogical Society's Books with those of the McLean County Historical Society after the move to the Old Courthouse.  (Edited for typographical errors.)

As a long time member of the McLean County Genealogical Society, I should like to express how I feel about the upcoming combining of our library holdings with those of the McLean County Historical Society, and the move into the second floor quarters planned for a much larger and more suitable library facility than either of our Societies has in our present quarters. Having been involved with the Genealogical Society's Library from its inception in 1966, I have seen its holdings grow from about two shelves of books in the old Withers Public Library in Bloomington to our present room, bursting at the seams on the premises of the McLean County Historical Society. Believe me, this phenomenal growth, both in quantity and quality of resource material, and in the numbers of members and others using them, has not come about without some "growing pains" and a great expenditure of effort and support on the part of our members and friends of which I consider the Historical Society to be at the top of the list.

One of our most persistent and difficult problems has been that of a safe, accessible repository for our books. We had been "evicted" from both Withers Public Library and the Normal Public Library (at the time their new Library building was completed).  This was in the Spring of 1973 and our Librarian then, Miss Alice Ogle, graciously offered to place the books in her home at 116 Eastview Drive, Normal. She provided shelving, some just planks across bricks, in delightful surroundings in which to work, and kept it open to all on Wednesday afternoons, and on other days by special appointment. I was glad to be able to help her on many Wednesdays as she was not in very good health then.

In late 1974 we were approached by Wayne Rogers, President of the McLean County Historical Society, with an invitation to share, without charge, quarters which they had rented at 1340 E. Empire, formerly a shoe store, with lots of shelving already in place. Here, for the first time since the fire, some of their books were also made available, so we had access to many of the books of both Societies at that time. By recruiting of volunteers from our Society we were able to have the facility open on a 7-day schedule. At this time it also became possible to check out some of our books to our members. This was the beginning of our Library Volunteers and the need was as great then as it still is and as it certainly will be when we occupy the combined Library in the Courthouse.

In the Summer of 1976 the Historical Society rented temporary facilities at 112 E. Front Street to bring together all their holdings and an office until their 3rd floor quarters in the McBarnes Building were completely restored. Again we were invited to share, without charge their temporary quarters in the former Smith-Alsop Paint Store, with plenty of shelving in place. This was a more central location for our Library, and we were able to continue to keep it open on a seven-day schedule with the help of our loyal volunteers.

Then, in 1977, we were assigned to our present room on the 3rd-floor of the McBarnes Building and for the first time in our history we had a REAL LIBRARY HOME. We purchased new steel shelving, a new mimeograph machine for our Newsletter and Quarterly and with some tables and chairs offered to us by the Historical Society we were finally in business. Miss Ogle presented us with a good used copier, which we later were able to parlay, at a minimal cost to our Society, into the rental of a fine copier we now have.  She also provided, the steel shelving on the south wall of our room to which we now shelve the many quarterlies we receive. Eventually we started paying a minimal rent to the McLean County Historical Society, but it is a very small payment for the services we have received and are still receiving from them.

As to the question of intershelving of our books with those of the Historical Society, we should be the beneficiaries of such a move because they have much material of interest to Genealogists which will be more accessible for ups by our members end others than it is now -- mainly because most of our members are not aware of its existence in their library and hesitate to search-it out.
                                                                           Signed, Elizabeth Masters

Back to Top

MCGS Home   About MCGS  Join Us!
Resources   Events   Projects


Design and Content ©The McLean County Genealogical Society 2005 to the present.  All rights reserved.
Contact Webmaster: