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Unaffected by the unfortunate political turmoil convulsing the State, or the turbulence of the campaign pre ceding our usual biennial elections, the State Historical Society and its exponent, the Journal, are pursuing the even tenor of their way with gradually increasing popularity and prosperity. The membership of the Society is steadily enlarging, and the circle of Journal readers correspondingly expanding. The Society's staff of earnest, enthusiastic workers is not so numerous as it should be, or as it will be in course of time, but it numbers some of the brightest and ablest men and women of our State. And the contents of the Journal, tho not invariably profound or strictly academic, will, on the average, compare very favorably, in matter and scholarly diction, with that of the quarterly publications of other state historical societies of our country.
In a journal of this character-a medium of communication between the State Historical Society and the public—it is deemed better that formalities, technical terms, and superflous veribage be avoided as far as practicable, and facts be stated in plain popular language. As the years pass its historical contributions necessarily deal with the more superficial (or recent) and reminiscent but none the less interesting and valuable history. Current events, which soon fall in the class of history, are readily forgotten, and, in many instances, all account of them would be lost with the death of contemporaneous citizens who still retain some memory of them. Memories of that kind, reinforced by such records as may have been made at the time, are particularly desired for permanent preservation in the pages of this Journal. In every county there are matters of local history of this kind that should be printed before they fade from all human memory. Many incidents and events annually transpiring are not published in full, sometimes for prudential reasons, by local newspapers; and when they are, the files of those papers are not always immune from destruction by fire, or loss otherwise, and thus it happens that the memory becomes the only depository of such history.
By the continued effort of the State Historical Society -and its Journal—the people of Illinois are realizing the importance of our work, and some of them are rendering us valuable assistance—as the pages of the Journal attest.
Grateful for that assistance, we desire very much that recruits be added to those willing helpers. The field is wide, the harvest is abundant, and there is room for many more zealous gleaners.
* THE PUBLICATIONS OF THE ILLINOIS STATE
If activity in publication is a sign of life in an institution devoted to historical research, the State of Illinois is to be congratulated on its Historical Library. Since the appointment of the Historical Manuscripts Advisory Commission in 1905, there have been published four volumes of the series called Illinois Historical Collections, which series was begun in 1903 under the editorship of the late H. W. Beckwith, in the publication of the first volume of the Collections, all of which have received favorable reviews in the magazines and newspapers of the
*For list of the publications of the Society and Library see printed list on last pages of this Journal.
country. The policy of the Board of Trustees has been to appoint upon the advice of the Advisory Commission an editor or editors for each volume. When the manuscript is prepared, it is submitted to the Advisory Commission and Special Editor of Publications for approval. In this way scientific accuracy is secured and a high standard of editing maintained.
The process of editing naturally takes considerabie time, but the present fiscal year will see the work of the past few years bear fruit in the form of several important publications. It will be worth while, therefore, to make an announcement of the coming publications so that readers of the Journal may enjoy those pleasures of anticipation as such a prospect may bring.
During this summer two volumes are in the press and will be ready for distribution in the fall. Volume VI of the collections is entitled “Bibliographical Series, Vol. ume I, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 19141879.” The editor of this is Franklin W. Scott of the Department of English in the University of Illinois. Nr. Scott has been collecting material for this volume for several years by means of hundreds of letters written to editors and others, and by personal examinations of files of newspapers in the libraries of the United States. In its five hundred odd pages will be found the most complete list of such publications ever published for any see tion of the country. Care has been also taken to indicate where files of newspapers and periodicals may be found, if any such exist. The whole is introduced by a sketch of newspapers in Illinois which will be regarded as the best account of this important phase of Illinois history that has been so far written.
The second volume now in the press is the second of the “Executive Series” and contains the “Governors' Letter-Books,” which are preserved in the Secretary of State's office. These include the letters of the Governors during the years 1840-1853. The editors are Evarts B. Greene and Charles M. Thompson of the State University. The volume will contain about six hundred pages with full notes on important subjects and the persons