Local History Resources

Researchers interested in Downers Grove history are welcome at the Downers Grove Museum. The Museum offers a Public Research Library that contains birth and death certificates, cemetery surveys, census records, telephone directories, school yearbooks, genealogies, and newspaper articles. The Downers Grove Museum's photographic collection is also available to view upon request. Resources and access to the Public Research Library is available by appointment only. Please call 630.963.1309 to make an appointment.

For individuals unable to visit the Downers Grove Museum, or those in need of research assistance, you may submit a research request to the Museum Curator at 630.963.1309. A research fee of $17 per hour will be assessed for research inquiries submitted to our Curator for research required over 30 minutes. Please allow up to two weeks for a response to a research request.

Associated Research Fees

Standard Resolution Digital Photo Scans = $5 per photo

High Resolution Digital Photo Scans = $10 per photo

Commercial Use Fee: $25 for all photo requests in addition to standard individual photo fees

Research Requests: $17 per hour for research over 30 minutes*

*Research Disclaimer* -

First 30 minutes of research are performed as a courtesy to researchers by museum staff and volunteers. After 30 minutes, a $34 deposit is required before further research is conducted on topic or research question. Research request fees are non-refundable and applicable regardless of research results. The fee covers the cost of our Curator's time conducting the research and is not based on the outcome of that research.


Museum Collections

The Downers Grove Museum is home to thousands of objects pertaining to Downers Grove history. The Museum contains a large textile collection of clothing, uniforms, and quilts, an archival collection of photos, books, letters and documents, and a three-dimensional object collection containing furniture, memorabilia, dinnerware, toys, and tools.


What does The Museum collect?

It is the mission of the Downers Grove Museum to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret materials that explain and document the history of Downers Grove and its relationship to local, state, regional and national history. All objects accepted into the collections must have a direct connection to Downers Grove, or be able to help tell the story of the community.

How can you donate to The Museum?

If you have something that you think is of interest, contact the Museum by calling 630-963-1309 or by visiting the Museum. The staff will be able to tell you whether or not the object(s) would be considered for it's collection.

What happens to donated objects?

Donated objects accepted by The Museum are given one of three designations: Permanent Collection, Education Collection, or Property. Items are placed in the appropriate category based on a variety of factors, including provenance, intended use, availability, and condition.

Are object donations tax deductible?

YES! Under the terms of the Federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, charitable gifts of appreciated property are fully deductible. Contributions of $250 and over will require a receipt for all donations, including property and cash.

Does The Museum staff appraise objects for donation?

NO. The value of an object donation must be appraised by a qualified person. The staff is prohibited from providing appraisals of the monetary value of materials offered as gifts, brought in for identification, or submitted for any other purpose. Therefore, the donor is responsible for obtaining the services of an appraiser.