The Western Illinois Museum has a collection of over 6,000 artifacts and we’d like to share them with you!  We have a passion for preserving our local history and sharing it with others.  We have a few stories to share about the treasures we care for.

Our roster of presentation includes topics from music to photographs spanning from the Civil War to the Great Depression.  Many include artifacts from the collection, some are interactive.  They are adaptable to different ages and can be tailored to your organization’s interests and needs.

A trained museum volunteer will present a Powerpoint program and can lead a discussion related to the topic. Groups are welcome to visit the museum and schedule a presentation or we’ll come to you! All programs are offered for free.

Presentations available from the Western Illinois Museum Include:

mbickerdykeCivil War and Its Music
The compelling and varied music of the Civil War era is a unique approach to exploring the war that divided our country.  The program includes tunes sung by soldiers on both sides of the conflict, songs to console those at home and the music of slavery.  The program will build a deeper understanding of the everyday life of those who lived during this tumultuous time in our history.

Macomb, Illinois’ Courthouse

 The Historic Courthouse Square
Not all history can be found in a museum! The program explores the development of Macomb as a community.  Although the early structures built on Macomb’s Courthouse Square in the 1830s are no longer in existence, the Square has never ceased to be the stage on which the community’s successes and failures, heartaches and celebrations have been played out.  A PowerPoint with photographs of many buildings on the square will trace their history and become a portal through which we can enter into the past to explore the rich culture of McDonough County.

ironsA selection from the Artifact of the Month Series
The Artifact of the Month is a program that highlights the diverse collection of the Western Illinois Museum. Each artifact tells an engaging story and provides a direct connection to the past. Select from a list of artifacts and we will tailor the program to your group’s interests.  Many of the artifacts can be brought for viewing during the program.

Improvisation: A Dialogue in Jazz
This unique program brings together listening, music appreciation and history!  A DVD of a program offered at the museum in 2011 with Michael Stryker and a group of talented musicians provides the musical component, while the museum volunteer will lead your group in the activities.

1893 street fair south side sq
Macomb, Illinois

Investigating Photography
Photographs have a unique way of recording history and personal memories.  This program looks at how technology made photography popular and highlights a few of the region’s well-know studios.  A number of tin-types and cabinet cards will be on display along with a selection from the museum’s camera collection.

Made in McDonough County
Since its founding in 1830, the region’s residents have found a way to make what they needed and also found innovative ways to make a living.  This program explores both the well-know things made in the area and some of the lesser known and eclectic items produced in McDonough County.

owl eyeRadio and Its Impact
As radio technology advanced and the entertainment field grew, radio played a bigger role in introducing different types of music and information to the general public.  This program uses radios from the museum’s collection to explore technological changes and recordings of old time programs to learn about the golden age of radio.

To schedule a presentation or get more information contact the museum at 309.837.2750 or