Virtual Museum Will Tell “Story of Illinois”

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Story of Illinois

A display comparing modern sweet corn with corncobs found in the Cahokia Mounds is among the agricultural representation in a new virtual exhibition prepared for the Illinois Bicentennial celebration. (Photo courtesy of Illinois State Museum)

In 200 years, a state accumulates many stories to tell. That’s where the “Story of Illinois” comes in. It’s a joint project between the Illinois State Museum and the Illinois Association of Museums.

“Of course, we wanted to celebrate the bicentennial here in Illinois,” said Illinois State Museum Interim Director Robert Sill. “We wanted to do a website that would bring together museums from across the entire state.”

Altogether, that’s about a 13.5 million-object collection that will be called the Illinois Legacy Collection.

Among those artifacts are some agricultural highlights, including a moldboard plow and a display comparing corncobs found in the Cahokia Mounds with modern sweet corn.

The digital “Story of Illinois” can be accessed at story.illinoisstatemuseum.org. The Illinois State Museum in Springfield will also host a special exhibit honoring the state’s bicentennial. The exhibit, “Bicentennial and Beyond: The Illinois Legacy Collection,” will open June 30.

The driving force behind the project is contributions from the local level.

“We’re getting contributions from the Cedarhurst Museum (Mt. Vernon) and historic sites,” Sill said. “We have the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum contributing.”

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