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Special Collections: Researching Local History

This guide is for anyone interested in researching local history topics using Augustana College Special Collections resources.

Locating Books on Local History

Image of books in the Mississippi Valley collection.

Special Collections has approximately 20,000 books, grouped into several collections based on content.  One of our major collecting areas is local and regional history, and most of those books are located in our Mississippi Valley collection.  Our book collections include city directories for Rock Island, Moline, and Davenport dating back to the 1860’s, monographs on local history topics at the city, county, and regional levels, fiction and non-fiction written by local authors and/or published by local presses, and extensive holdings on indigenous history.

Most, but not all, of our books are cataloged and can be located by searching in the Tredway Library's catalog, ALiCat.  Use the catalog to search for items by subject, author, title, or keyword.  Click here to launch a search specific to the holdings in Special Collections.  If you'd like to cast a wider net, click here to launch a broader search that includes the entire Tredway Library collection and the holdings of the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center.

Image of books on indigenous historyAmong the highlights of our book collection are many editions of Black Hawk's autobiography, emigrant's guides from the 19th century, travel accounts on and along the Mississippi River from the 18th and 19th centuries, and promotional materials published about Rock Island, Moline, and the surroundings areas at the turn of the 20th century.

Books located in Special Collections do not circulate (which means they cannot be checked out), but they may be requested for use in our reading room.