Browsing through our thematic collections are a great way to explore Des Plaines Memory. New collections are being added all the time.
Life During COVID-19
A community sourced collection reflecting the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on the daily lives of people during the years 2020-2021. Contributors may visit our Share Your Story page to learn more and upload submissions.
On the Streets of Des Plaines, 1915
Remarkably candid glass positive photographs taken in downtown Des Plaines, Illinois, circa 1915. The collection includes activity at the Des Plaines commuter train station, pedestrians and shops on Miner Street and Ellinwood Street, and more.
Sports & Recreation
The Sports & Recreation collection gives an overview of the parks and programs through the years in the the city of Des Plaines. It offers the chance to look at the early days of our neighborhood play places, many of which are still in use today, and to see how these spaces have changed over time.
Life During Wartime
The materials gathered in the Life During Wartime collection speak to the effects of war on the citizens of Des Plaines, Illinois: those who served in the military and those who remained on the home front.
We Mean Business
Whether they be family farms or greenhouses, Mom and Pop stores, sole proprietorships or light manufacturing companies, small businesses have always played an important part of life in Des Plaines. The We Mean Business collection demonstrates this sector of Des Plaines’s identity.
My Des Plaines Memory
This collection is a diverse assortment of materials contributed by the public, reflecting the daily lives and milestone moments of Des Plainesites past and present. Contributors may visit our Share Your Story page to learn more and upload submissions.
Greeting from Des Plaines
This popular collection consists solely of postcards, both vintage and modern, depicting scenes of Des Plaines and Chicago, Illinois.
Maine Township Schools
This collection includes private and public schools that have educated the children of Des Plaines.
Des Plaines Memory is an online archive of historical and cultural materials that illustrate the continuing story of Des Plaines, Illinois, the "City of Destiny." Our collections are curated by the Des Plaines History Center, the Des Plaines Public Library, community partners and individual users. The site, collections, and individual items are managed and maintained by the Des Plaines Public Library. Learn more about the project on our About page.