Research Our Collection

Researching in the Collection

The Collections at Midway Village Museum include photographs, postcards, paper materials and objects pertaining to the history of Rockford from the 1830s to the present. These resources are available for researchers by appointment only. Appointments must be made in advance and are scheduled with the Curator of Collections and Exhibits. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

Available for Collections Research:

  • Volumes on Rockford history
  • Rockford city directories
  • Plat maps
  • Files on prominent local residents
  • Documents related to local manufacturers, businesses, churches, and organizations.
  • More than 15,000 photographs and postcards featuring Rockford scenes and people.

Artifacts, books and documents do not circulate. They must be referenced at the museum.

Resource packets on the Rockford Peaches (part of the All American Girls’ Professional Baseball League), the history of the Sock Monkey and the Nelson Knitting Company, the Rockford Furniture Industry, Bessica Raiche and Kate F. O’Connor are available online at our Downloadable Resources page.

How to Research in the Collections

Collections Research is by appointment only. Appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance. To schedule, contact Laura Furman, Curator of Collections at 815-397-9112, ext. 108 or Walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

What to Expect

No food or drink is allowed in the Collections Department.

Coats and backpacks, purses, or large bags, will be placed in an area designated by Staff.

Researchers may bring personal note-taking materials, but only pencil can be used in the Research Area for writing. Laptops and/or tablets may be used.

No personal scanning equipment is allowed.

Researchers may not photograph the collection. If researchers would like images or documents scanned, that task will be completed by Collections Staff within a reasonable time frame and based on the fee schedule listed below.

Midway Village Museum’s Collections Department Staff reserves the right to deny access to any materials in the collection based on their judgment.

Research Fees

There is no charge for in-person access to the Collections.

For those unable to travel to the museum, research can also be completed by Museum staff at the following rates:

30 minutes or less: Free

For questions or projects requiring over 30 minutes, the minimum fee is $15 for the first hour or research and $13 per additional hour.

Reproduction Fees

8 1/2 x 11 or 8 1/2 x 14
Black & white – 25¢ each
Color – 50¢ each

Black & white – 75¢ each
Color – $1 each

Scans/digital image files – $2 per jpg (@600 dpi)
1200 or higher dpi resolution – $4 per jpg

Images put on CD – $5 for each CD

Files put on researcher’s flash drive at no charge beyond scanning fees.

All paperwork and payment of any fees are due before copies and/or files are given to the researcher.

If a researcher prefers to access images online, they can be uploaded to the Museum’s DropBox account. Information on DropBox (a secure sharing and storage site) can be found at Collections Staff will designate the duration of time files accessed via DropBox will be available. Researchers will be notified of file availability and files will be removed when that time lapses. It is the responsibility of the researcher to access their images in a timely fashion.

Collections Staff will work with researchers to ensure receipt of all files. Please note that the size of the project, quantity of items, and the condition and quality of any items determine the speed with which Collections Staff will be able to process requested files.

Any reproduced images require prior submission of a signed Approval for Reproduction form restricting use of images to the project identified therein. Use of images for any additional projects, advertising, or website publication is expressly prohibited without prior consent of Midway Village Museum. This paperwork does not grant exclusive rights to the images. Any images used must carry the following credit: Courtesy of Midway Village Museum, Rockford, IL.” Midway Village Museum reserves the right to deny any request for reproduction of images or other materials.