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To the members of the Illinois State Historical Society:
For some time the Illinois State Historical Society has been consid-
ering the advisability of beginning the publication of a regular bulletin
or circular which will be a sort of "Journal of Information" for the
use of the members of the society. The long and necessary delay in
the publication of the annual volume of the society's transactions makes
such a publication a necessity. Our secretary has in her annual re-
ports for several years past, urged upon the society the desirability of it.
At a meeting of the directors of the society held during the sessions
of our last annual meeting (1908) a committee was appointed for the
purpose of considering the matter, and with a strong recommendation
to the committee that a circular or bulletin be published if found prac-
ticable. The committee consisted of the president, the secretary, Mr.
Andrew Russell of Jacksonville, and Capt. J. H. Burnham of Bloom-
ington. This little pamphlet is the result of the deliberations of this
Other societies in all parts of the United States are issuing such
periodicals. The Illinois State Historical Society has for some years
issued annually a little leaflet containing the names of the officers and
committees of the society, and the committee feels that the time has
come when it is possible to make this little leaflet serve this and
other purposes. It has seemed best to call the publication the "Journal
of the Illinois State Historical Society." This number will meet at
least two of the present needs of the society. It furnishes as usual, the
names of the officers and committees, it also contains an article written
for the purpose of aiding the local committees in the celebration of
the semi-centennial of the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. It is
expected that this publication will be continued as occasion arises and
as opportunities present themselves. It is hoped that current events
in the historical work of this and other states may be reported and
reviews of historical publications be published. It will perhaps, develop
that reports of the meetings, and items of interest in regard to local
historical societies may be published, and that each number will contain
at least one paper or address of real historic value and interest, and that
a considerable amount of bibliographical work can be done through its
columns. The committee hopes that the Journal may be a regular quar-
terly publication, but that will have to be decided by the necessities
and opportunities of the future. The secretary will be glad to hear
from the members of the society in regard to the publication of the
periodical, and to receive suggestions as to its scope and future.
The committee desires to call attention to the suggestions contained
in the report of our secretary; and lastly to the address to the local
committees on the semi-centennial of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
The publication of this circular or address on this latter subject is one
of the principal reasons for the publication of this Journal. All the
members of the society are urged to assist in these celebrations and
to aid the committees in every possible way.
Jessie Palmer Weber,
j. h. purnham,
Special Committee on the Publication of a Periodical.