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Division Overview

Our Mission

The mission of the Illinois Historic Preservation Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is to collect, preserve, interpret and communicate the diverse heritage of Illinois to educate the public by providing access to historic resources in the state.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Division protects and promotes the pieces of history that, together, tell the story of Illinois.

The division operates 56 historic sites and monuments – from the remains of a vast Native American city to a groundbreaking home designed by an architectural genius to a factory that helped change the course of labor relations in America. Twenty-six staffed sites offer unique programs, events, and tours.

For general questions about the agency, please contact us at Inquiries from news organizations should go to

The agency’s mailing address is:

Illinois Historic Preservation Division,
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
1 Old State Capitol Plaza
Springfield, IL 62701-1507

The division also oversees nominations for the National Register of Historic Places, assists communities trying to protect their historic resources, administers tax incentives, and more. Find out more about these services in our “Preserve History” section. Under state and federal law, protecting historic, architectural and archaeological sites as part of the public planning process is one of the agency's primary responsibilities.

We offer tools for researching history and maintain the state’s immense collection of historical books, newspapers and artifacts.

The division employs approximately 170 people around the state. They and our hardworking volunteers arrange hundreds of free public events, help schoolchildren appreciate the past, discover new documents and assist in identifying historic buildings. We also review construction projects for the potential impact on historic resources and investigate when human remains are found, if they’re more than a century old.

The division spends about $27 million a year, or just $2.14 for every person in Illinois. Analysts calculate that tourism at state historic sites contributes $193 million a year to the Illinois economy.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Division is overseen by a board of seven trustees appointed by the governor.