Resources & Helpful Links

Research and Helpful Links

How old is my home?
Who built it?
Are there any historic photographs of my property?

These are questions the Rock Island Preservation Commission gets all the time not only about homes, but also about commercial structures.

The place to start is to determine if either the Rock Island Preservation Commission or the Rock Island Preservation Society has already researched your building. The City of Rock Island maintains an online database of several hundred historic buildings in Rock Island.

Starting From Scratch

If you have to start from scratch, then The Roots of Your House is the pamphlet for you. This 14-page guide to historic resources in Rock Island County contains information on:
  • city directories
  • historic street names
  • title abstracts
  • deed research
  • pictorial research
  • Sanborn maps
  • newspapers
  • historical albums
  • Internet resources
  • Preservation Commission publications
  • helpful books on local library shelves
  • particular strengths about local libraries

HAARGIS (Historic Architectural and Archaeology Resources Geographic Information System)

Another method to find out if there has already been some research done on your building is to log into the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s HAARGIS (Historic Architectural and Archaeology Resources Geographic Information System). The site consists of a GIS-created map that allows its viewer to search a property by address, common name, or geographic location. Rock Island has approximately 1,000 entries on this database. You might find architectural details, historical information or photographs for your building.