In downtown Glenview on Waukegan sits the Farmhouse Museum and Hibbard Library, the two buildings that together make the Glenview History Center. “We have a large collection in a small footprint,” GHC president Susan Johns says. “The farmhouse has furnishings, artwork, toys, and more from the Civil War era in which the house was originally built to WWII, the early years of Glenview.” The Hibbard Library houses photo and document archives, including newspapers, maps, genealogies, neighborhood histories, local business artifacts, and more.
Founded in 1965, the GHC has a goal to preserve, nurture, and promote an awareness and appreciation of the Village of Glenview’s local history. Since its start, the Glenview History Center has been run by a group of dedicated volunteers, collecting historical artifacts and doing their best to keep the history of Glenview organized.
In 2023, the Library, Village, and History Center entered into an agreement to ensure the long-term future of the History Center. As part of the agreement, the Library provides staff to assist with the History Center’s daily operation and management. As GHC president Susan Johns explains, “The Library has the professional knowledge to help us modernize our collections management, making our holdings more accessible and ultimately, even more robust.”
GPL Genealogy and Local History Librarian Kimberly Schlarman has been working as the History Center librarian for about a year. “My focus right now is to organize everything in a way that complies with current professional standards. We purchased software to catalog the collection that will keep us better organized and will allow the public to access and connect with our collections.”
“It was GPL’s Executive Librarian, Peter Bury, who began creating an archive of local history materials,” says Kimberly. “He organized the first few meetings of the Society in 1965. Since the Library played a vital role in its founding, it feels appropriate to me that the Library should continue to work with the GHC to preserve and share our local history,” says Kimberly. “We want to collect stories that reflect the ongoing history of our entire community.”
“Glenview is a special place, shaped and formed by many influences over its years,” adds Susan. “GHC shares that history with people but also wants members of the community to share their Glenview stories with us.”
Glenview history continues to grow, and the partnership between the Library, History Center, and Village ensures that the stories of Glenview will continue for many years to come. Stay updated with the Glenview History Center at www.glenviewhistory.org, opens a new window.