SPRINGFIELD - Secretary of State and State Archivist Jesse White is proud to announce the online exhibit “100 Most Valuable Documents,” is now accessible on the Secretary of State’s website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com. This exhibit is in recognition of state’s bicentennial.

Through the Illinois State Archives, White’s office selected documents they believe reflect the most impactful moments in Illinois’ profound bicentennial history. These valuable documents are housed at the Margaret Cross Norton Building in Springfield.

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“Although every record housed in the State Archives is important, the documents in the exhibit were chosen to capture Illinois’ historic 200 years of statehood,” said White.

“While considering a document ‘most valuable’ is subjective, we believe that the 100 documents found in this list represent the foundation of an amazing collection of material that we proudly retain at the Illinois State Archives.”

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The online exhibit includes subject matter ranging from a monumental document featuring the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1885 to a humorous document featuring Governor Adlai Stevenson's veto of legislation requiring cats to be on leashes. Proud moments are highlighted, including the passage of the Illinois Suffrage Act, as well as infamous moments, such as the passage of the 1853 Black Laws.

The online exhibit went live yesterday, Aug. 26, which is the date the first Illinois Constitution was signed. The documents are in chronological order with one featured on Twitter each day until the conclusion on Dec. 3, which is the date Illinois became a state.

The Illinois State Archives is the repository of all official Illinois government documents of permanent value. More than 75,000 cubic feet of paper, microfilm, photographs, audio and film recordings are housed in the Margaret Cross Norton Building on the Capitol Complex in Springfield. Paper records date back before 1818 statehood and include governors’ correspondence, public acts, departmental histories, census records, military records, election results and more.

To view the “100 Most Valuable Documents,” visit http://bit.ly/100DocsILArchives.

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