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Reference Books

Find the most up-to-date resources in the Library’s Reference Collection. Check this area for the latest editions of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Physician’s Desk Reference, Encyclopedia Britannica and many other useful reference materials.


Did you know that the first newspaper published in Waukegan was called the Little Fort Porcupine? The Library has copies of local newspapers available on microfilm from the 1840’s to the present.


If you’re feeling nostalgic for your glory days, or you want to see what your parents or even your grandparents looked like when they were in high school, stop by the Adult Reference desk to look at Waukegan High School yearbooks from 1908 to the present.

City Directories

A city directory is the perfect place to start learning about the history of your home. Look a building up by its address to discover the former owners’ names. The older directories are especially interesting! The Library keeps city directories for almost every year from 1874 to the present.

Illinois Collection

Find a wealth of information on local history in the Library’s Illinois Collection. This special collection contains books on different aspects of local history from the homes of the Near North Historic District to the history of the North Shore train line. Local authors like Ed Link have penned lots of interesting works on Waukegan, chronicling its founding as Little Fort to its fight to become the seat of Lake County to its heyday in post-World War II America.

Click here to search the collection

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency - Waukegan Area of Concern

The library is a depository for information related to sites in and around Waukegan which are of concern to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency due to past or present contamination from hazardous materials. Some sites of current interest include the Yeoman Creek Landfill, the Waukegan Harbor, and the Former Griess-Pfleger Tannery.

We look forward to seeing you at the Library soon!

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Let Us Help You!

Do you think you can conduct all the research for your school project or conduct a local history hunt online? Think again! Sometimes, you need to come visit us at the Library in person. To the left, you’ll find a list of some special resources you’ll only find at the Main Library in downtown Waukegan.

Reference book are located on the south wall of the main level.  Other research materials are available upon request at the Reference and Computer Help desk at the Main Library.