Details regarding the Museum’s exhibits and collections are published below.

Changing Exhibits
Permanent Exhibits
Special Loans
Collection Database
Photo Archive

Changing Exhibits

Death in DuPage

October 14, 2017 – June 24, 2018

Dig into historic death culture of DuPage County. Explore codes of dress, mourning traditions, and the way death and dying were understood by the people of the past. From the settlement period, through the Civil War, and into the last years of the Victorian Era, this exhibition invites visitors to take a look at the material culture left behind.

1917: Catalyst for the Modern Era

September 17, 2017 – July 30, 2018

One period in American History stands out as a beacon of change in the county. Changes in technology, medicine, and the aftermaths of the Great War divisively changed American culture and lead to new beliefs on alcohol, women’s rights, and the role of the nation.

Fun Unplugged: Outdoor Adventures

July 15, 2017-February 26, 2018

Nothing says more about childhood than the great outdoors. With creativity sparked by the endless possibility of the open air, specific accessories, toys and games helped to create memories in the backyard and school playground. Those magical moments and lasting impressions of outdoor fun are recreated in this imaginative exhibit.

Sponsored by:

First Trust logo

Dunton Hall Art Gallery Exhibit

March 3-December 31, 2017

The story of a building offers a unique symbol for a town. Throughout DuPage, many heritage sites provide shining examples of public buildings or private residences. View samples of DuPage’s building legacy during this fantastic exhibit.

Permanent Exhibits

permanent exhibit for enduring values in a changing landscape

Enduring Values in a Changing Landscape

Journey through 150 years of history, from the settlement of DuPage County through the celebration of the 1989 sesquicentennial year. From major events to the smallest details of daily life, learn about the richness of life in DuPage County. Watch the mini documentary, “The Changing Face of DuPage,” and listen to a soldier’s fascinating Civil War experiences.

All Aboard and HO Gauge Model Railroad

All Aboard & HO Gauge Model Railroad

All Aboard features artifacts and historical information on railroads in DuPage County. Located in the same space is the HO Gauge Model Railroad compliments of the DuPage Society of Model Engineers. The detailed layout covers over 2,000 feet of track and highlights some of DuPage County’s railroads and landmarks in a landscape blending fact and fantasy. The model railroad is always on display and has a pushbutton activated train loop for visitors to enjoy when the Society is not operating the layout.

The DuPage Society of Model Engineers is a separate non-profit group that has built and maintained the HO gauge Model Train since 1965.

Trains run from 1:30-3:30pm on the third and fifth Saturday of each month.

2018 Train Saturday Dates

The DuPage Society of Engineers meets every Wednesday from 8-10pm for operation and maintenance; also on the third and fifth Saturdays of the month from 1:30-3:30pm to operate for the public. Members must be at least 16 years old.

Those with a passion for model trains who are interested in helping to maintain and operate the railroad exhibit should contact:

Inside History exhibit space

Inside History

This space has gone through some great changes in the past years. For young visitors, we’ve added a play kitchen station, historic costumes, and a wooden railroad.

The DuPage County Historical Museum aims to keep these interactive activities coming, and we can do so with your help! An architecture and correspondence station are in the works, as well as expansions to the already existing activities.

Local groups and organizations are invited to sponsor a station. Interested parties may leave their contact information at the front desk to learn more.

Special Loans

36th Illinois Infantry Regiment Flag on special loan

36th Illinois Infantry Regiment National Colors

Infantry Regiment of the Civil War, also known as the Fox Valley Regiment was organized in Aurora in September of 1861. According to the Adjutant General’s Report, the Regiment included 965 officers and enlisted men, forty-seven being from DuPage County. Officers from Cook, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lawrence, McHenry and Warren Counties completed the regiment.

The 36th Illinois fought in many battles including Pea Ridge, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Adairsville, Dallas, Kenesaw, Atlanta, Franklin and Nashville.

Made of painted silk, this flag was brought back to Springfield after the war. Recently professionally conserved with intensive cleaning and precise repair of the fabric, the restoration of the flag has ensured that it will be an educational tool for generations to come. The restoration was made possible by generous efforts of the Illinois State Military Museum, The Illinois National Guard, the DuPage County Historical Museum, Illinois Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Camps 1 and 2, The Civil War Roundtable of Chicago, The Salt Creek Civil War Roundtable, the McCormick Foundation and many individuals. The National Colors will remain at the DuPage County Historical Museum through July 2018, on loan from the Illinois State Military Museum.

8th Illinois Cavalry Guidon flag on special loan

8th Illinois Cavalry Guidon

The guidon flag was carried by the soldiers of the 8th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War. Beginning in early 1862, the 8th Illinois was stationed in Washington D.C. and attached to the Army of the Potomac, fighting in their first battle at Williamsburg. The unit also fought in a number of engagements including Mechanicsville (Seven Days Battle), Hanover Court House, Seven Pines, Brandy Station, Middleburg, Upperville, and Gettysburg.

The 8th Illinois aided in the hunt for John Wilkes Booth, President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, and served as Lincoln’s honor guard while he lay under the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.

Restoration of the flag began last August at the Peebles Island Resource Center in New York. A total of $20,000 was raised to fund the work through the combined efforts of the DuPage County Historical Museum, the Illinois State Military Museum, the Illinois National Guard and Militia Historical Society and the 8th Illinois Cavalry Reenactors.

The Guidon will remain at the DuPage County Historical Museum through February, 2018, on loan from the Illinois State Military Museum.

Watch a video of the 8th Illinois Cavalry Guidon Dedication held on July 1, 2012.

Collection Database

Online Collection Database

The museum collection is catalogued and shared through an online collection database.

Collection Database

Photo Archive

The Museum holds more than 10,000 images in its photography archive.

The collection includes everything from local residents, businesses, schools, events and more. Only a portion of the images in the collections of the Museum archives have been digitized. If you have additional information regarding the photograph from our archive, please contact us. We hope you enjoy a glimpse into local history!

Note: Reproductions of photographs in the archive are available; pricing is based on size, quantity, and usage. Photos may not be reproduced without permission. Inquiries may be submitted regarding images which are not made available online. For more information, please contact us.

Permission to publish all Museum imagery must be obtained prior to reproducing our material in any form. Please consult our Authorization for Use of Reproductions of Materials from Museum’s Collection form for more details.