Wednesday, March 12, 2008

American Bottom

The RiverWeb:American Bottom Landing Site contains a large digital archive of artifacts related to the American Bottom region, defined as the area south of the confluence of the Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois rivers. This includes portions of St. Clair, Randolph, Madison, and Monroe Counties in Illinois. Most of the information on the site appears to be centered on the Cahokia Mounds, and East St. Louis.

I discovered the site looking for East St. Louis City Directories. They have several completely scanned, downloadable as PDFs, but also searchable online, with the usual OCR limitations. 1893, 1900, 1905-1908, 1912. The 1908, and perhaps some of the other directories, are bi-directional, in that they also organize the directory by street address, letting you learn who the neighbors were, or what store a family lived above.

The best way to search is to search the entire site, since there are other historical documents such as Bits and Pieces of East St. Louis History 1890-Present (c.2004) and the East St. Louis Blue Book for 1936.

I downloaded all the City Directories from 1905 on since several of my Cruvant kin are in those directories.

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