One of the most important resources for performing Fairbury history research is the Blade newspaper.
For many years, copies of the Blade were sent to institutions like the University of Illinois where they were scanned and put on reels of microfilm. These reels of microfilm were stored at the Dominy Library and patrons could view the microfilm on a viewer.
The Blade also collected each years newspapers and had them bound into heavy books, typically one calendar year per book.
About 2017, the Dominy Memorial Library had the rolls of microfilm scanned and put on their web site. Anyone can go to the library web site and word search the old Blades for free.
Also in November of 2017, the Blade closed their Fairbury office and took the last 20 years of the bound Blade books to their Pontiac Daily Leader office. The Blade donated the old bound books from about 1880 to 1999 to the Fairbury Echoes Museum.
In March of 2023, the Blade ceased operations. Blade staff donated the last 20 years of printed newspaper books and they were moved from Pontiac to our museum archives.
The quality of the photographs on the online Blade archives through the library are very poor. A much better photo can be achieved by finding it in the old bound Blade book and taking a digital photo. The bound Blade books are not available to the general public, but if you contact the museum, we will try to make a digital photo of the old picture if possible.