Get answers to frequently asked questions on this page.
We occupy the entire former c.1903 courthouse in the heart of Downtown Bloomington. Our address is 200 N Main St, Bloomington Illinois, 61701, but our entrance is on Washington Street.
Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
Tuesday (Free day!): 9 a.m. — 8 p.m.
Please check our Plan Your Visit page for the most up-to-date COVID-19 policies.
Street parking around the Museum is free but limited to 90 minutes, and this is strictly enforced by the city. If traveling by car, we suggest parking in the Lincoln Parking Deck located on the corner of Front Street and Main Street, one block south of the Museum. Parking is $1 per hour during the day M-F, and free after 6pm and on weekends. Parking is also available in a garage three blocks north of the Museum on the corner of Center Street and Market Street. Parking there is free for the first four hours.
We are a private not-for-profit organization. While we do receive some special funding from various city, state, and federal entities, the vast majority of our funding comes from private donors (thank you, members!) and grants.
See the exhibits page for more information. Our Visitors Center on the ground level features an exhibit about Abraham Lincoln and Route 66. On the first floor we have 4 permanent galleries: Making a Home, Farming in the Great Corn Belt, Abraham Lincoln in McLean County, Working for a Living, and A Community in Conflict. Throughout the building there are informational panels about the building history and architecture, and display cases that change regularly. The third floor includes a hands-on Pioneer Discovery Room and rotating exhibits.
As is the case with most museums, the amount of time will depend on the visitor. Most visitors spend between 1.5 and 2 hours.
Yes, the Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center is on the ground floor of the Museum. In it there is an exhibit on Route 66 and it is staffed by Museum employees and volunteers. It also serves as the reception desk for the Museum and features a gift shop and tourism information about McLean County and Route 66 sites. Visit the Visitors Center website for more info!
The building, opened in 1903, is the fourth courthouse to exist on this square. It was built after a downtown Bloomington fire in 1900 destroyed the third courthouse. It was an operating courthouse until 1976, when the Law and Justice Center was built on Front Street. The Museum moved into the building in 1991. Read more about our history.
Yes. The courtroom, located on the second floor, and the classroom, located on the third floor, can be rented out for events. Please contact Jeff Woodard by email or phone at (309) 827-0428, or visit our private rentals page for more information.
Yes, for a fee. Please contact Jeff Woodard by email or phone at (309) 827-0428 for more information.
We have various membership levels for all income types. See our membership page for more information!
Yes! As a MCHS member you get free or reduced admission, gift shop discounts, and more at hundreds of historic sites and museums (including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, and Peoria Riverfront Museum) through the Time Travelers reciprocal membership network. See the full list here.
The library has the same hours as the Museum. You must pay admission to the Museum to access the library. The Museum is free Tuesdays.
Yes, via RSA CAT.
Yes, from 1855 to present.
See our online resources to see what we have available through our website. See the library page for more on our library holdings. See the archives page for more on our archival collections.
Absolutely! Please call the curator, Susan Hartzold, at (309) 827-0428 to make an appointment before you bring an object for donation, and be prepared to answer lots of questions about the object’s owner and its history. Our collections are fantastic because of the generous donations people make!
The Museum collects objects, photographs, ledgers, books, and more relating to the history of McLean County. If it was made or used by someone who lived in McLean County it could go into the collection. See the objects page or archives page for more information.
No, we do not. But we'd be happy to find you an appraiser. Contact Susan Hartzold for more information.
Free! Donations are gladly accepted. For a list of the guided educational programs offered, please click here.
At least two (2) weeks. Contact the Education Department to schedule a program.
There's a big variety! Some people volunteer regularly at reception/gift shop desk and the library reference desk. Some volunteers lend their expertise by helping with education outreach, archiving, or another special project. There are also volunteers with limited time who join us just for annual events such as Evergreen Cemetery Walk or Christmas at the Courthouse. If you're interested, email our Director of Volunteers and Interns.
The Museum’s internships (whether for credit or not for credit) require 150 hours over the course of a semester.