University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The items in the Digital Collections of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Library contain materials which represent or depict sensitive topics or were written from perspectives using outdated or biased language. The Library condemns discrimination and hatred on any grounds. As a research library that supports the mission and values of this land grant institution, it is incumbent upon the University Library to preserve, describe, and provide access to materials to accurately document our past, support learning about it, and effect change in the present. In accordance with the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read statement, we do not censor our materials or prevent patrons from accessing them.

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Sara Tanner journal and photographs (Digitized content)

The digitized content of the Sara Jane Tanner Journal and Photographs consists of a 27-page diary kept by Tanner as she traveled through Illinois and Iowa in 1874, as well as photographs of Tanner and her husband, Oscar M. Tanner.

Sara Jane (née Spaulding) Tanner (1832-1924) was born in Granville, New York. She married Oscar M. Tanner in 1851 in Kane County, Illinois, and the couple had six children. The family lived on a 185-acre farm in DeKalb County, Illinois.

The digitized content contains a 27-page diary kept by Sara Jane Tanner during a wagon and train trip from Hinckley, DeKalb County, Illinois, to Nashua, Chickasaw County, Iowa, and back. Tanner traveled with her husband, Oscar M. Tanner and the Brooks family, between August 17 to September 11, 1874. She describes the countryside, the Mississippi River, and other points of interest along the journey. Two photographs of the Turners are also included in the collection.

The Illinois History and Lincoln Collections unit at the University of Illinois Library manages the physical items of the Sara Jane Tanner Journal and photographs, 1874 (MS 308). The collection was completely digitized in 2021-2022. For more information, contact an archivist at