The Schingoethe Research and Reference Library

The Schingoethe Research and Reference Library

The Schingoethe Library contains numerous materials and resources made available to students, scholars and the general public interested in learning more about the topics surrounding Native Americans.  This includes the following:

Please note: these materials and resources are non-circulating.  However, the books and periodicals are available for viewing and note-taking.  A photocopier may be used upon request.

Rare Book Collection

North American Indians by George Catlin

Digitized books from the Schingoethe Center Rare Book Collection

Many of these books have been digitally archived in collaboration with Northern Illinois University.  To view them, please follow this link:

The Schingoethe Center holds in its collections original historical books no longer in print.  Written by white explorers, military personnel, and settlers, these materials describe their impressions of, and encounters with, Native Americans in the nineteenth century.  As the vast majority of American Indians left behind no materials written in the English language, white writers' reports and publications, however expurgated and influenced by prevailing notions of race and culture, form a large part of the available primary resource materials pertaining to this subject and period.

These books are available to students and scholars for perusal and research.  However, because of their delicate nature, they are housed separate from our research library.  To view these books, please contact us ahead of time.  You can call us at 630-844-7843 or e-mail us at

The Montgomery Gift and Archive


Digitalized selections from the Montgomery Archives

The Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures is honored to have been gifted 26 works of art from Lombard resident Evelyn Montgomery.  The Montgomery Gift comprises many prized works from the Great Plains, such as an Eagle Feather Bonnet (c.1930s), vintage Pendleton Blanket (c.1940s), intricately beaded materials and unique folk art pieces.  The gift also includes vital documents of correspondence, reports, surveys, photographs and two scrapbooks produced by Lakota students during the 1930s.  Contained in the scrapbooks are charming reflections and imaginative illustrations based on their school experiences.  This collection of artifacts and documents originated from Evelyn's childhood.  Her father, Roland F. Thompson, was a teacher/administrator for various American Indian boarding schools.  Consequently, in 1929, Evelyn's family moved from Massachusetts to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, where she attended school and spent her childhood years

The archived material from the Montgomery gift features official United States Department of the Interior - Office of Indian Affairs (DOI/OIA) documents.  Included are written correspondence between Roland F. Thompson and the DOI/OIA administration, conveying interaction and activity amongst American Indian students and families from early 1930s through the late 1940s.

The Montgomery gift was made in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Roland and Elsena Thompson.

Schingoethe Library Circulation Policy

  • Books circulate to Aurora University faculty, students, and staff only
  • The library is open when the museum is open
  • Everyone is welcome to use the library
  • We are happy to copy up to 10 pages to assist you in your research
  • An appointment is necessary to access our Rare Book Collection