SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – A former Illinois governor says the state doesn’t document its history well, but he’s helping change that.

Jim Edgar, along with those who worked both for and against him, have contributed more than 230 hours of interviews for the Illinois Statecraft Oral History Program, available online through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Edgar says he provides a lot of insight into some of his decisions, insight which wasn’t previously available.

“What I think is most important is some lessons, and I try to be professorial once in a while, and give some thoughts on why I did what I did, or the principles I was trying to follow,” Edgar explains.

He says his recently published book addresses some of these issues, but it’s one- sided, and doesn’t include opinions of those who disagreed with him – as the oral history project does.

Website visitors will hear from such names as Mike Lawrence, Kirk Dillard, Dawn Clark Netsch and others active in state government during Edgar’s administration.

Edgar says he doesn’t want the state to lose any more time when it comes to documenting its past. “State government has not kept up doing oral history for many, many years,” he says. “That, I think, is unfortunate. I think we’ve missed a lot of people that aren’t with us any longer.”

The Illinois Statecraft Oral History Project is available at www.alplm.org/oral_history/statecraft/index.html.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network


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