Cantigny First Division Foundation

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Address and Contact Info:

Address:First Division Museum at Cantigny, Colonel Robert R. McCormick Research Center, 1 S. 151 Winfield Rd., Wheaton, IL 60187-6097

Phone:(630) 260-8185

Fax: (630) 260-9298


Web page:

Online Finding Aid:

Archivists (principal contacts for advice on the collection):

Hours and usage restrictions

Collection Summary:

The museum’s collections include 10,000 objects focusing on the military history of the 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. Included are a restored 1917 six-ton tank, military decorations and awards, uniforms and equipment from World War I through Operation Iraqi Freedom, selected military firearms, historic and contemporary military art, the Malott collection of World War I-era posters, flags and guidons, unit insignia, and other military memorabilia donated by veterans of the 1st Infantry Division.

The museum presents the story of the 1st Infantry Division from World War I through Operation Iraqi Freedom in its permanent exhibit hall of 10,000 square feet. Visitors experience the history by walking through highly realistic recreations of the village of Cantigny, France, c. 1918; a World War I trench; an underground headquarters bunker; a World War II barracks at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, c. 1941; a supply tent in the North African desert, c. 1942; a landing craft delivering troops to Omaha Beach in June 1944; a village in northern Europe during the winter fighting in 1944–45; and a jungle in Vietnam in the 1960s. Lighting and sound effects enhance the experience as the story unfolds from 1917. The First Division Museum at Cantigny is one of the most innovative and stimulating museum experiences currently available in the United States or abroad. Temporary exhibits are presented in a traveling exhibits gallery to emphasize important events in American history, or to amplify portions of the story presented in the permanent exhibit hall. The museum hosted 110,000 visitors in 2006.

The research center’s collections include 11,000 books, 40,000 photographs, and 70,000 documents and manuscript items. The collections have two areas of concentration: the military history of the 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army and the archival holdings of the Tribune Company, which include the personal papers of Colonel Robert R. McCormick and the Joseph Medill family. A small group of published works on freedom of the press are included with the McCormick collection. The research center holds microfilm records of the history of the 1st Infantry Division in World War II in addition to the printed records from World War I. Oral history tapes and transcripts of interviews with veterans are part of the collections.

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