The Northern District of Illinois Court Historical Association is dedicated to recovering, preserving, and promoting the history and artifacts of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and to educating the public on the role and function of the Court.

The Court Historical Association undertakes and sponsors projects and events designed to preserve and enhance the historical, artistic, and architectural character of the District Court’s functions and buildings. By collecting photographs, documents, judicial biographical information, and artifacts the Association seeks to archive the history of the court and its cases.


Martin V. Sinclair, Jr., President
Gretchen Van Dam, Vice President/Archivist
Margot Klein, Secretary/Treasurer


Hon. Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, Chair
Hon. Jeffrey Cole
Hon. Jacqueline P. Cox
Hon. William T. Hart
Hon. James F. Holderman (Ret.)
William J. Kresse
Joel R. Skinner


The Northern District of Illinois Court History Museum is located in Room 2144A of the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, at 219 South Dearborn Street in Chicago, Illinois. 

The museum is free of charge and open to the public. 

Museum Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm 


  Reflections from the Court at the Heart of America — Judicial Oral      History Project   —  An Interview with Judge Marvin E. Aspen      February 27, 2019

  Click here for more information 

200th Anniversary Event

March 3, 2019 will mark the 200th anniversary of the federal court in Illinois. 

We in the Northern District will celebrate our birthday with a series of events, including speakers, a symposium law journal issues, a festive reception on Friday, March 1, 2019, and the release of a documentary video that explores the significant cases, events, and people that have shaped our history. History buffs who would enjoy a sneak preview are welcome to visit the Court History Museum, already open on the 21st floor of the Dirksen Courthouse. We welcome participation and suggestions from members of the public.

The event is free of charge, but registration is required. 

To support the event, you may do so here

For more information, please click here to see the Invitation from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and to register for the event. 

Judicial Oral History Project Event - February 27, 2019