previous arrow
next arrow

Illinois Speakers' Bureau

Photo of Tina Beaird

Tina Beaird

Tina Beaird, owner of Tamarack Genealogy, lectures nationally on topics including genealogical methodology, military research, digitization and archival preservation. A graduate of Dominican University in River Forest, with a Masters degree in Library and Information Science, her specialty is archives and preservation. She has won several digitization grants over the last decade to scan and preserve photos and documents for future generations. She often provides scanning support and guidance to local genealogical and historical societies. Tina recently published the article, Recreating a World War I Veteran’s Service History for the National Genealogical Society’s April-June 2017 issue. She serves on the board directors for the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board, the Northern Illinois Historic League, and the Oswegoland Heritage Association. She has been researching her family’s history, as time permits, for over twenty years.


Speaking topics include:


Military Genealogy

Tina will explain the significance behind using original records for tracing your ancestor's military service. Records from the American Revolution to WWII will be discussed as well as sources for modern records. Learn what types of documents are available within federal, state and local archives.

Reconstructing Your Soldier's WWI Experience

Many federal WWI personnel records were destroyed in a National Archives fire in the 1970s. Tina offers ways to locate copies of peripheral federal military records and provides solutions for recreating some of your soldier's lost military history by using local government documents, newspapers and more.

Researching Military Records at the National Archives

Whether you are researching military records at the National Archives in Washington D.C., the National Records Personnel Center in St. Louis or regional archives like Great Lakes in Chicago, Tina has boots-on-the-ground experience in each location and offers tips and tricks for getting the most out of your visit.

Using State Adjutant General Records in Your Military Research

Adjutant General's Records offer compelling details of everyday military life for millions of American soldiers from the Civil War to World War I. These records were kept by each state by order of the Governor and offer meaningful insight into daily military operations at the company, unit and regimental level. Records include muster rolls, monthly regimental reports, promotions, discharges, reenlistments, casualty reports and more.

PANDEMIC 1918! Combating the Spanish Influenza during the Great War

More than thirty percent of Americans were estimated to have contracted the Spanish Influenza in 1918 and millions of people lost their lives. Explore the timeline of the outbreak and hear tales of how the U.S. Army, Navy and civilian population centers tried desperately to combat the disease. Discover resources for tracing your influenza victims through newspapers, government records, medical journals, hospital registers and more.

Spirit of St, Louis: WWI Records available at the National Personnel Records Center

The National Records Personnel Center in St. Louis has many records pertinent to your WWI soldier's service. OMPFs, Official Military Personnel Files, Monthly regimental rolls, hospital records, military court martial and graves registration service files all offer clues into your veteran's military experience.

Tina will describe the types of information to be found in these records and how you can access them in person.






Photo of William Brooks

William F. Brooks

William Brooks is Professor of Music at the University of York, England, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois. With degrees in musicology and in composition-theory, his research has always focused on the history of American music, both classical and popular. He has been actively engaged in research on the music of World War I since 2005, and his work has been supported by grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council
of England, the Lloyd Lewis (NEH) Fellowship at the Newberry Library, and the Lilly Library (Indiana).

He is currently curating an on-line archive of WWI sheet music, jointly sponsored by the University of Illinois and the Newberry Library; this will make available nearly 2000
digitized copies of sheet music from the period, with enhanced metadata. With Illinois colleagues Christina Bashford and Gayle Magee and performers Laurie Matheson, Justin Vickers, and Geoffrey Duce, he has spoken on the Music of WWI in venues throughout
Illinois, in Louisville, KY, and at the Library of Congress in Washington.

Speaking topics include:

Music of the First World War

Brooks can provide lectures and lecture-recitals involving from one to six people. Alone, he can offer talks from 30 minutes to an hour in length on a variety of topics, each illustrated with period recordings and illustrations. These can be tailored to specific audiences and locations, since the Midwest has a rich and neglected history of music in the early twentieth
century. Representative topics include (but are not limited to): 

“I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier”: Neutrality, the Lusitania, and preparedness
“The Americans Come!”: America enters the war
“Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”: A soldier’s life
“Buy a Bond, Buy a Bond, Buy a Bond”: The home front
“In Flanders Fields”: Victory, death, and memory 

With performer Laurie Matheson he can offer live lecture-recitals, which also include period recordings and can be similarly adjusted to specific requirements. And, together with the five additional colleagues noted above, he can offer the award-winning presentation “Johnnies, Tommies, and Sammies: Music and the World War I Alliance,” chosen as the AMS/Library of Congress annual lecture and given in Washington in May 2017.



Bullen Andrew H

Andrew Bullen

Andrew Bullen has a AB in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and an MS-LIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently the Information Technology Coordinator for the Illinois State Library. He has a great deal of experience with digital humanities projects, and has worked with the Pullman State Historic Site to bring the images and archives of his neighborhood in Chicago, Pullman, to life. He is part of the team that has developed the Illinois Digital Archives, a statewide repository of image collections, and the Electronic Documents of Illinois, a custom data management system for born-digital state documents.


Speaking topics include:


The Pullman Company and Neighborhood in the First World War

The wartime experiences of the Pullman Company and neighborhood accurately describe the reality of life in America. This lecture, first presented at the Pullman National Monument in September, 2016, used images and readings from letters describing the experiences of Pullman residents and employees during 1916-1919. I described Pullman's reaction to the Punitive Raid on Mexico, the Preparedness Movement, the Plattsburg Movement, foreign service of Pullman employees, war time service, products, and the role of the 35th engineers, women at the factory during war time, loss and injury of Pullman soldiers, and finally Pullman soldiers in the Polar Bear Expedition and the first Red Scare.

Music of the First World War

World War One has been called the most musical of all wars. This discussion compares/contrasts the British and American experiences of the important year of 1916 through contemporary sheet music-in the case of the U.S., the Punitive Raid on Mexico, reaction to Edith Cavell's shooting, opposition to America's involvement, and the Preparedness Movement/Plattsburg Movement with Britain's Battle of the Somme, the appearance of the tank, and the British Shell Crisis.

1919: The Worst Year

In the U.S., 1919 began with a deadly flood of molasses in Boston and ended in a nationwide haze of racial violence. This lecture describes the turbulent world after the First World War, including the devastation of the  Influenza Epidemic, revolutions, and famine. 






Insert & upload images/pdf/ppt

Debra Dudek

Debra Dudek lectures nationally and international on genealogical and history topics. Ms. Dudek holds a Masters Degree in Information and Library Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, and is currently the Head of Adult and Teen Services at the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook, IL.


Speaking topics include:


Military Genealogy

Tina will explain the significance behind using original records for tracing your ancestor's military service. Records from the American Revolution to WWII will be discussed as well as sources for modern records. Learn what types of documents are available within federal, state and local archives.

Allied with the Allies

Examine the abundant resources, service files, and information for service men and women who served in Canadian, UK, Australian, and French forces during World War I. The lecture will also examine Red Cross records and resources in the US and abroad.

I Have My Ancestor's WWI Record! Now What?

You've received your ancestor's WWI service file! What do you do next? This presentation will take you through the resources and search strategies available to you online and in archives and how to plot your ancestors' wartime experiences.

The Diary of Wesley Peever – A World War I Genealogical Mystery

What happens when a dusty heirloom doesn't actually belong in the family? Discover how a Great War diary was lost, found, and returned home. This program will provide strategies, tips, and resources for Canadian & American peacetime and wartime records.

Mobile Mercy - How a Chicago Socialite Created Her Own Hospital in World War I France

Born into a wealthy Chicago family, Mary Borden Turner was a socialite, feminist, and published author when WWI broke out in Europe. Turner used her inheritance, intelligence, and organizational skills to fund and administer a mobile amublance unit in France.

Nurses, Yeomen, Hello Girls & More – Amazing Women of the Great War

Forget what you think you know about women's roles during World War 1. This lecture is a fascinating look into the gusty women who participated in the Great War in both support and combat roles, and how their contributions were way ahead of their time.

Twenty Things You Didn’t Know About World War I

What do you really know about the Great War? Are you scratching your head about what actually happened? This lecture breaks facts and events surround World War 1 into an engaging and memoriable program.

Amazing Animals of the Great War

Not all military combatants could stand on two legs and salute! A legion of brave and capable dogs, horses, mules, and even pigeons were enlisted into the armed services during the Great War. Learn more about these brave heroes who brought both aid and comfort to their human counterparts.






Ross A. Kennedy

Ross A. Kennedy is the author of The Will to Believe: Woodrow Wilson, World War I, and America’s Strategy for Peace and Security (Kent State, 2009), which the Scott Bills Prize in Peace History. He also edited A Companion to Woodrow Wilson (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) and has written extensively on American domestic politics and foreign policy during World War I. Kennedy’s current project, entitled The United States and the Origins of World War II, analyzes how the policies of the United States contributed to the structure of Great Power politics from 1918 to 1939. He teaches at Illinois State University, where he is a Professor of History and Chair of the History Department.

Speaking topics include:

Impact of the United States on the First World War

World War I and American Domestic Politics

The Versailles Treaty and Great Power Politics