Route 66 collecting initiative

The Illinois State Museum (ISM) has announced its Route 66 collecting initiative focused on expanding the museum’s holdings of related historic objects in preparation for an exhibition opening in 2026 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Mother Road.

ISM seeks items that help illuminate Route 66’s history, both in its glory days before the interstate system and objects from those who continue to add to its story today.

Bob Waldmire’s family has donated a significant collection of his art and personal belongings to the ISM to lay the foundation for the collecting initiative.

The objects given to the museum speak to Waldmire’s prolific output as an artist and his free-spirited, nomadic lifestyle. Items include original drawings, paintings, prints, postcards and a manual typewriter he used to compose his newsletters. Additionally, the donation includes the hood of his 1965 Mustang, hand-painted with a map of Route 66.

Those interested in contributing to the ISM Route 66 initiative can learn more about the items the museum is looking to add to its collection at

Source: IDNR