The Illinois Addiction Studies Archive is committed to providing an exceptional resource to addiction professionals, students of addiction sciences, and all others interested in the field of addiction treatment and recovery.

A Brief History

Throughout the 1990s, key Chestnut leaders became increasingly aware that the field of addiction treatment was undergoing threats to its basic character and very existence. These threats ranged from aggressive managed care that was altering access to treatment to a broader demedicalization of addiction problems. Concerned about these changes, they explored how the best within the history of the field might be captured for future generations. A textbook and an archive were envisioned that could collectively tell the story of addiction in America and the profession that was birthed to respond to it. Work on the book proceeded through the 1990s and culminated in the publication of William White's Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America in 1998.

Parallel efforts were sustained to launch the Illinois Addiction Studies Archive. With support from the Chestnut's  Board of Directors and a seed grant from the Illinois Department of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, (now known as Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery) key acquisitions were made and organized for use by addiction researchers and as educational tools for professionals working within the field. William White contributed his own collection of books, monographs and artifacts, which made up a large portion of the original collection. The Illinois Addiction Studies Archive officially opened October 29, 1998.

The collection consists of approximately 1,500 volumes of literary work ranging in publication dates from 1834 to the present. Artifacts include antique medicine bottles, labels, photographs, manuscripts, memorabilia, historic advertising material, and other articles of interest to the addiction professional.

The Archive is available by appointment for viewing. For further information, please contact:

William L. White