The Illinois State Fairgrounds has been the site of horse racing and horse shows since it was located in 1894 north of Sangamon Avenue and west of Peoria Road. The Illinois State Fair was a part of the Grand Circuit for harness racing. Horse shows were also a part of state fairs, although the fairgrounds hosted other horse shows throughout the year.
The collection consists mainly of programs and catalogs from events attended by the by the donor and his family. The majority of the items are harness racing and horse show programs, along with several catalogs from horse sales. All events took place between 1936 and 1973 on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. One interesting aspect of the programs and catalogs is the advertisements. They include local restaurants, local and area businesses in which fairgoers might be interested, as well as, a number of election candidate ads.