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Explore Illinois history with new app

A new app from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency offers information and photos that will help visitors get the most from their trips to state historic sites.

The ‘Experience History’ app also allows history fans to support Illinois’ historic sites with digital donations, an option that has been added to the agency’s website, too.

“Our sites bring Illinois history to life, and we want people to enjoy them as much as possible. This is a great example of using innovation to celebrate Illinois’ rich history in a contemporary format,” said Heidi Brown-McCreery, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

“In a time when people are less likely to carry cash, it gives them a convenient way to show their support and appreciation for a site by making a donation,” Brown-McCreery added.

The app can be downloaded by visiting the Apple Store or by searching ‘historic sites of Illinois’ within iTunes.

The Android version can be found at Google Play by searching for ‘IHPA.’

It features a list of all historic sites, a link to the agency events calendar, multiple photos of each site and background information on each one. Even more features will be added in later versions.

The app was developed in conjunction with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology.

“We are pleased to be part of improving technology for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, so they can enhance their interactions with the public,” said Hardik Bhatt, Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) secretary designate and state CIO. “As a component of the Going Mobile in Illinois initiative, the new mobile app brings ease of navigation to find, visit, track and enjoy the historic treasures across Illinois.”

IHPA’s new application features mobile payment integration, which will be used increasingly for state sites. This capability allows payments to be made from mobile devices to improve the ease and security of such transactions.

The option to donate digitally, both on the app and on the IHPA website, was added with the assistance of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office and its ePay platform.