Map and Geography Library
Illinois Aerial Photograph Imagebase Project
Aerial photographs were the focus of a joint pilot project of the Map and Geography Library and the Digital Imaging and Media Technology Initiative and University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (GIS) at the University of Illinois. The project is called the Aerial Photos Imagebase Project, and its goals are the conservation of a badly deteriorated collection and the provision of innovative electronic access to digital information. The aerial photo collection is an invaluable resource for scholars, citizens, and the business community, because it provides the only remaining footprints of historical land and resource usage in Illinois. Therefore, steps are being taken to digitize and preserve the data that they contain and to make them accessible to a broad audience.
UIUC Aerial Photograph Print Holdings by County
The Map and Geography Library maintains a comprehensive collection of aerial photographs for all Illinois counties. Coverage for other states is not available, but the library can help in locating other sources of aerial photography. The earliest aerial photography in the collection is from the late 1930s and the most recent is from 2005. Photographs flown in 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2005 are at the scale 1:40,000; those flown prior to 1988 tend to be at 1:20,000. All of the photographs are black-and-white except for larger-scale photographs of the Chicago metropolitan area flown in 2005. The library does not own any negatives, only positive prints. Except for statewide photography coverage produced in 1988, 1993,1998 and 2005, all of the aerial photographs are grouped into county sets. Indexes are available for all sets to identify needed photographs, and the library has a small collection of stereoscopes and magnifying glasses to assist in photograph viewing.
Aerial photograph users are responsible for using set indexes to identify the photographs that they need to examine. Map and Geography Library employees are unable to retrieve photography with only a general description of an area of interest so specific photographs must be requested. Library employees will be happy to assist with index usage but the final responsibility for correctly identifying locations and photographs rests with the user.
Requested aerial photographs will be pulled from the collection by a Map and Geography Library employee and will be available for use within 2 days after the time of the request during the regular business week. Indexes are available for use all hours that the Map and Geography Library is open but photograph requests made during evening or weekend hours will not be filled until the next business day. Aerial photographs previously pulled are available for use any time that the Map and Geography Library is open. They are held behind the units circulation desk and may be requested from library employees.
Reproducing Aerial Photography
There are a few options for reproducing aerial photograph.
Aerial Stereogram Print Collection
At this time, the Aerial Stereogram Print Collection is not available through the Map and Geography Library. This collection is in transit and is not be available. (August 2009)
Information for Distant Users
Map and Geography Library staff are unable to consult indexes for distant users. Individuals interested in using aerial photography are encouraged to come to the Map and Geography Library Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 4:30pm. Map and Geography Library staff will attempt to expedite pulling requested photographs for visitors from out of town if the requests are received prior to 10:00am. Please call or e-mail well in advance of your visit (4-5 working days) to verify that the library will be open and adequately staffed to expedite your request.