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Susan Braxton
Prairie Research Institute Librarian
Funk Library
1101 S. Goodwin
Urbana, IL  61801

phone: (217) 333-5856

email Susan

Digital Resource Catalogs and Repositories

This is a collection of digital literature resource catalogs and repositories.  They are arranged by the following topics: Illinois Resources , General  Resources and   Resources in Natural History .

Illinois Resources

Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP) Reports

This link takes you to various fulltext reports of the Critical Trends Assessment Program.  The Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP) monitors the condition of forests, wetlands, and grasslands throughout Illinois. They assess changes in ecological conditions and the data they collect serves as a baseline for comparing regional and site-specific patterns throughout Illinois.

Early Illinois Climate Records: Fort Armstrong (1820-1836)

Fort Armstrong (1816-1836) was located on the present-day Rock Island Arsenal along the Mississippi River in northwest Illinois. During that time, the Army kept daily records of temperature at 7 am, 2 pm, and 9 pm, as well as remarks above the weather. They are claimed to be the oldest official weather records seen for a site in Illinois and date back to July 1820.

Electronic Documents of Illinois

The Electronic Documents of Illinois provides permanent public access to official publications of the State of Illinois which have been deposited in electronic form.

IDEALS Institutional Repository

Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship at the  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), is a service, offered through the  University Library and  CITES under sponsorship of the  Provost's Office, to preserve and  provide persistent and reliable access to the digital research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students on the UIUC campus in order to give these works the greatest possible recognition and distribution. IDEALS aims to complement traditional scholarly publishing.

Illinois Aerial Photographs

Illinois County Surface Water Resources

Reports on the surface waters of the Illinois counties were published by the Illinois Department of Conservation, Division of Fisheries between 1968 and 1975. These reports were intended to summarize the available data on the surface waters (e.g., rivers, lakes, and reservoirs), particularly with respect to their recreational value.

Illinois Harvest

Illinois Harvest is a free public gateway combining search, aggregation, and discovery services. The gateway provides organized and thematic access to digitized and born-digital resources about Illinois, created by Illinois scholars, or included among the digital collections of The University of Illinois Library.

Resources in Natural History

Aquatic Commons

Thematic digital repository covering the natural marine, estuarine / brackish and freshwater environments developed and maintained by the   International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC).


AnimalBase,   University of Göttingen, provides free access for all scientists to old zoological literature, particularly to publications containing original descriptions of zoological taxa. The literature is digitized in image format by the   SUB Göttingen. Between 2003 and 2005, they digitized nearly all taxonomically relevant zoological literature through 1770 (about 400 works).

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions have joined to form the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project. The group is developing a strategy and operational plan to digitize the published literature of biodiversity held in their respective collections.

Biology Browser 

A portal to free biological resources on the web such as biological databases, links to identification keys, and more. A project of Thomson-Reuters, the vendors of the Web of Knowledge databases.


BioNames is a database of taxa, texts, and trees. It includes taxonomic names for animals (and other organisms covered by the ICZN), full text literature from BioStor and BHL, links to digital literature (via CrossRef, CiNii, Gallica, JSTOR, and other archives), taxonomic classifications (GBIF and NCBI, cross-linked using EOL, which also provides the images), and phylogenetic trees from PhyLoTA.


CiteBank is an open access platform to aggregate citations for biodiversity publications and deliver access to biodiversity related articles.  CiteBank aggregates links to content from digital libraries, publishers, and other bibliographic systems in order to provide a single point of access to the world’s biodiversity literature.  CiteBank also stores and provides access to content, such as articles or chapters relevant to biodiversity, contributed by publishers and other copyright holders. CiteBank is a project of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL).


Tropicos® was originally created for internal research but has since been made available to the world’s scientific community. All of the nomenclatural, bibliographic, and specimen data accumulated in Missour Botanical Garden’s electronic databases during the past 25 years are publicly available here. This system has over 1.2 million scientific names and 4.0 million specimen records. The TROPICOS database is the largest single database of non-genetic natural history collections and associated taxonomic literature in the world.


ZooBank is the official registry of Zoological Nomenclature, according to the  International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).  ZooBank provides a means to register new nomenclatural acts, published works, and authors.

General Resources

Biology Browser 

A portal to free biological resources on the web such as biological databases, links to identification keys, and more. A project of Thomson-Reuters, the vendors of the Web of Knowledge databases.


CiNii(Scholarly and Academic Information Navigator, pronounced like "sigh-knee") is a database service which can be searched with academic information of articles, Books & Journals.  It is available free of charge for anyone. In viewing paid content, special rates and other privileges are offered to institutional fixed-price users (registration by institution) or users with an ID (individual registration).

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science.


Gallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and its partners. Online since 1997 and is updated every week thousands of new and now offers access to over 2 million documents.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

HathiTrust's Digital Library

HathiTrust Digital Library is a digital preservation repository and highly functional access platform. It provides long-term preservation and access services for public domain and in copyright content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives. 

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format.  The Internet Archive includes other digital collections such as Biodiversity Heritage Library, and digitized items may be available here in advance of their appearance in other collections.

JSTOR Early Journal Content  

On September 6, 2011, we made journal content in JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.  This “Early Journal Content” includes discourse and scholarship in the arts and humanities, economics and politics, and in mathematics and other sciences.  It includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals. This represents 6% of the content on JSTOR.

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations

An international organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic analogues to the traditional paper-based theses and dissertations.


OAIster is a union catalog of digital resources which provides access to digital resources by "harvesting" descriptive metadata (records) from many resources using  OAI-PMH (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting).

PubMed Central

Free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), developed and managed by NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  Also see, the  NIH Public Access Policy.


ReFinder provides an easy search function, based on a simple interface, which also collates and sorts the results from the search engines for presentation to the user to read and with the option to refine the results presented or submit a new search.  The searched references may be used for different purposes, e.g. conversion in some 600 citation styles and download in widely accepted bibliographic metadata standards.

Virtual Library of Biology Project 

The  University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg, Frankfurt/Main, established the Virtual Library of Biology as an integrated access to scientific information for biologists via the Internet. This meets the demands of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft;  DFG) to provide, nationwide, better access to the special subject collection Biology, Botany, Zoology.