- Audubon Folio – The library owns a copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America folio, as well as a facsimile which is displayed near the Literature and Languages Library.
- 14-Millionth Volume – The library has over 14 million volumes in its collection. In 2017, the 14-millionth volume, The University of Illinois: Engine of Innovation, was added.
- Faculty Book Plates – Faculty who are newly tenured and/or promoted are able to select a book for our Library collections. These selections are book-plated in their honor, and stand as a reminder now and into the future of the remarkable accomplishments of the faculty at this university.
Special Collection Libraries
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
The Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML) one of the largest repositories for rare books and manuscripts in the United States. It holdings in literature, history, art, theology, philosophy, technology, and the natural sciences are particularly strong. RBML contains many special collections, among them:
- Carl Sandburg Collections
- Ernest Ingold Shakespeare Collection
- Kolb-Proust Archive for Research – Research notes and documentation of Philip Kolb, professor of French at the University of Illinois and editor of the correspondence of Marcel Proust.
- Sir Winston Churchill Collection – The Churchill collection was assembled by London bookseller Harold Mortlake, and consists of editions of virtually everything Churchill wrote from 1898 till his death in 1965.
The University of Illinois Archives includes over 26,000 cubic feet of records, publications, and personal papers–as well as lots of digital files–documenting the history of the University. Special collections include:
- Student Life and Culture
- Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
- American Library Association Archives
Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
The Illinois History and Lincoln Collections (IHLC) holds books, manuscripts, and other sources documenting the history of Illinois and the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.
The Map Library is the University Library’s primary location for cartographic materials including maps, atlases, and Illinois aerial photography flown between 1939 and 2005. It includes more than 625,000 maps and photographs.
Other Special or Notable Collections
Many of our Library locations hold distinctive, unique, or otherwise notable materials:
- Agricultural Communications Documentation Center – A collection of diverse, relevant literature about agriculture-related communications that encompasses farming and agri-industry, land-use, food, nutrition, environmental issues, rural development and agriculture in relation to society that have a communication component. Materials are from the 1800s to present and highlight over 200 countries.
- Center for Children’s Books – A research center focused on youth resources, literature, and librarianship.
- Illinois Fire Service Institute – Provides fire/emergency library and information assistance and assists the Institute’s instructional staff, students, Illinois fire departments and firefighters, and other fire/emergency-related users.
- International Area Studies Library (IAS) – Has collections on African Studies, Chinese Studies, European Union Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Middle East Studies, South Asian Studies, East Asian Studies, and Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
- D’Arcy Advertising Collection Index – A collection of almost one million original advertisements published between 1890 and 1970.
- Reston Collection – Consists of a variety of items related to political journalist James B. Reston’s career with the Associated Press (1934-1939) and The New York Times (1939-1989). These items include publications, manuscripts, correspondence, speeches, interview transcripts, and photographs.
- Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection – Contains a variety of newspapers and trade journals, including newspapers and trade journals in a variety of fields, such as American agriculture, the entertainment industry, and college news publications.
- The Law Library’s Rare Books Collection – Contains more than 10,000 volumes dating from the sixteenth through the twentieth century in a range of areas from the Anglo-American tradition to renaissance Europe to pre-Communist China.
- Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library Special Collections include:
- Children’s and Young Adult Literature (S-Collection), Curriculum Collection, Mandeville Collection (on the occult sciences), and Test Collection.