Featured Collections and Acquisitions - Collections

Featured Acquisitions

  • 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:

University Archives

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:

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: