The collection is maintained by the Prairie Research Institute Library.
The collection supports the research of the Illinois Natural History Survey. The University of Illinois departments that are serviced by the Natural History Survey include: in the School of Life Sciences–Botany, Entomology, Biology, Ecology, Ethnology, and Evolution; in the College of Agriculture–Agriculture, Agronomy, Plant Pathology, Agricultural Entomology, and Horticulture; Landscape Architecture; and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Office of Sustainability. The Natural History collection is housed in the Prairie Research Institute Library, which is administered by the Prairie Research Institute in partnership with the University Library. The Natural History collection is nationally known and is well respected by researchers at the national, regional and state levels.
Version Date: October 2012
I. Collection Description
The mission of the Illinois Natural History Survey is “to investigate and document the biological resources of Illinois and other areas, and to acquire and provide natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources.” The purpose of the natural history collection in the library is to support the research of the Illinois Natural History Survey in fulfillment of that mission. It is also intended to support the related research of students, staff, and faculty of the University of Illinois, in particular those in the School of Integrative Biology, Departments of Animal Biology, Entomology, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and Plant Biology, and the instructional missions of those departments.
History of Collection:
1858-1884 (Natural History Society / State Laboratory of Natural History, Normal, IL): The Library Collection of the Illinois Natural History Survey was established at the first meeting of the Natural History Society of Illinois in 1858. In 1861, the Society received its charter from the State Legislature and was located in Normal Illinois. The Society became the Illinois State Laboratory of Natural History in 1877.
1885-1939 (State Laboratory of Natural History Library / Natural History Library, Urbana, IL): In 1885, the State Laboratory of Natural History and its Library collection was transferred to Urbana so that the laboratory director Stephen A. Forbes could serve as Professor of Zoology and Entomology at the Illinois Industrial University. From that time through the present, the Natural History Survey Library has been affiliated both with the State Natural History Survey and with the University of Illinois.In 1917, the State Laboratory of Natural History was combined with the State Entomologist’s office and was renamed the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS). For some time prior to 1928, the INHS Library and the library supporting the Biology Department at the University of Illinois were housed together in one space, and were managed by a single librarian whose salary was paid in part by INHS and in part by the University. In 1928, the INHS Library was transferred to the University of Illinois where it became the Natural History Library. The collection development support already in place from the University of Illinois was continued, as were INHS staff borrower privileges.
1940-2004 (Illinois Natural History Survey Library, Natural Resources Building, Champaign, IL): In 1940, the Natural History Library collection was moved into the newly constructed Natural Resources Building, which would house the INHS and the Illinois State Geological Survey. An agreement between INHS chief T.H. Frison and University Library Director C. M. White stipulated that INHS would provide the space, staffing, and operational costs while the University Library would provide a budget for collection development and would catalog and process acquisitions. Many materials from the Natural History Library in the Natural History Building were transferred to this new incarnation of the INHS library. In 1959, upon completion of Burrill Hall, parts of the INHS Library collection were moved; the life sciences materials were moved to the Biology Library housed at 101 Burrill Hall and the geological materials were moved to the newly formed Geology Library in the Natural History Building. However, the INHS Library continued on in the Natural Resources Building on Peabody Drive until 2005. In 2003, John K. Bouseman led a group of donors in the establishment of the John K. Bouseman Natural History Survey Library Endowment Fund, which continues to provide support for collection development in natural history beyond the University Library’s annual allocation.
2005-2011 (Illinois Natural History Survey Library, Forbes Natural History Building, Champaign, IL): The INHS Library moved from the Natural Resources Building to the Forbes Natural History Building (then the I-Building) in the South Research Park. In 2008, the four State Scientific Surveys (INHS, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center) were transferred from the State Department of Natural Resources into the University of Illinois as the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability. The intention to consolidate libraries of the four Scientific Surveys was put forward by Institute administration, and the librarians began working on plans to add the collections of the Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center to the University Library Catalog; funding was secured from CARLI to begin that process. In 2010, the Illinois State Archaeological Survey joined the Institute, and the name was changed to the Prairie Research Institute. The University Library allocated additional funding for the cataloging of Survey library materials, including a backlog of historic INHS Library materials.
2011-2015 (Prairie Research Institute Library, Forbes Natural History Building, Champaign, IL): In June 2011, on the recommendation of a task force representing the Surveys, Institute administration and the University Library, the libraries of the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center merged to form the Prairie Research Institute Library, within the space in the Forbes Natural History Building that had been occupied by the INHS Library. Over the prior year, collections of the Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center were added to the University Library catalog, and over the next few years were moved into the space. A new memorandum of understanding was between the Prairie Research Institute and the University Library was signed, stipulating operational and staffing costs with the Prairie Research Institute, and continuing collections support for Natural History. The Prairie Research Institute decided in 2015 to close the Prairie Research Institute Library, and it was closed permanently on December 18, 2015. Collections were transferred to the Funk ACES Library, Main Stacks, and Oak St. Facility depending on age, circulation history, and other predetermined criteria.
Estimate of Holdings:
69,700 volumes for Natural History Survey Library collection.
State, Regional and National Importance:
The collection is nationally known and is well respected by researchers at the national, regional and state levels.
Unit Responsible for Collecting:
The Funk ACES Library is responsible for collecting in relation to Section I.A. Purpose. Related collections supporting Biology, Agriculture, City Planning and Landscape Architecture, and Veterinary Medicine are also housed in this facility. .
Location of Materials:
Natural history materials are housed in the Funk ACES Library, Main Stacks, and in the Oak Street Facility (including rare materials held in the Rare Books Oak Street Collection).
Citations of Works Describing the Collection:
Warrick, Ruth R. 1958. Library. Bulletin of the Illinois Natural History Survey, 27 (2):210-214.
Wohlgemuth, B. 2008. INHS Library. Outdoor Illinois 16(9):13.
Wohlgemuth, B. 2007. New library buildings, Illinois Natural History Survey Library. Illinois Library Association Reporter, 25(1): 14-15.
Wohlgemuth, B. 2006. Illinois Natural History Survey Library Grand Opening Celebration. Illinois Natural History Survey Reports, summer, no. 388.
Wohlgemuth, B. 2006. Grand opening ceremonies continue to build an Illinois tradition dating to the mid 1800s, INHS Library. Outdoor Illinois 15(9):28
II. General Collection Guidelines
English is the dominant language of the collection. German, Spanish, French, Russian and other Slavic languages, Japanese, Chinese, Scandinavian, Portuguese, Italian and other minor language materials are all collected, mainly through exchange agreements.
No restrictions. Special interest in the historical perspective.
Emphasis is on terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Special emphasis on Illinois but collect internationally.
Treatment of Subject:
The concept “Natural History” is interpreted in a very broad sense for the collection. Coverage includes life histories, ecology, reproduction, and environmental aspects of natural resources along with their allocation and use. Standard statement.
Types of Materials:
Appropriate primary and secondary works, and bibliographic, and reference materials are acquired. Dissertations, theses, translations are selectively collected. For contemporary materials, electronic formats, where the terms of acquisition allow for ownership and multiple simultaneous user access, is preferred over print except in those cases where the practical utility of the electronic format is inferior to print. Audio-visual materials are collected infrequently.
Date of Publication:
Current materials are emphasized, but retrospective works are acquired on a selective basis. New and revised editions or important works are purchased when new explanatory or primary material is introduced.
Place of Publication:
III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments
Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.
|Natural History Survey Collection|
|SUBJECT SUBDIVISIONS||EXISTING STRENGTH||PRIMARY ASSIGNMENTS||SECONDARY ASSIGNMENTS|
|Aquaculture||4||Natural History Survey|
|Aquatic botany||4||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Benthic studies||3||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Fisheries research||4||Natural History Survey|
|Limnology||3||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Microbial ecology||2||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Economic botany||4||Natural History Survey||Agriculture/Biology|
|Mycology||4||Natural History Survey||Biology|
|Plant pathology||4||Agriculture||Natural History Survey|
|Plant systematics/evolution/speciation||4||Biology||Natural History Survey / Agriculture|
|Aquatic ecosystems||3||Biology||Natural History Survey / City Planning|
|Ecological information in Illinois||4||Natural History Survey||City Planning|
|Ecological restoration||4||Natural History Survey|
|Endangered species||3||Natural History Survey||Biology|
|Invasive species||4||Natural History Survey||Biology|
|Land use||3||City Planning||Natural History Survey|
|Natural resources management||3||Natural History Survey||City Planning|
|Terrestrial ecosystems||4||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Toxicology||3||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Watershed management||3||Natural History Survey|
|Wetland ecosystems||4||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Control-integrated pest management||4||Natural History Survey||Agriculture/Biology|
|Economic entomology||4||Natural History Survey||Agriculture/Biology|
|Insect physiology and toxicology||3||Biology||Natural History Survey/|
|Insect systematics||4||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Entomology||4||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Herpetology||3||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Ichthyology||4||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Invertebrate zoology||3||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Mammalogy||4||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Ornithology||4||Biology||Natural History Survey|
|Ecology||3||Agriculture||Natural History Survey|
|Wildlife||4||Natural History Survey||Biology|
|Conservation||4||Natural History Survey||Biology|
|Management||4||Natural History Survey|
Version Date: December 2011