The Library is Looking For

The following items are needed to enhance collections throughout the University Library. You can purchase one or more items by selecting the “Make a Gift” button. Please specify the specific item(s) under “Special Instructions” when you make your gift online. Or you can call 217-333-5682 to make your gift.

A memorable space for the newly combined Scholarly and Media Commons

NEW! Contributions of any size are welcome to put the finishing touches on a renovated area that will provide equitable access to innovative spaces, digital tools, and expert assistance enabling media creation, data visualization, and digital storytelling. Funding would go towards art and  signage, new marketing materials, and an open house in Main Library 220. All for the goal of offering an inspiring destination for interdisciplinary discovery and discussion!

$5000 Make a Gift

Annual speaker series for the Literatures and Languages Library

NEW! A gift is needed to underwrite an annual speaker series highlighting an author or poet who will lead a craft talk and give a public reading of their work. As a vital part of the university’s literary community, the  Literatures and Languages Library looks to this initiative as a way to expand its commitment to creative writing and the unit’s robust collection of literature and literary criticism. Contributions of any amount are sought to sustain this public forum that will enrich the lives of the library’s local and regional patrons and visitors.

$5000 Make a Gift

A Bird’s-Eye View of Chicago Showing the City Heights Where the Finger is Pointing on the Map (1892) for the Map Library

NEW! This is a promotional piece published by Rand McNally & Co. to sell properties in the “City Heights” area of Chicago (roughly the area surrounding the intersection of Armitage and Grand avenues). Developer Thomas P. Keefe lauds the location as “the greatest opportunity ever opened up and offered in Chicago,” where buyers can buy a beautiful residence for a few hundred dollars. The bird’s-eye view map touts the virtues of the area, detailing its major streets, transit lines, oak forest, and high ground; the back side features a partial plat of the area and illustrations of houses already in the location. Keefe pronounces: “Some people are born rich . . . and still others have riches thrust on them. The latter are those who are now buying property at the City Heights at the present prices.” The Map Library would feel rich indeed to have this unusual item; no copies are known in collections elsewhere.

$2400 Make a Gift

Atlas Containing Maps of Chicago River, Illinois and its Branches (1899) for the Map Library

NEW! This is a complete, 28-sheet atlas detailing improvements made to the Chicago River by the Chicago Sanitary District and the federal government between 1896 and 1899 (preceding the construction of the Sanitary and Ship Canal). The project, completed during a momentous decade in the city’s history—including the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and a population increase of 600,000—depicts the work done toward the construction of a new sanitation and commercial shipping system, touted a century later as a “Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium” by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Eventually completed by 1900, the effort reversed the flow of the river to avoid polluting the city’s water source (Lake Michigan), and significantly upgraded the region’s commercial navigation needs.

$1600 Make a Gift

Press pass to the World’s Columbian Exposition for the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections

NEW! This press pass is to a world’s fair held in Chicago in 1893 to mark the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World. These daily admission tickets were allocated to “Mrs. M.J. Cobb, Press, Journal of Education, Boston Mass,” whose photograph is affixed inside the front cover. Cobb was a Chicago educator, an author of educational and children’s books, and journalist for periodicals in the education field who had earned a teaching certificate from the Chicago Board of Education in 1891. She wrote textbooks as well as historical works like The Story of Lafayette (1898) and On Board a United States Battleship with Evans to the Pacific (1919). This item would augment materials held by the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections on the Chicago World’s Fair, as well as document the role of women in journalism.

$950 Make a Gift

Correct Map of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Rail Road and its Principal Connecting Lines (1881) for the Map Library

NEW! This is a large railroad map of the eastern two-thirds of the United States, centering on Illinois. Produced by the well-known American mapmaker George F. Cram, the map shows railroad lines in red and state boundaries in green; the verso features timetables, as well as descriptions of New Mexico’s stage lines, Colorado’s mines, and a small plan of Chicago. The Map Library would like to own this item, considered large and scarce for its kind.

$950 Make a Gift

Map Showing the Eastern Portion of the Union Pacific Railroad and its Connections (1866) for the Map Library

NEW! This item traces rail lines heading westward from Chicago and Bluff City, Illinois, to Omaha, Nebraska, and Sioux City, Iowa. This early map, published a decade after the first bridge opened at Rock Island, Illinois, also indicates bridges spanning the Mississippi River at Fulton, Illinois, and Burlington, Iowa (the bridge at Quincy, Illinois, would not open until 1868). The Map Library wants this item on board!

$675 Make a Gift

Statement of the St. Paul & Chicago Railway Company (1864) for the Map Library

NEW! This map indicates routes in the Upper Midwest region and preceding the Great
Chicago Fire of 1871.

$449 Make a Gift

Map of the Lakes and Drives Adjacent to the Wisconsin Central Lines (1896) for the Map Library

NEW! This is a pocket map of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, highlighting summer resorts. Shortly after this map was released, the Wisconsin Central Lines declared bankruptcy and was reorganized as the Wisconsin Central Railway. The Map Library would like
to be this item’s final destination.

$377 Make a Gift

Carte Générale des Provinces Européennes et Asiatiques de l’Empire Ottoman (sans l’Arabie). Kiepert, 1892 for the Map Library

This is an important and detailed map published near the end of the Ottoman Empire. It is considered to be the best map of the Ottoman Empire published during the 19th century.

$3500 Make a Gift

Bill Wiffletree’s Ration Map of the U.S. for the Map Library

This is a pictorial satirical map focusing on government rationing programs during the Second World War. It’s the rarest of Edward McCandish’s maps. The University Library has a copy of his Bootlegger’s map in its collection already. This map would be a complement to other pictorial satirical maps in the collection.

$2750 Make a Gift

[Geological and Topographical Maps of the Oil Lands of Japan] Benjamin Smith Lyman & Geological Survey of Japan, 1882 for the Map Library

This map, not previously for sale, illustrates an important aspect of Japan’s economic growth prior to the Russo-Japanese War and other 20th century conflicts.

$1600 Make a Gift

[List of Military Preparations of the Army of the Russian Soviet Federation (Manchria)] [Japan], 1935 for the Map Library

This is a pre-WW II map illustrating Japanese concerns about Soviet troop build up in Manchuria, a time period that is not well covered. There is only one other copy that appears in Library catalogs.

$595 Make a Gift

Карта Группировки Союзных Оккупационных Войск в Германии по УКА ГСОВ в Германии [Map of the Grouping of the Allied Occupation Forces in Germany according to the UKA GSOV in Germany] for the Map Library

This is a secret, original Red Army document from 1945 Soviet-occupied Germany. Pen and crayon markings atop a 1939 map of Germany detail the location of Allied armed forces and evince the trust crisis that existed after the end of World War II—Germany was defeated, but would war continue between the Allied and Soviet armies? The Map Library seeks this unusual item (of which no other copies exist) which presages what would result in a decades-long Cold War.

$4500 Make a Gift

Map Showing the Isle of Pleasure for the Map Library

This is a whimsical piece published by Henry Jefferson Lawrence late in the Prohibition Era and overflowing with anti-Prohibition and liquor puns. View the “state of inebriation,” bordered by the “Gulp Stream,” illuminated by “moon shine,” and garnished by sites such as “Hang Over Hollow” and “High-Ball Grounds.” The Map Library would love to top off its collection of other allegorical maps with this rare item; only four copies exist in OCLC.

$3800 Make a Gift

North America for the Map Library

This is one of five, large pictorial maps rendering in rich color and detail the history, agriculture, industry, minerals, and peoples of a continental region. The Map Library already owns Australia, published in 1927, and eventually would like to complete the collection with Africa, South America, and Pan Africa. The OCLC lists only three copies of this 1930 production, drawn by Margaret Whiting Spilhaus and measuring 39.75 x 30.25 inches.

$2850 Make a Gift

A Map of Europe In which are delineated its Grand Modern Divisions, as well as Partitions into Inferior States Governments and C. for the Map Library

This is a rare illustration issued in 1804 just one month before Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself emperor of France. The large, colored wall map runs 61 x 62 inches and offers a full view of Europe (from Iceland to Cyprus, Spain to the Ural Mountains) in the very short-lived period just before the start of the Napoleonic Wars. Fewer than five copies of this map, published by William Faden, exist in institutional collections; the Map Library would like to join those ranks.

$2000 Make a Gift

Auralex Project 2 Roominator Kit for the Music & Performing Arts Library

This is an all-in-one sound control solution. Sought by the Music & Performing Arts Library to convert an existing room into a reservable space for digital music creation, this new and developing service will support the School of Music’s music technology program and a growing interest across campus in making beats.

$1065 Make a Gift

Oxford Encyclopedia of Educational Administration, 2021 for the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library

This encyclopedia will benefit users of the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library by offering a global view of research in educational administration and leadership. To effectively guide schools, leaders must consider topics such as government mandates, community members, educators, unions, students, and others

$595 Make a Gift

Oxford Encyclopedia of Inclusive and Special Education, 2021 for the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library

By addressing these inextricably linked topics in a single collection, this expansive compilation proves particularly useful, with lessons learned in one area having significant implications for the other. This item is sought by the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library.

$395 Make a Gift

Any print issues of Pack-o-Fun magazines for the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library

First published in 1951, this scrapcrafting publication served as a springboard for youth clubs and troops to engage children (and adults!) in craft projects, made all the more fun and easy by repurposing common household items. The Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library currently holds no copies of the magazine and would love some to complement its children’s and young adult literature collection. Vintage issues (1950s to 1970s) are of particular interest—check your book shelves and attics! For more information, contact Nancy O’Brien at

$0 Make a Gift

Map of The Old Reliable Hannibal and St. Joseph Short Line–Always On Time for the Map Library

This map is a spectacular timetable promoting the virtues of the H&SJ train. Produced in 1882 in Chicago, the piece is delightfully detailed and brilliantly colored, showing scenes of the train (with a brightly shining “new electric light”) crossing a railroad bridge whilst a dog runs alongside, as well as an inside view of its passenger car, complete with comfortable lounging chairs. The item also includes a timetable and regional map—just the ticket for the Map Library’s holdings.

$1750 Make a Gift

Chairs for the Communication Library

$1,700 to $8,500 is needed to replace decades-old chairs in the Communication Library’s International News Lounge. The library seeks up to six such chairs (at $1,700 apiece) to expand the inviting atmosphere of the lounge, where students collaborate, study, and watch news feeds from around the world.

$1700 Make a Gift

New tables for public computer workstations for the Music and Performing Arts Library

While the technology at the Music and Performing Arts Library has continued to evolve, its furniture remains somewhat archaic. These funds would help create flexible space for patrons as they write papers, scan scores, or watch DVDs at the library’s computers and scanners.

$5000 Make a Gift

Metadata improvement in Special Collections for the Music and Performing Arts Library

The Music and Performing Arts Library wants to boost cataloguing efforts of items in these collections to better assist researchers and librarians, and augment their usability.

$5000 Make a Gift

Personnel to digitize Special Collections items for the Music and Performing Arts Library

Extra assistance is needed to digitize unique score and text holdings (as allowed by copyright), which can then be included in the Library’s Digital Collections platform for use by scholars worldwide.

$3000 Make a Gift

Personnel to access digitization needs for MPAL's Special Collections

These funds would allow the Music and Performing Arts Library to hire personnel to identify unique score and text holdings that have not yet been digitized so that the library may eventually do so.

$2250 Make a Gift

Tōkyō kangyō hakurankai jimu hōkoku jōkan [Tokyo Industrial Exposition Report, Vol. 1] for the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art

This is an extremely scarce governmental report on the 1907 Tokyo Industrial Exposition. Replete with maps and plans for everything from architecture to engineering to pavilion elevations, the 331-page volume is richly illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of exposition photographs as well as more than two dozen folding plates. Exposition organizers hoped to display a modern, industrial Japan, with the event featuring a Ferris Wheel, foreign products, and 35,000 light bulbs. This item is sought by the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art.

$2250 Make a Gift

Megalithic Software for the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art

Part I: England (1975) ; Part II: Europe and the Near East (1982) ; Part III: The orient Sec. A Japan (1988). These three volumes comprise a complete set of the noted physicist author’s detailed analysis of ancient megalithic stone circles, city plans, and cathedrals at sites around the world and is illustrated throughout with tipped-in maps, diagrams, photographs, illustrations, and mathematical tables. A little known and under-appreciated contribution to contemporary understandings of ancient pagan mathematics and cybernetics, Megalithic Software remains institutionally scarce, with only a handful of institutions recordings copies of all three volumes in their online catalogs. This acquisition allows the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art to strengthen its holdings which document connections between art and science—showing that creativity and curiosity can be fostered throughout disciplines.

$1250 Make a Gift

Miras—nasledie, Tatarstan—Krym: gorod Bolgar i izuchenie tatarskoi kul’tury v Tatarstane i Krymu v 1923-1929 godakh for the International and Area Studies Library

This is a long-awaited three-volume publication exploring how Tatar identity evolved in the early Soviet Union. Viewed through the prism of a little-known archaeological expedition in the 1920s to the medieval Turkic city of Bolghar and other Tatar sites, the set was finally published nearly a century later. This work would complement the International and Area Studies Library’s collection on Eastern Europe and Eurasia archaeology, making it only the second library in the U.S. to own it.

$320 Make a Gift

Large-format Scanner for the Scholarly Commons

This large-format scanner is for sizable items such as posters and maps. Georeferencing data thus retrieved could then be used in GIS (geographic information systems) software.

$5000 Make a Gift

Rotating Exhibit(s) for the Library Exhibitions Committee

Sponsor a rotating exhibit within the Marshall Gallery and the north-south corridor of the Main Library highlighting the Library’s rich and vast collections for one month. Support would cover printing for cases, as well as supply refurbishment in order to ensure that exhibitors can continue to have the preservation-grade materials on hand to safely display collections materials. Interested Library Friends may support exhibits programming for one month…or several!

$200 Make a Gift

Classic Video Game Magazines and Related Periodicals for the Undergraduate Library

As part of its vintage gaming archive, these materials will help augment our collection of vintage games, and serve as core sources for campus researchers investigating historical aspects of this important pop culture phenomenon. The Library has identified the following titles as being of interest to local researchers:

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly 1989-
  • EGM 1994-1999
  • GamePro 1989-2011
  • Game Informer 1991-
  • Nintendo Power 1988-
  • GAMES Magazine 1977-1990; 1991-
  • The Space Gamer 1975-
$0 Make a Gift

Communications Library Stress Free Finals Week Fund for the Communications Library

Gifts to this fund support student-related library activities that reduce Finals Week stress. The Communications Library is a very popular place during Finals Week and a great place to help them when their stress is greatest. The Library provides healthy snacks and a sympathetic ear for an environment that really makes a difference.

$1000 Make a Gift

Communications Library Tech Fund for the Communications Library

Gifts to this fund help the Communications Library provide much-needed technology support for students. Library users own cell phones, laptops, music players, and more that require regular charging and security. This Fund enables the purchase of equipment like charging stations, cables, and secure lockers that make students’ lives easier.

$2000 Make a Gift

Communications Library PR/Promotion Internship for the Communications Library

This paid internship is for an undergraduate student to put their public relations classroom skills to use while promoting the Communications Library. The student manages this library’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, creates content for digital signage, and creates handouts and brochures for New Student Week events and library tours in an effort to help students learn about the Communications Library.

$3000 Make a Gift

“Don Balon” for the International and Area Studies Library

Don Balón was a prominent sport magazine published in Chile during the 1990s. Originally published in Spain, the magazine currently has online editions throughout Latin America and has become a hallmark of Ibero-American soccer. The Library is interested in acquiring a collection of 477 issues from its founding in 1992 to 2000. This time period is particularly important for Chile as it covers their re-democratization process after August Pinochet’s dictatorship. No other sport magazine existed in Chile during this entire period, making Don Balón a unique source to study Chilean soccer. The acquisition of Don Balón would be the first Chilean sport magazine in a growing and unique Latin American and Caribbean Sport Collection.

$5000 Make a Gift

Charging Station/Locker for the Communications Library

To purchase a secure charging station/locker to revitalize devices carried by tech-savvy users. While current students are positively aglow with electric possibility, they do need a boost now and then. “Our students are immersed in the greatest flood of information any generation has ever experienced,” says Head Librarian Lisa Romero, who adds that the library and its staff are “all about service. We try to keep up with all our students’ needs. Every student has mobile devices and laptops that need to be recharged. Making it easier for students to rely on technology is one way the library can contribute to the student experience. The charging station/locker enables us to meet a very real need.”

$5000 Make a Gift

Digitizing “The Alumni Quarterly and Fortnightly News” for the University Archives

The Alumni Quarterly and Fortnightly News was the earliest means of communication of the University of Illinois Alumni Association. Since 1907—long before the Archives was formally established in 1963—the publication has recorded campus and alumni news, very nearly from the start of the university. Called an “amazing resource” by Archivist Ellen Swain, the news vehicle—presently known as Illinois Alumni magazine—has morphed through various iterations and provides close, historical coverage found in few other sources. Funding would go toward hiring of personnel to digitize materials and, eventually, software to search across all issues.

$5000 Make a Gift

Transfer and Digitize Photographs for the University Archives

To transfer and digitize thousands of hard-copy photographs painstakingly accumulated by the University of Illinois Alumni Association communications department in its 100+ years of coverage of campus, students, and alumni. Containing items not previously seen by Library staff, the collection will find a new home in the Archives, where it will be scanned and tagged for use by students, researchers, and the public. Funding would support additional personnel to digitize materials, create records, and organize metadata.

$5000 Make a Gift