Grants - General Information


The Cybernetics Thought Collective: A History of Science and Technology Portal Project

Investigators: Bethany Anderson (Lead PI); Christopher Prom (Co-PI); Kevin Hamilton (School of Art+Design, Co-PI); Dan Roth (Department of Computer Science Co-PI)

Award: National Endowment for the Humanities, $49,973

Dates: May 2017 – April 2018

The University of Illinois Archives will develop a prototype web-portal and analysis-engine to provide access to archival material related to the development of the iconic, multi-disciplinary field of cybernetics. The project is a collaborative effort among several academic units at the University of Illinois (U of I) and three other institutions that also maintain archival records vital to the exploration of cybernetic history: the British Library, the American Philosophical Society, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to supporting the development of a web-portal and analysis-engine, the award will enable the multi-institutional team to begin digitizing some of the archival records related to the pioneering work of U of I Electrical Engineering Professor Heinz von Foerster and his fellow cyberneticians W. Ross Ashby, Warren S. McCulloch, and Norbert Wiener.

For more information visit the Cybernetics Thought Collective website.

Digging Deeper, Reaching Further: Libraries Empowering Users to Mine HathiTrust Digital Library Resources

HTRC Digging Deeper Grant LogoInvestigators: Harriett Green (PI); Stephen Downie, (School of Information Sciences, co-PI)

Award: Institute of Museum and Library Services, $398,000

Dates: 2015 – Present

This three-year project seeks to address the needs of academic librarians for reconfigured skillsets and updated training to work with the data-driven research practices, digital scholarship, and rapidly expanding user expectations they encounter today. The DDRF project develops training curricula focused on the area of text analysis, and will offer regional and national workshops that leverage tools and data from HathiTrust Research Center in the instructional materials. The curriculum will be released at the end of the project as an open educational resource that librarians can use for both professional development and teaching to others.

Exploring the Benefits for Users of Linked Open Data for Digitized Special Collections

Investigators: Timothy Cole (PI); Myung-Ja Han and Caroline Szylowicz (co-PI’s)

Award: Andrew Mellon Foundation, $247,645

Dates: 2015 – Present

Digitized special collections play an increasingly important role in scholarship and pedagogy. Accordingly, libraries have retrospectively digitized many special collections. This project looks at ways Linked Open Data (LOD) might help maximize the visibility and usefulness of digitized special collections. Our goal is to gain experience with LOD, demonstrate some of its benefits, and better understand the resources required to transform special collections metadata and utilize LOD. This work will enhance the visibility of the special collections being studied, inform best practices for future LOD enhancements of other collections, and better position the Library to begin assessing the likely benefits of LOD for library users.

For more information visit the LOD website.

From Margin to Center: Reframing the History of Women in Computing and Information Technology through Oral Histories

Investigators: Bethany Anderson (PI)

Award: Association for Computing Machinery History Committee, $4,000

Dates: May 2017 – April 2018

This one-year oral history project will capture the voices and stories of women in computing, contribute to research materials on ACM, and, more generally contribute to documentation projects on women in computing and STEM. The archivist will conduct six oral history interviews with women faculty in the Department of Computer Science and IT professionals on campus. With the help of a graduate assistant, the interviews will be transcribed and indexed in the University of Illinois Archives’ new oral history portal, “Voice of Illinois,” using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS).

Illinois Digital Newspaper Project Phase IV

Investigators: Kyle Rimkus (PI); Celestina Savonius-Wroth (co-PI)

Award: National Endowment for the Humanities, $200,000

Dates: 2016 – Present

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, in cooperation with the Center for Research Libraries, will digitize 100,000 pages of Lithuanian, Czech, and Polish newspaper content published in Chicago from 1836 and later, and publish them in the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America digital newspaper portal. Since 2009, Illinois has contributed over 300,000 pages of English-language newspaper content to Chronicling America. With this project, Illinois will offer unique, historically significant newspaper content from its Eastern European immigrant communities, many of whom played a major role in Chicago’s rapid growth in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the development of its distinctive cultural and political landscape.

A Meta-services Approach to Enhanced Circulation Services within Mobile Technology

Investigators: Jim Hahn (PI)

Award: EBSCO FOLIO Innovation Challenge Grant, $15,000

Date: August 2017 – June 2018

This project will contribute software for the next generation of library platforms. The basis for the software are two key tools in use in the undergraduate library which allow loanable technology checkouts, the Equipment Loan Form (ELF), and a wait-list service called HOOT. The project team will integrate these software tools into the EBSCO FOLIO codebase so that other libraries will be able to make use of these innovative tools.

Processing Capstone Email Using Predictive Coding

Investigators: JoAnne Kaczmarek (PI); Brent West (Records and Information Management Services, Co-PI) and Dave Joens (Illinois State Archives, Co-PI)

Award: National Historical Publications & Records Commission, $400,000

Dates: 2016 – Present

The Illinois State Archives, in partnership with the University of Illinois is launching a project that seeks to develop and demonstrate a reliable and sustainable method of identifying and providing appropriate access to the email messages of state agencies that have enduring value. The project will be identifying and testing tools to be used for a sustainable workflow. Of particular note, we will be working with tools that use predictive coding techniques normally found in e-discovery tools.

Publishing Without Walls

PWW Grant IconInvestigators: John Wilkin (PI), Allen Renear (School of Information Sciences, co-PI), Antoinette Burton (IPRH, co-PI), Ron Bailey (Department African American Studies, co-PI)

Award: Andrew Mellon Foundation, $1 million

Dates: 2015 – Present

Publishing Without Walls (PWW), is a digital scholarly publishing initiative that is scholar-driven, openly accessible, scalable, and sustainable. PWW will directly engage with scholars throughout the research process. It aims to build publishing models that can be supported locally by a university’s library, while also opening new avenues toward publication through university presses and other publishers. PWW is especially seeking innovative digital publication projects, including enriched scholarly editions, annotated/mediated archival collections, thematic scholarly research collections, data visualizations, special editions of journals, and multi-authored multimedia texts, among others.


Opening the Vault of Eighteenth Century Andean History: A Portal to the Conde de Montemar Letters at the University of Illinois’ Library (1761 – 1799)

Investigators: Antonio Carlo Sotomayor, Assistant Professor & Librarian of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Additional support from: Silvia Escanilla Huerta, Graduate Assistant

Award: Center for Research Libraries, $18,025

Dates: January 2016 – June 2017

This grant provided one year’s funding to hire a Research Assistant in Andean Studies and develop a digital project using the Conde de Montemer letters collection. The letters, dated 1761 to 1799, were written by the family of Don Diego José Carrillo de Albornoz (1724-1789), V Conde de Montemar, and tell the story of one of the most powerful families in the Viceroyalty of Peru and in Spanish Nobility. The Carrillo de Albornoz family was central to the economic, political, and military history of 18th century Spanish America. This project consisted of digitizing the first 30 letters and creating a virtual portal containing the original images, transcriptions, comprehensive metadata scheme, and different historical essays that contextualize the letters in Andean and Spanish American history. See

A Resource Guide about Disabilities, Disability Theory and Assistive Technologies

Investigators: Katharine Pionke, Applied Health Sciences Librarian and Assistant Professor, University Library

Award: Amer Library Association, $5,000

Dates: January 2016 – June 2017

This project created a suite of LibGuides that focus on various aspects of disability including resources for individual disabilities, disability theory, and assistive technologies. By creating this resource, degree programs locally and nationally that have a disability focus, such as rehabilitation counseling, have a ready-made reference list to go to for guidance as an entrée into an oubliette of resources. We hope that, as knowledge of the annotated bibliography spreads, the usage will spread to communities and individuals such as health care practitioners, families, individuals with disabilities, and library and information science professionals that are grappling with a disability or want to know more about a specific disability. See more at