In 2019, the University Library secured trial access to the ProQuest “Access and Build Program” giving faculty, staff, and students at Illinois the ability to search 115 electronic resources. Over the years, the Library supported this evidence-based acquisition program, ProQuest added new databases, and the Library used accumulated credits to purchase those that demonstrated the most use. These multidisciplinary resources spanned the humanities, music and the arts, the social sciences, and some scientific disciplines, and each resource available through the ProQuest Access and Build program was marked in the Library’s catalog as being available on a trial basis.
The trial program will come to a close in August 2022 as the records are removed from the catalog. The Library utilized the purchase credits available through the program to acquire dozens of the more heavily-utilized databases permanently, including:
African American Music Reference
African Diaspora: 1860 – Present
Art and Architecture Archive 2
Art Forum Archive: 1962-2020
Audio Drama: the LA Theatre Works Collection
Black Drama Third Edition
British Periodicals Collection III
British Periodicals Collection IV
Classical Scores I
Classical Scores II
Classical Scores III
Classical Scores IV
Contemporary World Drama
Digital Bills and Resolutions 1788-2013
Education Magazine Archive
Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive collection 3: Film and Television
Environmental Issues Online
Ethnographic Film Online, Teaching
Food Studies Online
The GQ Archive
Historic Newspapers: Austin American Statesman: 1871-1980
Historical Newspapers: Communist Historical Newspaper Collection
Historical Newspapers: The Globe and Mail
Historical Newspapers: Leftist Newspapers and Periodicals
Historical Newspapers: Ottawa Citizen
Historical Newspapers: Philadelphia Inquirer
Historical Newspapers: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Historic Newspapers: South China Morning Post: 1903-2001
Historical Newspapers: Toronto Star Subscription
House of Lords Parliamentary Papers, 1800-1910
Human Rights Studies Online
LGBT Magazine Archive
Mass Incarceration and Prison Studies
Music Online: Music Periodicals of the 19th Century
The Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community (EA:BCC) is a multi-year initiative sponsored by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that brings together, supports, and funds a growing network of institutions and professionals working to develop critical solutions for preserving email.
Three new institutions were recommended for funding following a second round of proposals: the University of Maryland, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the 92nd Street Y. An overview of these institutions’ programs is found here. Each project will use community-supported tools to process and provide access to email while demonstrating the value of email collections for humanities, social science, or other research.
Nearly $400,000 was granted to the recipients in the first round to demonstrate and build capacity for a variety of archival institutions to process, preserve, and provide access to email using community-supported tools. Harvard University, University of Albany SUNY, Council of State Archivists, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago Library were among the five grantees in the first round. Read more about these individual projects here.
Through these two rounds of funding and nearly $650,000 allocated across eight institutions, EA:BCC continues to expand the email archiving network and provide resources and solutions for continuous development.
As EA:BCC approaches its second year, there have been developments in email archiving software and capacity-building efforts. To learn more, please visit the “Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community” project website at emailarchivesgrant.library.illinois.edu.
A new pilot agreement between the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and Wiley, a global leader in publishing, education and research, offers benefits to those who publish at the University of Illinois. Researchers publishing as the corresponding author in any of Wiley’s hybrid journals (subscription-based journals that offer an open access option) may publish open access (OA) at no cost or at a discount. The agreement also maintains existing access to Wiley’s online journal collection.
More specifically, under the eligibility requirements at Illinois, the first two-thirds of its authors who opt into the program have the opportunity to publish their articles open access without paying Article Processing Charges (APCs); once the waivers for the year have been used, the remaining one-third are eligible to receive a 10% discount on APCs. A manuscript must be accepted at an eligible Wiley hybrid journal between February 1 and December 31, 2022, and the corresponding author must be at Illinois to qualify. A list of eligible Wiley journals under the agreement is located at authorservices.wiley.com/author-resources/Journal-Authors/open-access/hybrid-open-access.html.
During the pilot year, the BTAA will continue to work towards a longer-term agreement that expands open access publishing options even further.
“This agreement is an important step in the transition toward a publishing environment in which a greater percentage of our scholarship is freely available. We are glad to have a strong partnership with the BTAA and to bring the benefits of that partnership to our university,” said Tom Teper, Associate Dean and Associate University Librarian for Collections and Technical Services.
Today, the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois approved the first phase of the University Library’s building project.
Phase One of the building project will transform the current Undergraduate Library building into a facility that will house the University Archives, the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, and The Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Between campus support, fundraising, and internal allocations, the entirety of the $50M in funding has been secured for construction. The first phase is expected to be completed in 2024. Read more…
The two-year “Email Archiving in PDF: From Initial Specification to Community of Practice” project will establish a Liaison Working Group in collaboration with the non-profit PDF Association (pdfa.org). The group will create a detailed technical specification for a PDF technology-based approach to the long-term preservation of email (EA-PDF). The project will also develop open-source software demonstrating the ability to create EA-PDF files. Developing this specification within the PDF Association facilitates exposure to and input from industry partners who may wish to support EA-PDF in their products.
The IMLS investment in this Illinois-led project will drive a potent initiative to help government agencies, libraries, archives, museums, and businesses preserve and provide access to email archives. Email documents how businesses, organizations, and citizens interact and make decisions. As the New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo has noted, “[Email] preserves time, location and state of mind, the what-when-where-and-who of every story we might want to dig up.”* News stories routinely cite email as a source of information, but there are few easily-used tools that preserve the entirety of a message or allow for its contents to be judged authentic.
“Email is the modern equivalent to the handwritten letters and typescript memos that fill archives and special collections libraries around the world. This project will make it easier for archives worldwide to preserve email,” said Associate Dean for Digital Strategies and Professor in the University Library Chris Prom, who will direct the project. “That’s important not only in its own right, but because email gives citizens and scholars the ability to fully plumb the depths of this wonderful, confusing thing we call history—our understanding and interpretation of past events.”
PDF is a preferred target format for emails in part because many archives already use the PDF format to preserve other forms of written communication. The EA-PDF specification will complement and extend existing approaches to email archiving and help to preserve these emails by building on existing universally-accepted technology. By providing an entirely vendor-neutral platform for preserving email that meets archival requirements and utilizes accepted technology, the project is well-positioned to find rapid adoption throughout the library, academic, and preservationist communities.
“The proposed work will leverage PDF as an accepted archival document technology with its reliable rendering and appearance, while also utilizing existing PDF features for preserving email’s native structures for other uses. Given the project’s early and continuous exposure to industry, as well as the interest already demonstrated, it is reasonable to anticipate broad engagement in the development of the specification, setting the table for widespread adoption,” said Duff Johnson, CEO of the PDF Association. “The PDF Association is delighted to continue its partnership with the University Library and engage in this further collaboration to realize a fully interoperable EA-PDF specification.”
The EA-PDF project runs through August 2023 and extends Illinois’ record of leadership in this area, seen through prior grant projects. The project is also supporting an EA-PDF Community Fellow, Eden Irwin. She is a graduate student in the University of Illinois School of information, and the IMLS support and grant are providing her with the opportunity to complement and extend her formal education with practical experience in the digital preservation community.
The EA-PDF project will release the specifications and software in 2022 and 2023. As with many Library projects, the University will make these materials available under creative commons on open source licenses, so that they are freely available for application, reuse, and extension.
The Danville Jewish Community is proud to announce the establishment of the Central Illinois Jewish Communities Archives/Mervis Archives in the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana Library’s Illinois History and Lincoln Collections.
The newly established archives will preserve the contributions of once-thriving small Jewish communities across the center of Illinois outside of major urban centers. The materials include histories of businesses and their owners, which sustained the towns, contributions made by the Jewish residents, information about local rabbis and Jewish leaders, as well as many other historical documents.
“We are excited about the preservation of this history of small-town Jewish immigrant contributions and life during the 20th century,” said Sybil Mervis, a Jewish community leader from Danville, IL.
The initiative to create the archives came from Mrs. Mervis, a longtime leader in the Illinois Jewish communities of Danville and Bloomington, who collected many of the Danville Jewish Community’s documents over the years, after a conversation with Erez Cohen, the executive director of Hillel at the University of Illinois. The two reached out to the director of the University of Illinois’ Program in Jewish Culture & Society, Dr. Dara Goldman, who welcomed the idea and established the connection with the University Library. The archives will include the oral histories of members of the communities, who will be interviewed and whose life stories will be documented.
“Life stories are a vital source of information that cannot be otherwise revealed. They allow us to expand our knowledge in new ways and directions, and reach a more multilayered and accurate historic picture,” said Dr. Liat Alon, Israel Institute/Israel Studies Project Teaching Fellow, who teaches students how to conduct research with archival documents and to collect individual life stories.
“Illinois’ rich Jewish history in small towns tells an important chapter in American Jewish history. It is great to see that this history will be preserved in the academic center of the state of Illinois,” said Erez Cohen, Hillel’s Executive Director.
The records will be housed in the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections at the University of Illinois Library and open to all interested parties, including academics and other researchers, students, and the public. The Illinois History and Lincoln Collections welcomes other small congregations and/or individuals across central Illinois (for example, from Mattoon, Quincy and Decatur, etc.) to inquire, if interested, about the possibility of contributing their records to the archives as well.
“The establishment of these archives provides a critical contribution to future research and engagement with the stories and contributions of Jewish communities in central Illinois,” said Krista Gray, Archives Program Officer for the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to preserve and make these materials more broadly accessible at the University of Illinois Library.”
A University of Illinois graduate student assistant in Library Science has begun working on the arrangement and description of the records. The initial contributions to the archives are expected to become available to researchers by late spring 2022.
Last month, the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) made a series of announcements regarding its support of Open Access (OA) initiatives across its member libraries. Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use those articles fully in the digital environment. Put plainly, Open Access ensures that anyone, anywhere, can access and use information. By supporting these developments in OA, the BTAA aims to make information more accessible to the university community, to benefit scholars by eliminating paywalls to research, and to help researchers to publish their own work. Read more on Commons Knowledge, the blog from the Scholarly Commons.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Library has announced the appointment of Victor Jones, Jr. as its first Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. Jones begins his new role on July 16, 2021.
“I’m thrilled to have Victor Jones joining the University Library as director of DEIA initiatives. His perspectives, experience, and energy were all key to his emerging as the top candidate in an exceptionally strong pool,” said John P. Wilkin, the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian. “The Library is eager to advance Library and University efforts in support of BIPOC communities and with regard to accessibility. Victor’s leadership and, indeed, partnership will be especially important to our success.”
Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a concentration in African American Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Science in College Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University, and a Master of Divinity from Christ Ministries School of Divinity. Since 2014, he has worked for the School of Information Sciences (iSchool at Illinois), first as a recruitment specialist and then as the Assistant Director of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives.
“Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice rank very high on my list of personal and professional goals. One of the primary reasons I chose a career in higher education was to serve as a catalyst for lasting change,” said Jones. “In an age where information is comparable to currency, being in a position to provide leadership and advocacy at one of the largest research libraries in the country is a tremendous opportunity.”
The Library at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has announced that the design of its new archives and special collections building will be jointly led by Champaign-based RATIO Architects and Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch.
The University Library issued a Request for Proposals for a design architect on October 22, 2020. A total of 25 proposals were received and evaluated. After narrowing the pool down to seven, a final round of presentations and evaluations led to a strong endorsement by members of the University Library and the project team of the submittal delivered by RATIO and Shepley Bulfinch.
The architectural and engineering teams were chosen for their collective expertise and experience with similar projects; their understanding of the project requirements and schedules; their proposed approach to working with project stakeholders; their approach to designing a space that will incorporate accessibility and universal design principles; and their experiences working with like materials. The evaluative team devoted particular attention to the expertise of preservation consultants engaged by the project teams and the experiences of team members in designing and renovating facilities intended to house special collections materials.
“Our extraordinary rare and archival collections have long deserved a home commensurate with their scope and quality,” said John P. Wilkin, the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian. “The renovation of the Undergraduate Library enhances our ability to preserve the collections and will support an improved level of access for future generations of scholars.”
The primary firms have executed many designs and renovations for other libraries. In addition to numerous Urbana-campus projects, RATIO’s portfolio includes the Thomas S. & Harvey D. Wilmeth Active Learning Center at Purdue University; the Krannert Memorial Library at the University of Indianapolis; and the Roy O. West Library at DePaul University. Shepley Bulfinch’s previous work includes the Firestone Library at Princeton University, the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University; the Hesburgh Libraries at Notre Dame; the Alfred R. Goldstein Library at the Ringling College of Art and Design; and Harvard University’s Lamont Library. Other project team members contributed to the successful execution of projects at the National WWI Museum; the National September 11 Memorial; Library and Archives Canada’s Gatineau 2 Preservation Facility; and the Rhode Island State Archives.
“The evaluation team was particularly impressed by the comprehensive expertise of the successful bidders. With awards for the Firestone and Rubenstein library projects and a strong team versed not only in architectural preservation and adaptive reuse but the preservation of library materials, the RATIO/Shepley Bulfinch proposal rose to the top,” said Thomas Teper, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Technical Services and Project Director, Library Building Project.
Speaking on behalf of RATIO, Principal Architect Kevin Huse noted “This is an exciting and unique opportunity to be part of uniting these remarkable collections and pieces of history into a unified center that will preserve the collections for generations and enhance accessibility for everyone.”
The Undergraduate Library building was first built in 1969. Plans for a renovation, identifying the building as the ideal site to serve the Library’s archives and special collections, were introduced in 2009. The national economic situation delayed continued development. In early 2018, those plans were revisited. Since then, campus feedback has been sought actively through numerous discussions and town hall sessions, a campus-wide committee submitted recommendations, and a Special Collections Research Center Working Group was formed within the Library to directly engage in the planning process.
“It is no accident that the growth of Illinois into an internationally recognized and world-class university has coincided with the growth and development of one of the most important and most distinguished academic libraries in the country,” said Andreas Cangellaris, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “This is a vital first step forward to ensure that our University Library continues to provide the vibrant heartbeat our university needs to continue to be one of the most influential universities in the world.”
To ensure the archives and special collections building reflects the University Library’s vision and aspirations while meeting the needs of the campus community, broad consultations have and will continue to be part of the design process. The building has a $46 million project budget with more than $40 million already secured. It is slated to be completed in 2024.
RATIO, founded in 1982, is a design firm that has “achieved international recognition on the strength of projects requiring complex consensus-building and contextual design in urban and campus environments” with five studios located in Champaign, IL; Chicago, IL; Raleigh, NC; Denver, CO; and Indianapolis, IN. More information is available at ratiodesign.com.
Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch is a national architecture firm and a woman-owned business enterprise with offices in Hartford, CT; Houston, TX; and Phoenix, AZ. More information is available at shepleybulfinch.com.