South Asia Open Archives Launched: University Library a Founding Supporter


Logo for the SAOA

The South Asia Open Archives (SAOA), which creates and maintains a collection of open access materials for the study of South Asia, launched on October 18, 2019, at the Annual Conference on South Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library is a founding supporter of SAOA. The Center for Global Studies at Illinois has also provided support for SAOA over the last few years.

The South Asia Open Archives is a rich and growing curated collection of key research materials from and about the region of South Asia, with historical and contemporary sources covering a variety of subjects in English and other South Asian languages. SAOA preserves, digitizes, and makes its content freely accessible to the world on the web. It is the product of a collaborative initiative of a broad consortium of research libraries in South Asia and around the world, including the University Library at Illinois, and their respective South Asian Studies librarians. It is enriched by substantial contributions of content—human and material resources from a community of libraries, research centers, archives, and other institutions partnering to bring these resources out for global scholarship and pedagogy.

According to Illinois’ South Asian Studies & Global Popular Culture Librarian Mara Thacker, “Seeing the launch of this product is gratifying both because it is the fruition of many years of work, and also because it provides critical access to primary source materials from South Asia that creates new possibilities for open access scholarship. SAOA’s successful launch speaks to the value of consulting librarian scholars with deep subject expertise in the creation of new resources. Finally, on a personal note I think it’s also a really powerful statement to see a grassroots, librarian-led initiative creating our own solutions to some of the problems posed by commercial publishers in recent years.”

The SAOA contains nearly 350,000 page images, with 13 languages represented. It is administratively hosted by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and presented online for open access in partnership with JSTOR/Ithaka.

The South Asia Open Archives is located online at

The Center for Research Libraries is an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries based in Chicago, Illinois. Additional information is located at

Ithaka is a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. For more information, visit

JSTOR, a digital library for scholars, researchers, and students, is part of Ithaka. More information is found at

Lynne M. Thomas Wins Hugo Award

Photo of Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas, head of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, has won a Hugo Award—science fiction’s most prestigious award. Thomas is now an eight-time Hugo Award winner.

Hugo Award winners were announced at the 77th World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland, on August 18, 2019. Thomas won for Best Semiprozine (a non-professional periodical publication) for Uncanny Magazine. Thomas is the co-editor-in-chief and publisher of Uncanny Magazine with her husband Michael Damian Thomas.

Past Hugo Award wins for Thomas include Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It (Best Related Work) in 2011; SF Squeecast (Best Fancast) in 2012 and 2013; Uncanny Magazine (Best Semiprozine) in 2016 and 2017; and Best Editor, Short Form and Uncanny Magazine (Best Semiprozine) in 2018. A comprehensive list of her awards is found in the Science Fiction Awards Database at


Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant to Support Email Preservation Project

male student working on a computer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $45,000 grant to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to support a project that will define ways in which email can be archived in PDF format.

Specifically, the grant-supported project will develop pathways to transform email messages, folders, and accounts into archive-ready PDF packages. PDF is an ISO-standardized version of the Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF can be specialized for use in the archiving and long-term preservation of electronic documents.

Chris Prom, associate university librarian for digital strategies and a professor at Illinois, is the principal investigator of the grant. Prom co-chaired the Task Force on Technical Approaches for Email Archives from 2016 to 2018. The Task Force, sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Digital Preservation Coalition, was created to help the library and archives community better preserve electronic correspondence that is of value for future scholarship and research. Its report, The Future of Email Archives, laid the groundwork for this project.

“Archives are filled with handwritten letters and typed memos. They provide an insider view to life before the digital age,” said Prom. “With this grant, The Mellon Foundation is helping archivists to better preserve digital correspondence.”

Prom will work with 13 collaborators in working groups over 10 months to define the significant characteristics of email that need to persist in PDF format to meet the needs of the email archiving community.

“PDF is one of several viable options for email archiving,”said Prom. “For those institutions that might want to convert emails to PDF, they need to be appropriately contained in a way that maintains their archival fidelity. The project funded by this grant will begin building that framework, while not excluding other potential pathways for email preservation.”

Two Hugo Award Nominations for Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas, head of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, has been nominated for science fiction’s most prestigious award—the Hugo Award. Thomas is already a seven-time Hugo Award winner.

Hugo Award finalists were announced on April 2, 2019. Thomas is nominated with her husband Michael Damian Thomas for Best Professional Editor, Short Form and Best Semiprozine (a non-professional periodical publication) for Uncanny Magazine. Thomas is the co-editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Uncanny with Michael Damian Thomas.

Three short fiction finalists on the Hugo Award nomination ballot are from Uncanny Magazine. “The Thing About Ghost Stories” by Naomi Kritzer is a finalist for Best Novelette; “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” by T. Kingfisher is a finalist for Best Short Story; and “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander is a finalist for Best Short Story.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have our work at Uncanny Magazine recognized by the science fiction community,” said Thomas. “We are so proud of all the works that we’ve published this year, and it’s an honor to be on the ballot with our fellow finalists.”

Past Hugo Award wins for Thomas include Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It (Best Related Work) in 2011; SF Squeecast (Best Fancast) in 2012 and 2013; Uncanny Magazine (Best Semiprozine) in 2016, 2017, and 2018; and Best Editor, Short Form in 2018. In addition to these seven wins, Thomas has garnered 16 Science Fiction/Fantasy nominations since 2011. A comprehensive list of her awards is found in the Science Fiction Awards Database at

The fan-nominated Hugo Awards are sponsored by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). Winners will be announced in August at Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon, the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, in Ireland. For more information about the Hugo Award, visit

2019-2020 Research Travel Grants Available

Book with Library U of I Urbana-Champaign on pages

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library and the Department of History are pleased to announce a Research Travel Grant to support scholars conducting research in any of the Library’s collections.

The University Library is one of the largest research libraries in the U.S., holding more than 14 million volumes and 24 million other items and materials in all formats, languages, and subjects. Special collections include the papers of literary figures such as Marcel Proust, H.G. Wells, Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks, extensive collections relating to the history of science and technology, one of the best collections in the U.S. of Slavic and East European materials, and a unique collection of sub-Saharan African research materials. Travel grant recipients will also have access to the Library’s digital collections (including journal subscriptions and licensed databases) during their stay.

For more information about the Library’s collections, see:

Travel grants may be used toward round-trip airfare, and accommodations in Urbana-Champaign, IL for up to three weeks.

Eligibility: Scholars at the graduate and post-doctoral levels who wish to conduct research at the University of Illinois Library are invited to apply. Non-U.S. residents are eligible but should consult with us about possible visa issues before applying.

Obligations: Travel grant recipients must arrange with a local sponsor in a relevant academic department. Recipients of the award are encouraged to present their work publicly to the campus community at the University of Illinois and/or meet informally with faculty and students during their stay.

Travel grant recipients must reside continuously on campus or within a short driving distance during the award period (a minimum of 5 working days).

If a travel grant recipient publishes work resulting from the research visit, the Library will appreciate acknowledgment of the grant’s benefit as well as copies of the publication(s) for our collection.

Deadlines: Applications for 2019-2020 will be accepted until May 1, 2019.

Award period: Visits may be scheduled at any time during the year from June 1 of the year in which the award is made through May 31 of the following year.

Application: Please send the following application components (as email attachments) to

  • Project proposal (no more than three pages) which clearly highlights how the work at the UIUC Library is part of the scholar’s ongoing or future research
  • Updated CV
  • Letter of recommendation from a local scholar in a relevant academic department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Questions about the Research Travel Grant should be directed to

Sousa Archives Celebrates Black History Month with Renée Baker and the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project Ensemble


The University Library’s Sousa Archives and Center for American Music will explore America’s evolving artistic dialogues of race and identity for this month’s Black History Month. The three days of special programming kicks off on February 24, 2019, with a special premier performance of Composer Renée Bakers’ new film score composed for the newly discovered 1930 silent movie, Borderline.

Borderline, Kenneth Macpherson’s visually-compelling movie about interracial and LGBT relationships during the 1920s, stars Paul and Eslanda Robeson. The film’s showing will be accompanied by a live performance of Renée Bakers’ thirty-member Chicago Modern Orchestra Project ensemble. Following the showing of the film there will be a discussion with Renée Baker and the audience about her work on the movie and her continuing interest in reviving historical silent movies with her new film scores.

In addition to the Borderline screening, there are two historic silent movie showings on February 24 and 25, lectures by Renée Baker on her work as a composer and conductor for the University’s cinema studies and music students on February 25 and 26, and children’s educational programming for Urbana’s King Elementary School students on February 26.

For more information about these educational and public engagement programs, please contact the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at (217) 333-4577 or Or, visit

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John P. Wilkin wins 2019 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award

John Wilkin
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

News release courtesy of the American Library Association:

Chicago—John Price Wilkin, Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named the 2019 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. Wilkin will receive a cash award and citation during an ALCTS event at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Named in honor of one of the pioneers of library automation, the Atkinson Award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management and has made notable improvements in library services or research.

“John Price Wilkin exemplifies the spirit of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award through leadership, risk taking, and innovation,” said Bruce Johnson, Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award Committee chair and former senior library information systems specialist at the Library of Congress. “John was an early adopter of structured markup languages such as SGML and XML in his work at the University of Michigan as head of the Humanities Text Initiative and head of digital library production service, providing access to digital texts as well as a means for searchability and textual analysis. This work later inspired online publishing efforts at other institutions, including the California Digital Library.”

“John led the Mellon-funded Making of America project, and early groundbreaking effort to digitize 19th-century books, and then built upon this experience to help launch JSTOR,” continued Johnson. “He managed the partnership with Google to digitize the University of Michigan’s collection, eventually leading to the foundation of the HathiTrust. As executive director of the HathiTrust, John established a model for shared governance and large-scale collaboration that secured sharing provisions for member libraries.”

“In his current role as university librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, John continues to lead innovation efforts, particularly in the area of research data curation,” noted Johnson. “All of these achievements have had far-reaching impact in the library profession and beyond, providing a foundation for transformation in publishing, research, and unprecedented access to digital content.”

Wilkin received his B.A. in Literature and English from Antioch College, his M.A. in English from the University of Virginia, and his M.L.S. from the University of Tennessee.

The Hugh C. Atkinson Award is jointly sponsored by four divisions of the American Library Association: the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA). The award is funded from an endowment established to honor Hugh C. Atkinson.

For more information regarding the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

University Library Hosts Library Research Showcase Feb 5

Library Research Showcase

The University Library invites the campus community to the Library Research Showcase in Room 220 of the Main Library from 1-4 p.m. on Feb 5. The showcase will highlight recently completed and ongoing research within the library, emphasizing its impact on the university, the professional disciplines of our many researchers and beyond.

Trial Access to 100+ Electronic Resources

ProQuest Website

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library has secured three years of trial access to every primary source product sold by ProQuest, an information-content and technology company which provides applications and products for libraries. ProQuest is piloting the program with a number of different universities.

The ProQuest “Access and Build Program” includes access through August 31, 2021, to 115 electronic resources (see below) that touch on the humanities, music and the arts, the social sciences, and some scientific disciplines. There are newspapers, government documents, digitized books and journals, scanned microform sets, streaming videos, and recorded sound collections.

A ProQuest website highlights everything that is available through the duration of the Access & Build Program. Users can search for digital journals, newspapers, and databases at Resources in the Program are labeled as a trial.

“While the resources secured through the licensing arrangement are not permanent acquisitions, the Library is excited to be able to make them available to the faculty, staff, and students at Illinois for a substantial amount of time,” said Tom Teper, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Technical Services. “In addition, this program banks our spending, creating a deposit account and enabling our purchasing decisions to be informed by data gathered about the collections’ use.”

ProQuest Titles Available through Trial Access:
British Periodicals Collection IV
British Periodicals III
Education Magazine Archive
Historical Newspapers: American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger
Historical Newspapers: Austin American Statesman
Historical Newspapers: Communist Newspaper Collection
Historical Newspapers: Jerusalem Post
Historical Newspapers: Jewish Exponent
Historical Newspapers: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Historical Newspapers: Philadelphia Inquirer
Historical Newspapers: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Historical Newspapers: South China Morning Post
Historical Newspapers: St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay Times
Historical Newspapers: The American Israelite
Historical Newspapers: The Globe and Mail
Historical Newspapers: The Korea Times
Historical Newspapers: The Scotsman
Historical Newspapers: Toronto Star
News Policy and Politics Magazine Archive
Religious Magazine Archive
The Vogue Italia Archive
Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War
Womens Magazine Archive Collection 2
Womens Wear Daily Archive
Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection Part B 1998-2001
Congressional Record Permanent Digital Part D – 2006-2009
Digital U.S. Bills and Resolutions 1789-2013
Executive Branch Documents, Part 3 1940-1942
Executive Branch Documents, Part 4 1943-1945
Executive Branch Documents, Part 5 1946-1948
Historical Statistical Abstracts of the U.S.: 1878-1928 (3)
Indian Claims Insight
Public Petitions to Parliament, 1833-1918-
House of Lords Parliamentary Papers 1800-1910
History Vault: American Indians and American West
History Vault: American Politics and Society from JFK to Watergate, 1960 -1975
History Vault: American Politics in the Early Cold War – Truman and Eisenhower Administrations, 1945-1961,
History Vault: Confederate Military Manuscripts
History Vault: Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files – Africa and Middle East
History Vault: Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files – Asia
History Vault: Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files – Europe and Latin America
History Vault: FBI Confidential Files and Radical Politics in the U.S. , 1945-1972
History Vault: Immigration: Records of the INS, 1880-1930
History Vault: Labor Unions in the U.S., 1862-1974: Knights of Labor, AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO,
History Vault: Law and Society since the Civil War
History Vault: Margaret Sanger Papers
History Vault: New Deal and WWII
History Vault: Office of Strategic Services State Department Intelligence and Research Reports
History Vault: Progressive Era: Robert M. La Follette Papers
History Vault: Reconstruction and Military Government after the Civil War
History Vault: Records of the Children’s Bureau, 1912-1969
History Vault: Slavery and the Law
History Vault: Southern Life and African American History, Plantations Records Part 2
History Vault: Struggle for Women’s Rights, 1880-1990: Organizational Records
History Vault: Students for a Democratic Society, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement,
History Vault: U.S. Diplomatic Post Records, 1914-1945
History Vault: Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy
History Vault: Workers, Labor Unions, and the American Left in the 20th Century
History Vault: World War I: British Foreign Office Political Correspondence
History Vault: World War I: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Diplomacy in the World War I Era,
History Vault: World War II: U.S. Documents on Planning, Operations, Intelligence, Axis War Crimes and Refugees
African American Biographical Database
Black Studies Center Dissertations Module
C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
Early European Books Collection 1
Early European Books Collection 11
Early European Books Collection 12
Early European Books Collection 3
Early European Books Collection 4
Early European Books Collection 5
Early European Books Collection 6
Early European Books Collection 7
Early European Books Collection 8
Early European Books Collections 10
Early European Books Collections 9
American Civil War Research Database, The
American Civil War: Letters and Diaries, The
American Newsreels in Video
Audio Drama: The L.A. Theatre Works Collection
Black Drama Third Edition
Contemporary World Drama
Dance Online: Dance Studies Collection
Digital Karl Barth Library, The
Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts, The
Digital Library of the Catholic Reformation, The
Early Experiences in Australasia: Volume I
Film Scripts Online Series: American Film Scripts Online, Volume I
Film Scripts Online Series: Film Scripts Online, Volume II
Food Studies Online
Gilded Age, The
Human Rights Studies Online
Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines
Images of America: A History of American Life in Images and Texts (whole country)
Music Online: Classical Scores Library: Volume I
Music Online: Classical Scores Library: Volume II
Music Online: Classical Scores Library: Volume III
Music Online: Classical Scores Library: Volume IV
Music Online: Reference: Music Periodicals in the 19th Century
North American Indian Drama, 2nd Edition
North American Indian Thought and Culture
North American Women’s Drama, 2nd Edtion
Performance Design Archive Online
Psychological Experiments Online
Revolution and Protest Online
Social Theory, 2nd Edition
Social Work Online
Twentieth Century Advice Literature: North American Guides on Race, Gender, Sex, and the Family
Twentieth Century North American Drama, 2nd Edition
Twentieth Century Religious Thought: Volume I, Christianity
Twentieth Century Religious Thought: Volume II, Islam
Twentieth Century Religious Thought: Volume III, Judaism
BBC Landmark Video Collection