In the first phase, we will transform the current Undergraduate Library building into an Archives and Special Collections building which will house the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the University Archives, and the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections. There is a critical need to improve access, preservation and conservation of our special collections which are currently housed in disparate and less than ideal environments. This new space will centralize collections and provide optimal conditions for preservation and scholarly access.
Undergraduate services will be centralized in the Main Library with other resources and services. Undergraduates will benefit from the elimination of the divisions between undergraduate and graduate students. Therefore, we have created a new model to centrally support all University scholars and provide a more comprehensive learning environment for undergraduates.
Future phases of the transformation will include renovation of the Main Library stacks, additional instruction and meeting space, and will culminate with enhancement of the Archives and Special Collections building to include state-of-the-art exhibit and instructional space.
“The idea of offering undergraduates the opportunity to be integrated into multidisciplinary research done by graduate students and faculty is one I wish had been around when I was an undergrad. This can only elevate the quality of undergraduate education and research at Illinois. We can’t wait to see it completed and will be delighted that the next generation of students will be able to take full advantage of this superb resource.” — James (Jim) Fessler, ’85 LAS