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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Archives is the major North American research center for the study of the history of librarianship. The archives of the University and of over 12 external associations provide researchers with invaluable documents relating to the history of the organization and dissemination of information in the United States, including the role of professional organizations in national and international events, and the history of prominent librarians and library schools.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LIBRARY
The UIUC Archives includes substantial materials on librarianship in the records of the University of Illinois Library and the records of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
The University of Illinois Library started as a collection of 1,039 volumes when it opened in 1868. Today it ranks as the third largest academic library in the United States. Dating from 1897, archival materials of the Library (Record Group 35) cover administrative and research activities of library faculty and staff in both technical and public services.
The University Archives holds many materials related to the history of the library, including 460 cubic feet of correspondence, minutes, reports, issuances, publications, newsletters, photographs, posters, and bookplates. There are also records relating to the early years of the Illinois Library Association (1892-1940). The Archives also holds the papers of library directors Katharine L. Sharp (1897-1907), Phineas L. Windsor (1910-40), Robert B. Downs (1943-71), and Hugh C. Atkinson (1976-86).
The records of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the fourth library school in the country and the first to open west of Philadelphia, are invaluable for the study of early professional librarianship. Archives for the School date from its affiliation with the Armour Institute in Chicago (1893-97) and subsequent relocation to Urbana in 1897. They comprise over 400 cubic feet and cover administrative, teaching, and research activities of library faculty, staff, students and alumni. Among the holdings are correspondence, minutes, reports, announcements, publications, newsletters, photographs, posters, and bookplates. There are also materials on curriculum, inspection trips, clinics and conferences, surveys, theses, and a library reference file. Additional documents cover the early years of the Illinois Library Association (1892-1940); the Library School Alumni Association, the oldest alumni association affiliated with a school in the University (1898 - ) with extensive holdings on alumni (1893 - ); the Library Research Center (1961 - ); and the Publications Office.
LIBRARY ASSOCIATION RECORDS
Complementing the strength of the Archives resources related to librarianship at the University of Illinois are are additional records relating to the history of library association. These archives are held by the University Archives (UA) or the ALA Archives on behalf of the organization and to support reserach and teaching. They include records for the numerous associtions, including the American Library Assocation and Amerian Association of Law Libraries.
More informaiton and links to holding descripitons are available on our library association webpage.
THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Specific inquiries about holdings and access should be sent to:
University of Illinois Archives
This document is based on University Archives Information Leaflet #9, April 1997
Last updated February 22, 2005.