Arch-I’ve Got Some Sources for You

Hey, do you know about the University Archives? Well, you should, because they can help you meet all your campus-related primary source needs, as well as give you a fascinating glimpse into what life as a student at UIUC has been like over the years.

black and white vintage image of students walking down main quad

The quad in ye olden days. (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

An archive is a collection of historical documents that documents the life or developments of a person or organization. The University Archives, as the name suggests, collects documents that contain information about the history and functions of UIUC, and people who have been associated with it in some way. A lot of them are primary sources – interviews, letters, and things like that. If you’re working on an assignment that requires primary sources, why not visit the archives website or contact an archivist to see what they can help you with? The archives also have a guide to primary sources in general, if you need to start with the basics.

A lot of the things kept in the archives relate to the running of the University and its general history, but a lot of it is also about students just like you! The Student Life and Culture Program is one part of the University Archives that highlights the student experience at UIUC (and the United States in general), and how it has changed over time (and how it’s stayed the same). Some of your assignments might require you to investigate an issue on campus; the SLC has research guides that can help you find information about the history of hot-button topics on campus. Maybe you’re interested in Greek life on campus, or the experiences of African-American students. Those are just a few things you can learn about using archival materials!

If this brief introduction has you curious about archives, feel free to search their website for things that you’re interested in. You can get a sampling of their collection on the UGL’s Facebook and Twitter pages – we’re highlighting fun and interesting things we find in the archives in weekly Throwback Thursday posts.

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Remembering Roger Ebert

If there’s one thing we think esteemed alum Roger Ebert might’ve appreciated about the updates to the UGL, it’s the expansive film collection on the lower level. This weekend marks the 15th Annual Ebertfest Film Festival in Champaign, and it’s the first without its namesake, following Ebert’s passing on April 4.

Aside from his renowned writing style and deep love for the movies, Ebert was also dedicated to his hometown of Urbana and his alma mater, the University of Illinois. Check out the moving blog brought to you by our friends at the other end of the tunnel, the University Archives. Not only do they have a great collection of Ebert’s papers and correspondence, they also have interesting info on his life and time as a student at Illinois, including his tenure as editor of the DI.

If you’re looking for more information about this ground-breaking (and oft-controversial) film critic, devotee of the motion picture, and proud U of I journalism student, the library has plenty of his books:

Awake in the Dark book cover links to book in catalog Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert, Forty Years of Reviews, Essays, and Interviews

Scorsese By Ebert

I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie

Life Itself: A Memoir

Roger Ebert’s Four-Star Reviews: 1967-2007

An Illini Century: 100 Years of Campus Life

image of flaming film reels links to "A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length" book in library catalogThe Perfect London Walk

A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies that Suck

For other books by Ebert, head to the online catalog. Type Ebert, Roger (the best format when searching for authors) in the search box, and change the drop-down menu from “Keyword” to “Author.” Happy reading and hats off to an admirable man and friend of the University, library and the fields of journalism and film.





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Olympic Glory, Illini Style

Avery Brundage

Avery Brundage at the Opening Ceremony at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo

The 2012 Summer Olympics are well underway, and true to form, there have been several upsets, surprises and record-breaking performances.

While you’re kicking back on your couch watching the games, pontificating over just how much time these athletes must dedicate to working out (uh, way more than the average college student, we’re guessing), do you ever stop to wonder just how the Olympics get put together year in and year out? A massive amount of planning and coordination is needed, and at the helm is the International Olympic Committee. Only one American has ever served as the president of the IOC–University of Illinois alum and former Illini track and basketball star, Avery Brundage. (There’s even a scholarship named after him!)

Serving as IOC president from 1952-1972, Brundage witnessed many changes to the Olympics, and his decision  to continue the ’72 Munich Games after 11 Israeli athletes were killed by terrorists is still-controversial today. Intrigued to learn more about Mr. Brundage? Us, too! Luckily, the University Archives houses a vast collection of Mr. Brundage’s personal papers, photographs and paraphernalia, along with loads of other Olympic-related goodies.

To search for Olympic-related items (and anything else you might want to research) within the University’s archival collection, here are a few search tips to get started:

The Archives database can be searched via keyword or by record series. We searched for the term Olympics in the search box on the front page of the Archives web site. From there, we got a list of different types of materials, including:

  • Records and Manuscripts
  • Digital Images and Records
  • Unprocessed Materials
  • Subject Headings

We clicked on “Records and Manuscripts,” which brings up a list of collections that are related to our search for Olympics. Scrolling through the list, we found a link to the Avery Brundage Collection. If you click on the link into the collection, you’ll be greeted with a page that looks like this:

screenshot: "service location" means which Archives location has the records you need.

The series number, location of the folders/boxes and description of the collection are all highlighted. If you scroll further down the page, you’ll see a link to the PDF finding aid, which will generally give you a folder listing of everything in the collection. Those finding aids can be keyword searched in adobe as well.

screenshot: the PDF lists and describes the items in the collection.

After a little bit of searching, here are a couple more Olympics-related collections worth checking out:

You can also contact the Archives or visit in person if you would like further help (they’re located in Room 19–in the tunnel between the UGL and the Main Library)!



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