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Fall 2017 | Volume 19 | Number 1
In This Issue
Archives of Poet Haki R. Madhubuti and the Third World Press Acquired
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer 

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library has acquired the papers of Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, one of the most provocative poets of his generation, and the Third World Press (TWP)/Third World Press Foundation, the oldest independent Black-owned publisher in the United States. The archive includes important documentation of Madhubuti’s original work as a writer, educator, and intellectual leader, and it provides an essential and unique record of the inner workings of TWP.

Manuscripts preserved in the archive, which spans approximately 500 linear feet of library shelving or 300 boxes, include Madhubuti’s own work, and that of other leading TWP poets and writers, such as Amiri Baraka, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee, Sonia Sanchez, Derrick Bell, and Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks. The extensive literary manuscripts and archives of Brooks, the first African American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize, became part of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Illinois in 2013.

The archive is a rich primary resource for studying the direct impact of TWP and one of the most important times in African-American literature, the growth of a singular Black enterprise, and its broad networks and communities of readers, writers, thinkers, and educators.

Click here to read more. 

Two Archivists and a Professor Emeritus Honored with Chancellor's Medallion
 From left to right: Winton Solberg, Maynard Brichford, and William Maher | Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

The university awarded the Chancellor’s Medallion to three men who have dedicated their professional lives to preserving and making available the history of the university.

Honored in a June 28 ceremony were Maynard Brichford, the university’s first archivist; William Maher, the current university archivist; and Winton Solberg, a professor emeritus of history. The Chancellor’s Medallion is the highest campus honor, having been awarded just six times since it was first presented in 1999.

“In this year when we begin our sesquicentennial celebration, it has become clear the most valuable and lasting legacy we have built as a university is our story. All of our great accomplishments, ideas and innovations trace back to the men and women who have been a part of this institution over the past 150 years,” Chancellor Robert Jones said. “Across their respective careers, these three have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that those voices will not be lost or forgotten. They’ve been the unwavering guardians of our history.

“It is difficult to imagine three individuals whose careers better represent the high standards recognized by the Chancellor’s Medallion,” Jones said. “It is no exaggeration to say that much of our understanding of the values and standards of Illinois has come about because of their work.”

Read the full News Bureau news release at

New Residents at the Library
 From left to right: Megan Ozeran, Jessica Ballard, and Karl Germeck

The Library filled three Visiting Residency Librarian positions this fall with the hiring of Jessica Ballard (University Archives), Karl Germeck (Digital Preservation), and Megan Ozeran (Data Analytics and Data Visualization, Scholarly Commons). 

The new University Library Residency Program was designed to provide early career librarians with an opportunity to gain strong professional expertise and skills in an academic and research library. The program allows the Library to fill existing staffing needs, build expertise around new program areas, and to experiment with new processes or technologies. Positions are offered to librarians within two years of receiving their degrees.

For more information on the University Library Residency Program, click here.

Research Data Service and ORCID

The Research Data Service (RDS), in conjunction with Library subject specialists and departmental libraries, offers consultation and review of Data Management Plans (DMPs) for grant applications for all agencies and foundations. DMPs are required by many major funding agencies.

The RDS staff also works with researchers to identify the best resources, either on or off-campus, for preserving data for long-term access. For more information about these or other research data-related issues, visit


ORCID is a registry of persistent name identifiers which uniquely distinguishes scholars from one another and provides those scholars with a means for linking to and sharing their research objects with others, including journal articles, data sets, multimedia projects, and patents. An ORCID identifier is free to register and establish for an individual researcher. The Library offers an ORCID LibGuide, including tips for using this registry and getting started. Please contact a Library subject specialist, the Scholarly Commons, or Illinois Experts consultants for more information.

What is the Slavic Reference Service?

The Slavic Reference Service (SRS) at the Library is a free year-round service that handles bibliographic and reference questions in all subject areas connected to Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. In addition, researchers can browse its collection of research guides which contain information on vernacular language print and electronic resources for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Moreover, the reference staff have a blog, which highlights recent online resources they have found useful in answering requests.

The SRS has an amazing reach. The map above shows all the research institutions around the world (universities, research centers, etc.) that the SRS has provided consultations to. 

Watch the Homecoming Parade with the Library

Friday, October 27, 5:30 p.m.
Main Library parking lot E3
Sixth Street and Armory Avenue

A time-honored tradition, the Illinois Homecoming parade will start at 6:00 p.m., on October 27 (weather permitting).

Please join us in the Library Friends tent in the northwest corner of the Main Library parking lot (E3) for a fantastic view of this year’s parade entries – including the Marching Illini – as they turn the corner at Sixth and Armory, right in front of the Library. Entertainment and refreshments will be available. Be sure to RSVP to or (217) 333-5682.

A NOTE ABOUT PARKING: Parking should be available in the Main Library lot, but please note that the lot will be CLOSED for the parade from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. For more information about this year’s Homecoming festivities, please click here.

What Illinois Faculty are Saying About the Library
 Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Ronald W. Bailey is the head of the Department of African American Studies at Illinois.

"African American Studies and the study of the Black experience, both here and abroad, must proceed in an interdisciplinary fashion with attention to the broader U.S. and global experience. It is imperative to have a library that is comprehensive and a library staff that is knowledgeable and cooperative. I have not found a topic that could not be fruitfully explored using the library resources at the University of Illinois. My biggest regret is that I have not been able to devote more time to work in the library as we contribute to our collective mission of promoting 'Academic Excellence and Social Responsibility.'"

We would love to hear your thoughts about the role the Library may be playing in your research and teaching. Share your comments with Heather Murphy at With permission, the Library may include your feedback in some of its publications where appropriate. 

Meet Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas joined the faculty at Illinois as the head of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library this fall and will develop and lead projects involving rare books and special collections collaboratively within the campus community and beyond. Thomas is a four-time Hugo Award winner, and has served as curator of rare books and special collections at Northern Illinois University since 2004, and as head of distinctive collections there since 2014. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature and French Literature from Smith College, Thomas earned a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from U of I (she's an alumna!) and a Master of Arts in English and American Literature from Northern Illinois University.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) at Illinois is located on the third floor of the Main Library. It is one of the largest repositories for rare books and manuscripts in the United States. The collections—nearly half a million volumes and three kilometers of manuscript material—are strong in the broad areas of literature, history, art, theology, philosophy, technology, and the natural sciences.

Have questions? Need help? Connect with Lynne Thomas at  


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