Booth Library
Eastern Illinois University
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University Archives and Special Collections Research

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Introduction to Archival Research
The University Archives and Special Collections holds a variety of documents, university records, faculty publications, manuscript collections, photographs, and realia. Research assistance is available via e-mail, phone, or in person.

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:00 pm
*Please call ahead if possible to confirm hours

Contact: 217-581-6093, 217-581-8457 or
Print Resources
Print resources abound in both the University Archives and Special Collections, and can be found through a search of our catalog. You can determine the location of any given item by noting the location in its record, as in this example for an item in Special Collections:

Most items in the University Archives and Special Collections do not circulate. This simply means that they may not leave the library, but can be looked at in the Archives and Special Collections reading room, and sometimes elsewhere in the library.

Below are a few "top pick" resources for university history:

Eastern Illinois State College, Fifty Years of Public Service
Call number: LB1861.C425x

The Emerging University: a history of Eastern Illinois University, 1949-1974
Call number: LB1861.C426x E5

The Architecture of Eastern's Old Main: Aesthetics, Education and Politics / Terry A. Barnhart and Nora Pat Small
Call number: LB1861.C45 A74 1999x

Warbler (EIU Yearbook)
Call number: LB1861.C45x W3

Other important resources found only in print are Eastern Illinois Sate Teachers College and Eastern Illinois State College Bulletins. Many of these have special editions such as:
Colseybur : a Collection of Poems and Quips by faculty member Franklyn L. Adams (1947)
Call number: PS3501.N56x C6
Important Online Resources

The Keep
With regard to the University Archives as well as Special Collections, "The Keep" is our Institutional repository that includes among many other things, full scans of all Warblers, a growing number of past editions of the Daily Eastern News, and archival images. It also contains digital versions of useful texts for researching university history such as Charles Coleman's "Eastern Illinois State College: Fifty Years of Public Service" (see print resources). You can search "The Keep" here.
Regarding images, there is an additional collection of a limited number of images which can be found in the Photo Archive, also found on the University Archives homepage.

Daily Eastern News Archive
The Daily Eastern News Archive is an excellent place to search for articles on key events, university organizations, or people related to EIU. You can find the Daily Eastern News Archive when you click in "Newspapers" on the Booth Library homepage (as seen in the image below), and then scroll down to it. The archive contains citations going back to 1914, and full text as far back as the 1970s and adding more.

Archival Collections and Finding Aids
University Archives collections and finding aids for them can be found by searching the holdings in the University Archives homepage searchbox. Not all archival collections have finding aids, however.
What are finding aids? Finding aids are documents that contain detailed information about a particular archival collection. A collection could contain many things, including correspondence, manuscripts, or photographs. Among other things, the finding aid typically contains biographical information about the collection's creator, and information about the arrangement and size of the collection. Some are paper, some are in Word document or PDF form, and other versions are displayed electronically with clickable links. Below is one such example of one of the finding aids from the University Archives:

The State Archives administers a system of Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) to manage the archival records of local governments. The IRAD depository at EIU, located within the University Archives in room 1700, contains records of historical and genealogical significance from various governmental units in East-central Illinois.
  • IRAD materials include such items as vital records, land records, wills, probate records, and jail registers.
  • An inventory of the records housed at the other IRAD depositories also is available.
  • IRAD, managed by the State Archives in Springfield, operates out of the University Archives.
  • Contact: 217-581-6093
  • Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Local History - General Research
The Special Collections in Booth Library contains a wide variety of a growing number of documents, collections, and artifacts related to Charleston, Mattoon, Coles County, and its environs. To find materials on local history, browse call number ranges for Illinois counties. For example:

Champaign County: F547.C4
Coles County: F547.C6
Moultrie County: F547.M9

Individual cities and towns can also be located by call number. For example:
Charleston: F549.C45 and F549.C46
Mattoon: F549.M3x and F549.M4

Searches using subject headings and subject heading strings in the Booth Library Catalog can also yield useful results. Here are a few examples:

Charleston (Ill.) - History

Coles County (Ill.) - History

Illinois - Description and travel