Digital Library Collections & Activities

Through its Digital Library Program, The University of Chicago Library creates a variety of digital collections by retrospective digitization of existing Library materials and by supporting faculty-driven  projects and other related initiatives across campus to create online scholarly resources. Selection decisions are guided by the Library's Collection Development Policy for Digital Collections [pdf]. Whenever possible, the Library's digital collections are made freely accessible to the public. 

 

Manuscript Letter Train Pamphlet Students in class Hyde Park Map Page from English-Greek Dictionary Hide Park A Comedy Titlepage Timeline Website

Archival and Manuscript Collections

American Environmental Photographs, 1891-1936
Images from more than 4,500 glass lantern slides, glass negatives, and photographic prints, created by faculty members and students of the University of Chicago Department of Botany between 1891 and 1936, influential in the development of modern ecological studies. These photographs provide an overview of important representative natural landscapes across the nation

The University of Chicago Photographic Archive
Ongoing project to digitize the Archival Photographic Files which contain more than 60,000 images and are the principal archive of historic photographs of individuals, buildings, and events associated with the University of Chicago.

A Century of Progress: The 1933-34 World's Fair
Pamphlets selected from the Library's official collection of pamphlets, brochures, and booklets published specifically for the Century of Progress World's Fair between 1933 and 1935.

The First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820
A collaboration between the University of Chicago Library and the Filson Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky, to digitize 745 rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, prints, and manuscripts presenting a wide-ranging historical overview of the Ohio River Valley and trans-Appalachian West from the earliest Euro-American settlement to the passing of the frontier beyond the Mississippi River.

Goodspeed Manuscript Collection
An ongoing project to digitize 68 New Testament manuscripts and 114 papyri fragments including Greek, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts ranging in date from the 5th to the 19th centuries.

Large Scale Digitization of Archival Collections
An initiative to efficiently digitize complete archival collections by scanning each archival folder and providing access through the collection's finding aid.  A sample of collections already digitized include:

American Recipes, 1855-1905
Anderson, William H. and the Anti-Saloon League. Papers, 1903-1928
Archicofradía del Santísimo Sacramento y Caridad. Records, 1555-1858
Bakwin, Dr. Harry and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin. Soviet Posters. Collection, 1930-1932
Baldwin, Loammi. Papers. (CrMs 203), 1821-1842
Davis, Jefferson, Trial Papers. MS 979, 1865-1868
Lewis, Fielding. Papers, 1783-1900
Lincoln Collection. Lincoln Miscellaneous Manuscripts, 1587-1924
Middle Eastern Posters. Collection, 1970s-1990s
Old University of Chicago. Records, 1856-1890
Paper Dolls. Collection, mid 19th century
Slavery and Indentured Servitude Collection, 1752-1864
Starr, Frederick. Liberian Research Collection, 1792-1914
University of Chicago. Laboratory Schools. Work Reports. Records, 1898-1934
University of Chicago. Office of the Registrar. World War I Service. Records, 1917-1919
Wells, Ida B. Papers, 1884-1976
Yoshitoyo, Ichiryusai. Mashin teate kiho no ben, Makiyama Sensei dempo, 1800s

Philip M. Klutznick: Community Builder, Jewish and Civic Leader, Diplomat
Digital archive drawn from the Philip M. Klutznick Papers hightlighting his multi-faceted life and career as a pioneering community developer, philanthropist, United Nations representative, U.S. Secretary of Commerce and leader of the American and international Jewish community.

Rose and Chess
Two medieval French manuscripts written and decorated in France ca. 1365, Le Roman de la Rose and Le Jeu des échecs moralisé, were originally bound together but later separated and have once again been reunited both in the University of Chicago Library collections and as digital facsimiles.  Our digital copy of Le Roman de la Rose is also available as part of the Johns Hopkins website collocating copies of the manuscript from around the world.

Finding Aids

Archives and Manuscripts Finding Aids
Electronic finding aids to the Library's extensive archives and manuscript materials.  See Large Scale Digitization of Archival Collections for a list of collections which have been converted to digital format.

UNCAP: Uncovering New Chicago Archives Program
Electronic finding aids to contemporary poetry collections and the Chicago Jazz Archive at the University of Chicago Library and to important archival collections that chronicle Black Chicago from Chicago Defender, The DuSable Museum, The Vivan Harsh Collection of the Chicago Public Library, and the South Side Community Art Center.

Book, Journal, and Pamphlet Collections

Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean World
Materials from the Library's Ancient Near East and Classics collections, focusing on volumes published between 1850 - 1950, many of which have a significant number of illustrations or plates.

A Century of Progress: The 1933-34 World's Fair
Pamphlets selected from the Library's collection of official pamphlets, brochures, and booklets published specifically for the Century of Progress World's Fair between 1933 and 1935.

Cervantes: Text and Image
Collection of scanned editions of Don Quixote and associated texts focusing on illustrations and critical texts.  Created in conjunction with the Ekphrasis in the Age of Cervantes conference hosted by the University of Chicago in 2004.

The Chicagoan
A jazz-aged magazine, modeled on the New Yorker, that aimed to portray the city as a cultural hub and counter its image as a place of violence and vice. The magazine contains a wealth of material on the literary, cultural, artistic, athletic and social milieu of Chicago between 1926-1934.

Chopin Early Editions
Digitized version of the Library's collection of early printed editions of Chopin's musical compositions. The collection can be searched by a variety of data points including uniform title, genre, plate number, dedicatee, publisher. place of publication, etc., allowing scholars to study the differences between scores as they were published concurrently in different countries with variant texts.

Digital South Asia Books and Journals
Pedagogical books, general scholarly titles, journals, and newspapers from the South Asian region for research and reference.

Electronic Open Stacks (EOS)
Interface for page-turned image-based (facsimile) books.  The collection primarily contains materials from the Ancient Near East and Classics collections.

Electronic Full Text Sources (EFTS)
The Library makes available a wide variety of full-text, searchable scholarly texts.  A large number are mounted under PhiloLogic, the University of Chicago's Full-Text System.

The First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820
A collaboration between the University of Chicago Library and the Filson Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky, to digitize 745 rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, prints, and manuscripts presenting a wide-ranging historical overview of the Ohio River Valley and trans-Appalachian West from the earliest Euro-American settlement to the passing of the frontier beyond the Mississippi River.

Geological Survey of Illinois
The reports of the first Illinois Geological Survey, directed first by Dr. Joseph G. Norwood from 1851-1855 and by Amos H. Worthen from 1858-1875, are a rich resource of information about Illinois geology, landscape and mineral resources.

Goodspeed Manuscript Collection
An ongoing project to digitize 68 New Testament manuscripts and 114 papyri fragments including Greek, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts ranging in date from the 5th to the 19th centuries.

Italian Women Writers (IWW)
The Italian Women Writers project (IWW) is a long-term research endeavor to preserve and provide access to an extensive corpus of literature written by Italian women authors.

Philologic Full-text Collection
Searchable full-texts available via the locally-developed Philologic full-text search, retrieval and analysis tool. The collection includes texts from Bibliopolis, Chadwyck-Healey, Alexander Street Press, the ARTFL project and others which cover a variety of humanities disciplines in a variety of languages.

Rose and Chess
Two medieval French manuscripts written and decorated in France ca. 1365, Le Roman de la Rose and Le Jeu des échecs moralisé, were originally bound together but later separated and have once again been reunited both in the University of Chicago Library collections and as digital facsimiles.  Our digital copy of Le Roman de la Rose is also available as part of the Johns Hopkins website collocating copies of the manuscript from around the world.

The Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
A digital version of the Library's extensive collection of Antonio Lafreri's Renaissance-era Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae prints and maps which depicted major monuments and antiquities in Rome. The site also contains a set of virtual itineraries through Rome, guided by scholars from around the country.

Image and Photographic Collections

American Environmental Photographs, 1891-1936
Digital images from more than 4,500 glass lantern slides, glass negatives, and photographic prints created by faculty members and students of the University of Chicago Department of Botany between 1891 and 1936.

Digital South Asia Image Collections

Hensley Photo Library
Photographs taken during World War II by an American serviceman, Glenn S. Hensley.

American Institute of Indian Studies
The AIIS collection from the Center for Art and Archaeology in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, has over 125,000 photographs in the collection. The images fall into the broad categories of architecture, sculpture, terracotta, painting and numismatics.

Government College of Arts and Crafts (Chennai)
The Museum of Contemporary Art, housed within the Government College of Arts and Crafts, has a photograph collection dated from the mid 1800s. The subjects of these photographs range from the hill tribes of Niligiris to pagodas and monuments of the Madras Presidency to guns and antiques from Fort St. George.

Keagle Photograph Library
Photographs taken during World War II by an American serviceman, Robert Keagle.

Bond Photograph Library
Photographs taken during World War II by an American serviceman, Frank Bond.

Middle East Photograph Archive
A digital archive of early photographs of the Middle East.  Most of the photographs date to the second half of the nineteenth century. The archive is particularly strong in photographs of nineteenth century Cairo. 

Middle Eastern Posters
Middle Eastern Posters produced by government offices and private organizations, primarily in Iran and Afghanistan during the 1970s-1990s.

Soviet Posters:  The Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection
Nineteen Soviet political posters produced in the early 1930s, collected by the American physicians Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin during two trips to the Soviet Union.

The University of Chicago Photographic Archive
Ongoing project to digitize the Archival Photographic Files which contain more than 60,000 images and are the principal archive of historic photographs of individuals, buildings, and events associated with the University of Chicago.

Reference Works

Digital Dictionaries of South Asia, including Tamil, Pali, Sanskrit, Nepali, Persian, etc..

Digital South Asia Library Reference Works

English-Greek Dictionary: A Vocabulary of the Attic Language by S. C. Woodhouse, 1910

Web Exhibits

Special Collections Exhibits
Online exhibitions of materials from the Library's special collections.

Flight Before the Wrights: Octave Chanute, Chicago

Special Collections Exhibition Catalogues
Transcriptions of texts from past exhibits in the Special Collections Research Center.

The University of Chicago Centennial Catalogues
The University of Chicago Centennial Exhibition Catalogues presents the text and images from four catalogues published in 1991-92 to accompany a series of exhibitions celebrating the centennial of the University of Chicago.

Special Programs

Digital South Asia Library
The Digital South Asia Library is a project of the University of Chicago Library and the Center for Research Libraries in conjunction with a variety of national and international partners working together to provide digital materials for reference and research on South Asia to scholars, public officials, business leaders, and other users.

eCUIP Digital Library Project
The Library's ongoing collaboration with the Chicago Public Schools/University of Chicago Internet Project (CUIP) to build a K-12 digital library of materials for use by both teachers and students in the Chicago Public School System.  The project focuses on working with University faculty and centers to re-interpret their expertise for a K-12 audience.

Fathom Archive
This Library archive offers access to the complete range of free content developed for Fathom by University of Chicago faculty, researchers, and departments. It includes lectures, articles, interviews, and exhibits

Google Books
The Library is participating in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) initiative to partner with Google to scan books from Library collections and make them available for data mining and reading (as copyright permits).

HathiTrust
The Library was a founding member of the HathiTrust partnership of research institutions and libraries that is working to build a digital archive to ensure the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.

Mapping the Stacks
The Library collaborated with Professor Goldsby on her Mapping the Stacks project which trained PhD students in archival practices and partnered with local institutions rich in mid-20th century African American collections to address the funding and staffing gaps necessary to keep their collections fully accessible to the public.  Students produced electronic finding aids to archival collections that chronicle Black Chicago between the 1930s and 1970s in area institutions including the Chicago Defender, The DuSable Museum, The Vivan Harsh Collection of the Chicago Public Library, and the South Side Community Art Center.