University of Illinois Library
University of Illinois Library | 1408 W. Gregory Drive | Urbana, IL 61801

Special Collections Manuscript and Archival Materials at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Manuscript and archival materials are held within several units (repositories) with the University Library:

  • Illinois History and Lincoln Collections (IHLC)
  • Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML)
  • University Archives (UA), including the Student Life & Culture Archives (SLC) and the Sousa Archives & Center for American Music (SACAM)
  • American Library Association Archives (ALA)

Holdings for each unit are described in separate databases. You can search our databases below, or scroll down for additional information on each repository.

Search Manuscript and Archival Materials

The holdings for IHLC, RBML, UA, and ALA can be searched together, along with PDF finding aids, through the search box below. Please note that this search box relies on Google and may not include the most recent additions to our holdings.

Alternatively, you can search our manuscript collection or record series descriptions directly for keywords, such as names, places, formats, or topics. These results will always include the most recent additions to our databases, but each database must be searched individually. You can find a brief description of the kind of materials each unit includes as well as a link to the main page of each database on the second half of this page, below the search box.





Archives and Manuscript Repositories at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Illinois History and Lincoln Collections


Includes manuscript and archival materials documenting the history of the state of Illinois and its inhabitants and the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

Materials include records of organizations and individuals as well as diaries, letters, and other personal papers.

Questions? Contact us at ihlc@library.illinois.edu.

Access location: Main Library, Room 324, 1408 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana

Rare Book & Manuscript Library


Includes literary archives, archival collections associated with literary figures, and publishers' archives. Other collecting areas represented include Radical Literature and Political Activism, the Spanish Civil War, and Italian Cultural History.

Key literary figures documented include H.G. Wells, Carl Sandburg, W.S. Merwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Marcel Proust.

Questions? Contact us at askacurator@library.illinois.edu.

Access location: Main Library, Room 346, 1408 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana

University Archives


Encompasses the University Archives, Student Life & Culture Archives, and Sousa Archives & Center for American Music holdings.

Includes non-current University records, faculty and alumni papers, and materials from the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, the Advertising Council Archives, and other institutions whose archives are held on contract for their research value.

Questions? Contact the University Archives at illiarch@illinois.edu.

Access locations: Main Library, Room 146, 1408 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana; Harding Band Building, 1103 S. 6th Street, Champaign; Archives Research Center, 1707 S. Orchard Street, Urbana

Student Life & Culture Archives


Student Life & Culture Archives (SLC) is a program of the University Archives that actively documents the history and traditions of student life and culture at the University of Illinois.

Records include alumni and student papers (including diaries, scrapbooks, correspondence, and photographs), student organization records, administrative office records, oral histories, and student publications.

Questions? Contact Contact the University Archives at illiarch@illinois.edu.

Access location: Archives Research Center, 1707 S. Orchard Street, Urbana

Sousa Archives & Center for American Music


The Sousa Archives & Center for American Music (SACAM) is a program of the University Archives that acquires and preserves significant archival records and historical artifacts in multiple media formats that document America’s local and national music history and its diverse cultures.

Records and artifacts include original music compositions by John Philip Sousa, papers of band directors and other musicians, sound recordings, and music instruments.

Questions? Contact the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at sousa@illinois.edu.

Access location: Harding Band Building, 1103 S. 6th Street, Champaign

American Library Association (ALA) Archives


The American Library Association Archives is the repository for the American Library Association, the world’s oldest and largest national library association.

Records include official records, correspondence, publications, photographs, sound recordings, films, and videotapes. Records relating to affiliated and associated organizations, such as the Art Libraries Society of North America, are also included.

Questions? Contact us at ala-archives@library.illinois.edu.

Access location: Archives Research Center, 1707 S. Orchard Street, Urbana