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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Summer Research Laboratory Orientation

A guide to the University of Illinois Library for the Summer Research Laboratory on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia


Welcome to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and to the Summer Research Lab! The Summer Lab will be held this year from June 15th to August 9th, 2020.

The history of the Summer Research Lab dates back to the founding of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center in 1958. At the time, the University of Illinois was not known as a center for Slavic area studies. It was the arrival of Dr. Ralph Fisher that spearheaded the initiative to grow the center into a nationally - and later internationally - renowned area studies center. In the following year, he hired Larry Miller to take charge of the Slavic collection at the university library, and by 1964, in less than six years, it was already the largest Slavic library collection in the Midwest. The year 1970 greeted another milestone for Russian, East European, and Eurasian area studies on campus when the Slavic Division at the library moved to its own separate reading room, where all the library staff and scholars from various departments could come together. The first session of the Summer Research Lab was in 1973, not only marking a turning point for campus area studies, but setting a nationwide precedent for research pertaining to this region. Within the next two years, the Slavic Reference Service was officially established, thereby enabling the Slavic librarians to remotely share their reference knowledge with scholars worldwide throughout the year.

Nowadays, thanks to the visionary work of Ralph Fisher, Larry Miller, and many other Slavic librarians and scholars, the collection on campus is routinely ranked as the second or third largest Slavic collection in the country. Furthermore, the strong ties between the Slavic Reference Service and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center has served as a model for how the other area centers interact with and draw from the International Reference Services in the library. Both the institutional strength of the center and the vastness of the library collection have drawn some of the best scholars in myriad fields such as literature, cinema, history, musicology, and anthropology to call the University of Illinois their home, marking it as an intellectual landmark for Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies in many disciplines. (For more information on the history of the center and the library's Slavic collection, check out this blog post.)

During your time here as an SRL Associate, you will have full library privileges to conduct research. These privileges include free access to the stacks, use of a carrel, and the right to check out books and bound periodicals. This guide will serve to orient visiting scholars on the multitude of research technologies available at the University of Illinois Library. 

The Slavic Reference Service staff will be available to assist you with technology related issues. Do not hesitate to contact us at:

For more information about our library, please visit the Learn website for an Insider's guide to the library

Slavic Reference Service

In August of 2011, the Slavic, Asian, Africana, and the Latin American and Caribbean departmental libraries were consolidated into the International and Area Studies (IAS) Library. But aside from that, the Slavic Reference Service, Acquisitions, and Cataloging staff continue to work, collaborate, and communicate with each other to create an ideal research space for SRL participants. All of the services associated with the Summer Research Laboratory for the last forty years are still in place. Throughout your stay, the Slavic Reference Staff are ready to assist you with research inquiries, to verify citations, to locate materials and holding institutions, to use research technologies, library access and policies, and with bibliographic sources.  

Contact Information


Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

International and Area Studies Library Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9:00 am-6:00 pm; Friday: 9-5pm Saturday-Sunday: 1:00 pm -5:00 pm

Phone: 217-333-1349


319A, Main Library (Inside the IAS Library)
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801

Projects Affecting Library Accessibility

The summer can be a time of many construction and maintenance projects on our campus. This summer, a few projects will affect library accessibility and patrons should be mindful of the following closures:

  • The History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library will be closed starting May 13th for several weeks. HPNL services will be available in the International and Area Studies Library for the duration of the project and the circulating collections will be available in Main Stacks.

  • The Intersection of Armory Avenue and Sixth Street is closed to vehicular traffic

    • Crosswalks available on the north and west sides
  • Armory Avenue from Sixth Street to Wright Street is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic

  • Wright Street from Armory Avenue to South of Chalmers Street is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic

A map of road closures and accessible routes can be found here. Updates on the MCORE project which will affect road closures can be found here. 

Wireless Access at U of I

Here you'll find some information on Internet Access on and off Campus (Note: These annotations were composed by Technology Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

IllinoisNet is the primary wireless network on campus. It is a WPA2 secure wireless network that will allow you to access online campus resources. In most cases, once you properly configure your laptop, tablet, or phone to connect to IllinoisNet, you will be able to automatically connect to IllinoisNet anywhere on campus without having to log in again.

IlinoisNet_Guest serves several purposes: configuring a device to connect to IllinoisNet, establishing guest access to the University of Illinois WiFi network

More information can be found at:

Additional Library Locations & Hours

Main Library 

Summer Hours: Monday- Friday: 8:30am-6pm; Saturday & Sunday: 1:00 pm -5:00 pm (Phonecenter M-F 8:30-5pm)

Phone: 217-333-2290


Main Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801


Undergraduate Library

Summer Hours: Monday -Thursday: 8:30 am-6:00 pm; Friday: 8:30 am-5:00 pm; closed Saturday & Sunday

Phone: 217.333.3477


1402 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL, 61801



Grainger Engineering Library

Summer Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8:30 am - 3 am; Friday: 8:30 am-6:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 1:00 pm -8:00 pm

Phone: 217-244-7826


1301 W. Springfield Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

Please note all libraries will be closed on July 4.