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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Library Wellness Challenge 2023

What are we collecting?

This year, our goal is one step for every single one of the 14 million volumes in our Library's collections: 14 million steps (approximately 6329 miles)!

Week One takes us from our first step to somewhere close to our 4 Millionth Volume!

From Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World (1614) to the 1945 Smyth Report (a history of atomic research during World War II), to the earliest surviving geography in Latin, to the Greek poet Lycophron's epic poem Alexander with annotations by the poet John Milton, our first four million volumes are full of fascinating surprises...

In Week Two, we travel from the 4 Millionth volume to the 6 Millionth volume and possibly into the 7 Millionth volume...

The first Bible printed in America (bonus: it's in a Native American language, Wôpanâak), an early atlas of the stars, and a travel guide to the Middle East for 15th-century pilgrims: lots of traveling to get to this week's landmarks.

Week Three! Halfway through...now we need to get from the 8 Millionth volume to the 11 Millionth volume...

This week takes us on a tour of a beautiful book about houses, designed and illustrated by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, detailed engravings of horses, a hand-crafted memory book created by Library staff, and a book that Benjamin Franklin was proud of. 

The final week, Week Four....we can do it! That 14 Millionth volume is in our reach!

The doodled person in the funny hat who's been walking with us comes from our 12 Millionth volume, a hand-drawn children's story by H.G. Wells. For the 13 Millionth volume, we travel to Japan with one of the earliest Japanese books printed from moveable type, the Tales of Ise. And we finish strong with emeritus history professor Fred Hoxie's sesquicentennial commemorative work, The University of Illinois, Engine of Innovation. 

Want to get some extra steps in and learn more about each of these books? Go visit the Millionth Volumes exhibit, on display in the North-South Gallery of the Main Library!