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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 200C: Visual History: VI. Other Source Collections

A course guide.

On this Page:

  1. Images
  2. Maps
  3. Shelf Browsing for Primary Sources
  4. School Textbooks
  5. Unpublished Primary Sources

1. Images

No list of image collections can hope to be comprehensive. Below are some big collections we think you'll find especially useful, but consider trying some of the important catalogs to digital resources on the Web:

The Library has produced several collections of digital images--these collections include historical maps, German emblem books, French World War I posters, and Irish cartoons. These collections are available at http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/ . There are dozens of other digitized image collections from other libraries and museums as well (for example, The Civil War in America from the Illustrated London News), which you can discover using the catalogs listed above.

The Architecture and Art Library also has a Guide to Finding Images, geared primarily towards fine art and architecture.

2. Maps

3. Shelf Browsing for Primary Sources

Your search for visual material will most likely involve identifying several possible call number ranges related to your topic and going to the shelves in the bookstacks to browse for books or periodicals with images you can use. For example, books with the subject heading Russia--Description and travel are classified in 914.7, and you can browse the books ont he shelves to look for pictorial material. General periodicals published in the United States are classified in 051. You might browse the bound volumes of a periodical such as Saturday Evening Post (051 SA) to find advertisements or illustrations. Often, browsing is the best way to discover visual sources.

4. School Textbooks

The Education and Social Sciences Library has a collection of school textbooks, including history textbooks. Consult their Curriculum Collection Guide for information on using this collection, and links to other textbook collections in the United States. The following is additional secondary material on locating and using history textbooks as primary sources.

5. Unpublished Primary Sources

The Library also has some unpublished primary source material (archives and manuscripts), but this is a relatively small body of material compared to the abundance of published primary sources held by the Library. Most of the unpublished primary source material will be found in the University Archives, located in the basement of the Main Library, or the Student Life and Culture Archive, located east of the President's house on Flordia Ave. in Urbana (1707 S. Orchard St.). More information is avialble about the holdings of the University Archives and the Student Life and Culture Archive at their website: http://www.library.uiuc.edu/archives/ , and the archisists can help you identify material on your topic.

There is another type of archival material in the Library that you might want to explore: if you are interested in advertising images, the Library holds 3 major collections of print advertising. The Communications Library curates the D'Arcy and Woodward Collections. The D'Arcy Collection contains 2 million ads published between 1890 and 1970, and the Woodward Collection contains 4 million ads from the late 19th century through the 1980s. In addition, the University Archives houses the Advertising Council Archives. The Advertising Council was established in 1942 to support the war effort through public service advertising and continues to operate today.