There is a good deal of archival material availble online: video, audio and image files. The latter category includes images of text files and much more. You can access this material via the archives' web site at http://archives.library.illinois.edu/get-help/holdings-and-databases/ . You will see a list of options. The first will take you to the complete database of the archives holdings. The link to AudioVisual Materials link will bring up mainly those files that are available as video.
Papers of Louis Anton Wright ('BS LAS '34, MS LAS '36) and Ruth Elizabeth Fisher Wright (BS COMM '35) include photos, student handbooks, schedules, concert, lecture, and dance programs, pennants, notebooks, class texts (chemistry), orders from the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and home films. It also includes materials pertaining to The Courtship of Louis and Ruth, a book of their letters transcribed by daughter Nancy Wright Meyer (BS COMM '65).
There are many examples of oral histories available from the archives.The examples below are taken from those collected for the "World War II at the University" collection. They should give you an idea of what you can find. Click on the image above or here for a more complete list by topic.
Students during World War II.
Click on the name to download the mp3 file.
Betty Nance Terry enrolled at U of I in 1940 and became a member of the Alpha Chi Omega fraternity. In the interview Terry recounts her work as a reporter for the Daily Illini and the changes that took place on campus when many of the young men left school for the war, including her recollections of the only woman to assume the role of Chief Illiniwek, Idelle Stith.
Katie Harper Wright came to the University of Illinois at age 16 and enrolled in the school of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).�She experienced formal segregation at the university and was forced to live off-campus in Champaign.�She also recounts her memories of Pearl Harbor and her friendship with the group of black air force pilots later known as the �Tuskegee Airmen.�