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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ExploreCU Contributor's Guide: Researching

Information on how to submit content for use in ExploreCU

Local Sources and Collections

The following sources and collections will help you to find information and media about local arts, culture, and history. If you're having trouble finding information, use the "ask a librarian" widget on this page.

Champaign County Historical Archives

Located in the Urbana Free Library, the Champaign County Historical Archives contains historical information about Champaign County.  Like the University Archives, many materials are available online but you may need to go in person for specific materials.

University of Illinois Archives

The University Archives will be an invaluable source of information for buildings on campus, and will have information such as historic photographs and documents. While many materials have been digitized and are available through the Archives’ website, you may need to go in person to perform research. Consult the "using the University Archives" LibGuide for more structured assistance.

Illinois History and Lincoln Collection

Located in room 322 of the Main Library, this Unit specializes in Illinois history. Users may browse the collections. Materials are non-circulating.


The History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library offers a guide to historic newspapers online, including several specific to Illinois. Newspapers will contain information about current and historic events.

HathiTrust Digital Library

A partnership of over eighty libraries and research institutions, the HatiTrust is an invaluable source of information with over 11 millions digitized volumes accessible. Many historic volumes about Champaign Country are available online through this resource.

Illinois Digital Archives

Serving as a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library and other Illinois libraries and cultrual institutions, the IDA maintains an abundance of information about Illinois.

Finding and using images LibGuide

This LibGuide provides generalized resources on finding images online and in print. Included is a page about library digital collections, of which Illinois Harvest and CARLI Collections will be the most useful for this project. 

eBlack Champaign-Urbana

eBlackCU is a collaborative portal on African-American history and culture in Champaign-Urbana. It includes images, newspaper articles, documents and finding aids.

Learn: Insider's Guide to the Library

This library page provides information on using library sources, such as the online catalog, journals and databases, LibGuides, and more.

Evaluating Web Pages

  • Authorship: Who wrote the article on this website? What qualifies them to write this document?  Are they a recognized authority on the topic/in the field?
  • Authority: What entity published this website?  What is the URL domain (is it a preferred one of .gov .org, .edu, or .net)?
  • Objectivity and Bias:  What are the goals of the website?  Why was it written and for whom?  Does the entity or author presenting the information have a stake in the issue discussed?
  • Coverage:  Are there references to outside published sources or a bibliography listing referenced sources?   Are the referenced sources verified for appropriateness and accuracy?
  • Currency:  When was this website last updated? When was this article written?  Are the links dead or current?

I need more help!

The following subject guides will help you pull together your research: 

Finding and using images

Research standards and practices

Organizing your research: a guide