Illinois Harvest: a Book-Digitizing Project

From the IACRL*  Fall 2009 Newsletter:
The Digitized Books from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Collection is a major part of the Illinois Harvest, http://illinoisharvest.grainger.uiuc.edu/index.asp, a large scale digitization initiative of books and other works “about Illinois history, culture, and natural resources” held by Illinois and other U.S libraries. Illinois Harvest digitization began in 2007 with over 6000 books held at the University Library which are in the public domain and those for which the UIUC has copyright permissions to digitize. The Digitized Books Collection has been created in collaboration with the Open Content Alliance (OCA), http://www.opencontentalliance.org/, an international initiative to build a permanent digital collection of multilingual and multimedia resources.
The Illinois Harvest portal provides access to 89 digital collections such as, Abraham Lincoln-Full-text Books and Documents from the Illinois State Library, Collins Collection of Irish Political Cartoons or Historical Maps Online. The Digitized Books Collection website provides a thematic directory with the number of digitized books in each theme; for example, 19th Century British Novels, Community Cookbooks, Chicago, Libraries and Librarianship. New additions and other highlights are disseminated through the Digitized Book of the Week blog, http://www.library.illinois.edu/blog/digitizedbotw/, with searchable categories and archives. Among blog categories of digitized books are: Biodiversity, Chicago, Classics, Famous Illinoisans, Illinois, Lincoln and the Civil War, Railroad history and engineering, Rare Books, Rediscovered!, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Works in Translation.
Each entry provides a short annotation about the book, its literary and historical importance, and links to more information and quoted sources. The content can be viewed as a PDF file or in the Flip Book format. Both display formats offer searchable content of the book. It is a great resource for history students and aficionados. Currently, the Digitized Books from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Collection has 12,588 books available for viewing.
* IACRL is the Illinois Chapter of the Association for College and Research Libraries. Brookens Library Dean Jane Treadwell is the current president of IACRL.

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