Presentation on the Vollintine Estate

Please Join Us

Tuesday, February 20 at 2:00 pm in the UIS Student Union – 226B

Brookens Library is hosting a special program that will feature University Archivist Tom Wood, who will highlight a recent collection received by the Archives that contains photos from the Vollintine Mansion in Taylorville. Known as “Grayton”, the 20-acre estate was built in 1911 by the heirs of Horatio Vandeveer, and was famous for its architecture and luxurious appointments.

Jackie Jackson Exhibit in the Library

Jackie Jackson with some of her life’s work boxed to go to the UIS archive. Photo credit: Illinois Times

UIS Professor Emerita of English and Women’s Studies, Jackie Jackson, was featured in a cover story in the November 2, 2017 issue of Illinois Times. To celebrate this honor, UIS Archives/Special Collections has created an exhibit about Jackson on Level 2 of Brookens Library.

Jacqueline Dougan Jackson was born near Beloit, Wisconsin and was raised on her family’s dairy farm.  She graduated from the University of Beloit in 1950, and received an M.A. in Latin from the University of Michigan in 1951. After teaching writing at Kent State University, in 1970 she was hired as a charter faculty member at a new university in Springfield, Illinois, named Sangamon State University (now UIS). She taught at UIS until her retirement in 2000, but, at age 89,  she still teaches writing in her home.

The exhibit includes copies of Jackson’s published books dating back to 1953.  Jackie published several children’s book, but also the Stories from the Round Barn series,  which includes her delightful and thoughtful reminiscences of her early years growing up on a dairy farm, and her remarkable family. The final volume of the Stories from the Round Barn series has just been published, and is the occasion for the Illinois Times feature article.

The exhibit also contains material from the Reading and Writing and Radio Jamboree, organized and directed by Jackie Jackson. Every spring from 1975 to 1993, hundreds of central Illinois schoolchildren converged on the SSU campus for the Jamboree, a festive occasion for students, second grade to high school, to come together and share and present essays on a variety of subjects, both serious and lighthearted. Selected essays would be read and broadcast on the campus radio station. Making Changes June 15th, the popular online geneology tool, is part of our resource offerings at Brookens Library. Please note the following changes in support provided by

Effective June 15th, will no longer be supporting Internet Explorer 8. If you are still using Windows XP, this means that your operating system will no longer be supported by It is recommended that you update your operating system to Windows 7 or higher, as has said it plans in the coming months to phase out support for all versions of Internet Explorer other than Internet Explorer 11. An alternative to updating your browser or operating system is to use one of the several other supported browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

New Tim Rice Musical Show Draws on Material in Archives/Special Collections

From here to eternity photoOn October 23, a new stage musical opened in the Shaftsbury Theatre in London’s West End. The musical, From Here to Eternity, was based on the bestselling and award-winning 1951 novel by Illinois author James Jones. The lyricist for the musical is Tim Rice, famous for blockbuster shows like The Lion King, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita.

The production drew upon photographs from the Handy Colony Collection in the Archives/Special Collections department of Brookens Library, not only for use in publicity material, but to help create authentic costumes for the solders featured in the show.

The book of the musical was based on a new unexpurgated edition of James Jones’s From Here to Eternity, created by George Hendrick, a Professor Emeritus of English at UIUC. This new edition (published in 2011 as an e-book by Open Roads Media and as a trade paperback and e-book by Random House) also drew extensively on material contained in the UIS Archives.

From Here To Eternity ArticleThe Handy Colony Collection was acquired by the University in 1984 and was processed by UIS Archivist Thomas J Wood and his staff in the following years. The large collection (filling 77 archives boxes of various sizes) was in considerably disarray when received and took over four years to arrange and process.

James Jones, the Handy Colony Collection and the musical From Here to Eternity are also featured in the latest issue (Fall 2013) of UIS Alumni Magazine.

Read the UIS Alumni Magizine article about “How a bedroom-sized collection of papers and artifacts of acclaimed novelist James Jones made their way to UIS”

Visit the From Here to Eternity The Musical Website