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Undergraduate library at the University of Illinois may receive a new name for its new mission

The Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois was closed in May 2022 to be transformed into a new archives building.

CHAMPAIGN — The Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois’s Urbana campus was closed in May of 2022. The unique building, with its two main floors located underground, was dedicated in 1969 as a hub for undergraduate resources and study spaces. 

But last year, University officials announced the library would be closed and the building changed into a new home for archival and rare materials. 

Now, the new library could receive a new name: The Archives and Special Collections building. It will house the University of Illinois Archives, the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, and The Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

“The proposed renaming (of the former UGL building) to Archives and Special Collections will just better reflect the building’s purpose,” University of Illinois system Chief Financial Officer Paul Ellinger said at a Board of Trustees committee meeting Wednesday. 

The Board of Trustees will vote on the proposed renaming Thursday. 

Before the university made the decision to make the change the U of I Library’s archival and rare materials collections were in different locations all over campus. The library’s new name will show how the materials are now all together under one roof, Ellinger said.  

“The campus Special Collections are currently scattered throughout campus with resources residing in the Main Library, the Horticulture Field Lab and the Oak Street Library and other sites,” Ellinger said. 

Resources from the old Undergraduate Library will be moved into the nearby Main Library building and many of the other smaller libraries on campus, according to University of Illinois officials. 

The former Undergraduate Library will be ready to reopen as the Archives and Special Collections building in 2024. 

Farrah Anderson is a journalist and student at the University of Illinois. Follow her on Twitter @farrahsoa.

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Farrah Anderson

Farrah Anderson

Farrah Anderson is a student at the University of Illinois studying journalism. At Illinois Public Media, Anderson works as a general assignment reporter and produces and hosts the 217 Today podcast.

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