For immediate release | November 29, 2011

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library to digitize College & Research Libraries archive

CHICAGO – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library has launched a project to digitize the complete back contents of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) official scholarly research journal College & Research Libraries (C&RL). The volunteer initiative will scan the full contents of C&RL through 1996 and make them freely available to the public in the University of Illinois’s IDEALS institutional repository. C&RL contents from 1997 to the present will remain freely available through the publication’s online presence at HighWire Press.

College & Research Libraries has been the primary research journal for the academic library community since its founding in 1939,” said C&RL Editor Joseph J. Branin of the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology. “With the digitization of the print back file from 1939 to 1996, the journal will be available in its entirety online and open access to the entire world. My thanks to the University of Illinois Library and ACRL for their generosity and fine work in making College & Research Libraries readily and freely available to library practitioners and researchers.”

"ACRL is extremely grateful to the University of Illinois for donating its time and resources to undertake this project,” added ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “Having the entire run of C&RL available digitally will be a real boon to researchers."

The University of Illinois Library’s Digital Content Creation department will perform the digitization of the approximately 340 issues of C&RL by unbinding one of the library’s two complete runs of the title and scanning using a high-speed InoTec SCAMAX document scanner. Text will be scanned at 400 dpi grayscale and issue covers at 400 dpi color. The digitization process will result in fully searchable PDF files at the issue and article level. Text files of the OCR output will also be created, and all original master image files will be ingested into the Medusa Digital Preservation Repository at Illinois. Its metadata unit will create issue and article level metadata for all content.

“Illinois has made a strategic commitment to exploring new trends in scholarly communication through our IDEALS repository, along with our digitization and scholarly communication education programs,” noted Scott Walter, associate university librarian for services and associate dean of libraries at Illinois. “We are excited and proud to follow our successful collaboration with the Graduate School of Library and Information Science in providing access to its signature journal, Library Trends, with this new partnership with ACRL to provide access to College & Research Libraries. The University of Illinois has been a destination for LIS researchers for decades, and we are happy to be able to collaborate with ACRL to provide open access to the premiere journal in academic librarianship.”

The C&RL project is the latest in a series of digitization efforts from the library at Illinois. The Digital Content Creation department previously scanned LIS publications such as Library Trends ( and the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books ( for public access through the IDEALS repository.

Current C&RL contents are freely available to the public at under the journal’s open access policy, adopted in April 2011. The full backfiles are expected to be made available through IDEALS by summer 2012. The IDEALS repository is available at Contact University of Illinois Library Assistant Director of Advancement for Publications and Public Affairs Heather Murphy at for additional information.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library is one of the preeminent research libraries in the world. With more than 24 million items, including 12 million volumes, 120,000 current serial titles and world-class collections of archival, manuscript, cartographic, and media materials, as well as ever-growing digital collections, it ranks second in size among academic research libraries in the United States and first among public university libraries in the world. The University Library serves millions of students, faculty, and scholars from around the world each year through its information and instructional services programs, as well as through its provision of access to a wide array of traditional and innovative library spaces and services. Home to the ALA Archives, the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, and a history of robust collaboration with the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the University Library is a center for innovative teaching, research, and practice in pre-professional, continuing professional, and lifelong education and research in Library and Information Science. For more information, please visit