UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
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Foreword by Kalev Leetaru

December 6, 2009

The UIHistories Project is dedicated to providing a historical overview of the University of Illinois from the standpoint of its buildings and spaces. Many a history has been written of the politics of the institution, of its former presidents, of how various leaders shaped its existence. However, few students interact on a daily basis with their Chancellor or President. Instead, their years on this campus are marked by the spaces they inhabit: classes in Altgeld, labs in Everitt, study groups in the Undergraduate Library, naps in the Illini Union. It is often these spaces that they remember when they look fondly back upon their years here. No comprehensive history had ever been written of the buildings of campus and how campus has come to look as it does today.

Begun as a senior thesis in 2004, the UIHistories Project has continually expanded over the last five years to encompass more than 300 building biographies and more than 700 digital artifacts totaling more than 70,000 pages of digitized historical material. You can read an overview of how a campus building has evolved over time, and then pop into the Digital Library to browse the original historical documents relating to it for yourself. See its groundbreaking and dedication proceedings, perhaps its dedication speech, original maps showing its surroundings, and search for all of the references to it in the University's history.

Join us as we look back upon nearly 150 years of University history and reflect upon the future of this great institution!

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