University Libraries Faculty Awarded CARLI Grants

Photo of a man in a suit holding a gold piggy bank with the text Faculty Awarded CARLI Grants

The Western Illinois University Libraries are pleased to announce that two librarians on our faculty have been awarded grants from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Jeffrey Hancks, Baxter-Snyder Professor of Icarian and Regional Studies in the University Libraries and Unit Coordinator of the University Archives and Special Collections, has been awarded a grant to create digital versions of historic WPA monographs on Illinois towns from the American Guide Series. These volumes were written and researched by high-caliber historians who were employed in the Illinois Writers' Project by the Works Progress Administration (later renamed the Work Projects Administration, or simply WPA) after finding themselves unemployed during the Great Depression. The books contain histories, descriptions of points of interest, maps, photos, and lore from places in Illinois such as Galena, Princeton, Nauvoo, and Cairo. "These books are treasures", Hancks notes, "and give a glimpse into small-town life in Illinois during the 1930's. They are valuable for people interested in the history and culture of Illinois." Hancks, who has previously overseen the digitization of other works about Western Illinois University and its region, will be making these American Guide Series volumes available on the website For more information on this project, please contact Hancks at 309-298-2718 or

Linda Zellmer, Government Information and Data Services Librarian, has been awarded a CARLI grant to digitize Nineteenth Century volumes of The Laws of Illinois, beginning with the earliest volumes in the University Libraries, from 1831, and going up to 1870. These volumes are a treasure trove of historical information about Illinois and contain information of legal, cultural, and even genealogical interest. The volumes, Zellmer notes, provide information about topics such as environmental policy and the development of women's rights, especially the rights of married women to own property in Illinois. Zellmer will be making these volumes available online. To learn more, please contact Zellmer at 309-298-2723 or