Morris Library

Main Content


The major administrative components of Library Affairs are Reference Services and Collection Management, Special Collections and Development, Technical and Automation Services, and Instructional Services. The Ulysses S. Grant Association, which is editing and publishing the complete correspondence of President Grant, is also part of Library Affairs.

In addition to Morris Library with its staff of about 120, approximately 30 percent of whom are library faculty, there is a large storage facility on McLafferty Road for books, journals, and archives. Morris Library provides library users with substantial space for study (open study areas, group-study rooms, study carrels for faculty and doctoral students) and with access to duplicating machines for both paper and microforms, microform viewers, phonograph and compact disc players, film projection and video display equipment, and PC and CD-ROM workstations.


The library collection is an open-shelf collection which includes materials in a range of formats: paper (more than 2 million volumes), microform (about 3.2 million items), film, videotape, compact disc, phono record, CD-ROM, and floppy disk, is housed in four subject divisions. In addition, to their general collections, these divisions include other bodies of material.

  1. Social Studies Division: the Documents Center with approximately 360,000 documents in paper and 490,000 microfiche, including U.S. government and United Nations documents and the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) with over 2 million pages on more than 170 of the world's cultures.
  2. Humanities Division: an 18,000 item collection of sound recordings.
  3. Educational and Psychology Division: the Instructional Materials Center with collections of curriculum guides, children's literature (both recent and historical), amateur plays, recordings, filmstrips, three-dimensional educational aids, sample texts, reference works, and other materials useful to those working with juveniles and young adults.
  4. Science Library: the Map Library with over 200,000 maps and aerial photographs and 2,000 atlases.

There is an Undergraduate Library on the first floor with its smaller collection aimed at the needs of undergraduates. The Reserve Room and Self-Instruction Center are part of the Undergraduate Library. Also on the first floor is the Browsing Room with its collection of current books for recreational reading.

Special Collections, with offices on the second floor, contains manuscripts, rare books, and the university archives, the latter including selected non-current administrative files, university publications, theses, dissertations, and the papers of a number of faculty members. Important holdings include the John Dewey collection; First Amendment Freedoms; American, British, and Irish literature; political and proletariat theater; southern Illinois history; the archives of the Open Court Press, the Christian Century magazine, and the Library of Living Philosophers. The Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), locally supervised by Special Collections and housed in the Library Storage Facility on McLafferty Road, contains the non-current records of the 23 southernmost counties in the state.

Access to Collections

Information about currently received materials as well as most of the library's older collections is available through ILLINET Online (IO), a computerized catalog which provides author, title, subject, and keyword access to the holdings of more than 800 academic and public libraries throughout Illinois.

Professional Services

Librarians are available to present lectures to classes on particular library subjects and Instructional Support Services provides orientation to the library and its many computerized tools as well as instructional evaluation services (optical scanning for examinations, research data, and course and instructor evaluation questionnaires).