Behind the Scenes

Although library patrons and staff are at work throughout the building, at the ALPL it’s what you don’t see that ensures the vitality, permanence, and preeminence of the collection—collection development (acquisitions), conservation, and microfilming.

As the successor to the Illinois State Historical Library, which was founded in 1889, the ALPL maintains and constantly adds to materials that have been gathered over the past 120 years.  Some items require conservation treatment before they can be made available to researchers, some are prepared for exhibition at the Library and adjacent Museum, and still others are microfilmed to ensure the preservation of their contents to future researchers.  And to assure that researchers know what the Library holds, special librarians enter descriptions of materials for inclusion in online, worldwide catalogs. 


The Acquisitions Librarian is responsible for purchasing books and other printed materials for the collection.  Inquiries from book vendors should be directed to: (217) 558-8844.


The Cataloging staff creates the catalog records for the online catalog and adds them to the local online catalog and to OCLC, which makes the ALPL holdings accessible to library users worldwide.  Inquiries should be directed to: (217) 558-8844.