Main Library acquires 14 millionth book
December 13, 2017
The University has added its 14 millionth volume to its collection at The University of Illinois Library.
The 14 millionth volume is “The University of Illinois: Engine of Innovation” by Frederick E. Hoxie, a retired professor of history, law and American Indian studies.
Scott Koeneman, assistant dean of Libraries for Advancement, said since they reached their 14 millionth book during the sesquicentennial celebration, they would use a book published during the sesquicentennial as the 14 millionth volume.
Instead of buying a rare book for the 14 millionth volume, alumnus Paul Lisnek is making a donation to pay for the display to recognize all the millionth volumes.
“The library is the behind the scenes player for research and learning here on campus, so the Fred Hoxie book highlights some of the great innovations and discoveries that have occurred on this campus (that) the library feels like we’ve been apart of by supporting our faculty and our students,” Koeneman said.
This book and the other millionth volumes will be put in a permanent display on the first floor of the main library. The display will be located in the north-south hallway, across from the Bronze Tablets in the Main Library.
“The Main Library was actually built with the idea of being able to contain a one million volume collection in the early 1900s, the idea of a million volumes in a library was considered something huge, it would put us in the same category as other great libraries around the world,” Koeneman said. “Since then, we have kind of tracked that and we’ve become the largest public university library in the country.”
Koeneman said the books are incredibly rare and valuable, so the books themselves will not be on display. The display will hold images of the books and texts explaining each millionth volume. The display will also be created to hold other millionth volumes in the future.
The millionth volume display will be unveiled at the library to celebrate the 14 millionth volume at a special event in fall of 2018.