It’s a new year and we are excited to kick it off by welcoming new partners and new content to DPLA. The collections of the Illinois Digital Heritage Hub are officially live in DPLA and ready to explore. Our newest hub from Illinois represents a collaboration between the Illinois State Library, the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), Chicago Public Library, and, previously a Content Hub partner, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Welcome to the Illinois lead partners and all of the institutions represented in the rich new collections now discoverable in DPLA.
Like each Service Hub, Illinois brings its own essential mix between unique local stories that help DPLA represent the diversity of experiences across the country and collections of national significance that contribute to our common heritage. We have selected a few highlights to give you a peek at Illinois’ new additions to DPLA, but be sure to explore for yourself too!
The Illinois Digital Heritage Hub includes several collections that reveal new dimensions of the history of American literature and classic authors. The Irving Dilliard Letters collection from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville contains over 100 letters from prominent authors to student Irving Dilliard as he contemplated his career path in the 1920s. Check out the advice that F. Scott Fitzgerald had to offer to Mr. Dillard in 1922 about becoming a writer in this letter:
Complementing the Dilliard collection is Oak Park Public Library’s collection of letters, school assignments, and photographs documenting the lives of siblings Ernest and Marcelline Hemingway in Oak Park, provided by Illinois Digital Archives. In this essay titled “Confessions” Ernest Hemingway recalls his high school missteps and frequent expulsion.
The Newberry Library’s Edward E. Ayer collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, and more documenting early encounters between Europeans and Native Americans represents “one of the strongest collections on American Indians in the world.” Through the Illinois Hub, resources from this collection are now available in DPLA. This 1868 photograph captures a group of Dakota women and children including Grey Eyes, Running Water, Mrs. Moran, and Young Elk at Fort Laramie in Wyoming.
Finally, the Illinois Hub brings the stories and voices of its residents to DPLA and, together with the other members of the hub network, helps DPLA draw unique connections between broad national themes in American history and the lived experience of individuals and local communities. For example, the “cooks” in this 1918 photograph represent hundreds who worked at Camp Grant in Rockford, Illinois during World War I.
Chicago native and Vietnam War veteran Arthur Baltazar is one of the six thousand veterans included in Illinois State Library’s Illinois Veterans History Project oral history collection. Baltazar was drafted into the Army in 1967 and, in his oral history interview, he describes his thoughts at the time this photo was taken:
“…this is my wife (indicating). It was 23 days before heading over to Vietnam we took this picture. And everybody is thinking — a lot of people are thinking you may not come back. That was the thought then in 1968, how everybody thought.”
The Springfield Aviation Company collection from the Lincoln Library documents early twentieth century aviation history through Springfield’s Commercial (later Municipal) Airport. This 1929 photograph shows Amelia Earhart’s Avro Avian C541E airplane.
A warm welcome to Illinois and happy exploring to all of our users!