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The Western Illinois University Archives offers a unique gift-giving opportunity this holiday season in the form of historic local photographs. For a small fee the images can be put on a CD for reproduction.
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Western Illinois University Archives Offers Unique Holiday Gift Idea

December 6, 2011

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MACOMB, IL – Looking for a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on your holiday list? Look no further than the Archives and Special Collections Unit at the Western Illinois University Leslie F. Malpass Library.

This holiday season, the WIU Archives offers gift-givers the opportunity to surprise someone with a piece of regional history.

For a nominal fee, anyone can get a high-quality version of any print in the Archives collection to be reprinted. WIU staff will put the image on a CD and this photo can be reprinted at any print center, including Western's Visual Production Center (VPC), 207 Tillman Hall, on the Macomb campus.

"Currently there are about 5,000 images in (our data base) that are completely cataloged," said Jeff Hancks, associate professor of Regional Studies and University Archivist. "Most of the images are of WIU and Macomb, but we also have others from a 16-county region of western Illinois."

The region runs north to south from Rock Island to Calhoun counties and east and west between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

The images can be viewed at and can be searched by topic. Each image is numbered.

Individuals are also welcome to visit Archives to view the unit's extensive photograph collection.

Hancks said about 10 percent of the Archives' collection has been turned into digital format. Staff works with VPC photographers to digitize the images as time allows.

"So we've got thousands more images that haven't been digitized," he said.

Hancks said the University's archived photographs come from a variety of sources, including the University, local newspapers, photo collections purchased from auctions and from donors.

The WIU Archives is located on the sixth floor of the Leslie F. Malpass Library on the Macomb campus. For more information call (309) 298-2717.

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (
Office of University Relations