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Library and Archive Policies


Researchers from anywhere in the world can access Meadville Lombard's digital archives. This section provides an overview of policies related to the creation and use of digital archival collections. 

Digital Collections

Meadville Lombard Archives and Special Collections digitize collections to increase access to archival materials for researchers unable to visit in person. Our student body is on campus a few times a year, so this is particularly useful for students conducting research from home. Digital holdings are consistently growing, with new collections added throughout the year as digitization projects are completed by our archivists. Digital collections are described using a combination of standard and locally derived controlled vocabularies in order to do the best job possible at describing Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist collection materials. The goal is to describe the material as the community itself describes things, in particular sermon topics, genre/form terms, and denominational terminology. 

Digital collections are comprised of high resolution images, scanned at 600 dpi, that can be downloaded by users as jpeg files. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is employed to allow for full text searching within collection material. Searches of a collection will include results found either in the OCR transcript or the item's metadata. 

Where to Access

Meadville Lombard Archives and Special Collections works with a host of partners to increase the discoverability and accessibility of our digital archives. Digital collections can be accessed directly through the Archives and Special Collections website or from any of the following:

CARLI Digital Collections - CARLI Digital Collections ( CARLI Digital Collections is a repository for digital content created by member libraries, or purchased by CARLI for use by its members. CARLI Digital collections provides access to myriad special collections, containing over 2.4 TB of data including images, printed and manuscript materials, sound recordings, and the Saskia Art Images and Sanborn Maps of Illinois collections.

Digital Public Library of America ( The Digital Public Library of America amplifies the value of libraries and cultural organizations as Americans’ most trusted sources of shared knowledge. DPLA does this by collaborating with partners to accelerate innovative tools and ideas that empower and equip libraries to make information more accessible. They work with a national network of partners make millions of materials from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions across the country available to all in a one-stop discovery experience.

American Theological Library Association Digital Library- The Atla Digital Library brings together in a singular, searchable platform digitized collections from libraries, religious institutions, and other organizations worldwide who collect and preserve texts, records, maps, photographs, recordings, and other materials. The items found in the Atla Digital Library are of importance to those with an interest in researching, studying, teaching, and otherwise searching for historical and archival content in religion and theology.

Collections on JSTOR- JSTOR’s continuously expanding Open Community Collections feature freely accessible primary source materials in a wide variety of subjects contributed by libraries, museums, and archives

Illinois Digital Archives Illinois Digital Archives ( The Illinois Digital Archives (IDA) was created in 2000, as a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library as well as other libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois.

Meadville Lombard Wiggin Library
180 N. Wabash Ave.
Suite 625 
Chicago, IL 60601

Library and Archives Phone: 312-546-6488        Library Email:        Archives Email: