UIHistories: Massive Digital History

My undergraduate major was computer science, but as my senior thesis I wrote the first history of the University of Illinois' buildings and spaces, digitized and integrated more than 70,000 pages of historical material, and took more than 250,000 photographs documenting the entire campus through the four seasons. Together, the resulting UIHistories project serves as a model for digital history and the ability in the digital era of even a single motivated individual to develop a digital history project of massive scope. Indeed, the UIHistories project is the first comprehensive digital library and the first comprehensive digital image archive of a major US university.

My history of the University of Illinois' buildings and its associated digital library has become the defacto standard for those researching the University's history, and its images from its photographic gallery have been licensed more than 22,000 times, appearing in publications from all divisions of the University, from annual reports to wall-sized art and covers of magazines and textbooks. I also frequently lecture on the University's history and development and the lessons learned from the project.