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Digital collections

The electronic resources/ collections is over 37,000 and is a combination of bibliographic multidisciplinary databases with full-text access, e-journals, microforms and audio-visual materials. Access is provided through I-Share, our statewide online resource sharing network. I-Share includes the resources of 76 Illinois libraries that belong to the Consortium of Academic & Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI). All CSU students, faculty and staff may use the resources from all participating libraries.

More about Collections

Book Collection

The library has a collection has 426,000 book volumes. Eighty percent of our collection is stored in ROVER. This includes books published prior to 1991, all bound periodicals, black studies publications, media except music CDs and historical material such as official records of the university, and archival collections.

Archives and Special Collections

The University Archives serves as the official memory of the Chicago State University community and is charged with preserving historical materials from the University’s past and present. Our Special Collections are focused primarily on African American history, literature and politics; Chicago neighborhood history; and the history of education. Highlights include:

  • The Illinois Leadership Collection features the papers of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and several of its members who served in the Illinois General Assembly.
  • Thomas H. Wirth Collection of 18th and 19th century African-Americana. Included are rare first editions by authors like Phillis Wheatley, John Marrant, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Henry O. Flipper, Sojourner Truth.
  • R. Eugene Pincham and Alzata C. Pincham Collection: R. Eugene Pincham was a pioneering African American civil rights attorney, judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois, and ardent critic of the U.S. criminal justice system. The papers and writings include transcripts of Pincham’s trials during his time as an Illinois attorney and preserved scrapbooks with over 50 years of career accomplishments. The art collection features pieces from various African cultures, including masks, statues and framed contemporary paintings.

Education Resource Center (ERC)

Located on the library’s third floor, contains a specialized collection of 48,000 volumes to support teacher preparation programs and works closely with the College of Education. It houses children’s and young adult literatures, textbooks, and other curriculum materials including electronic resources and other media for pre-K through 12th-grade education.

Government Documents

CSU Library is a selective US federal documents repository, which focuses on government information relating to the teaching and research interests of the university. It houses over 90,000 documents various formats: books, pamphlet, journal, poster, map, audiovisual, microform, and electronic. Subject coverage is extensive and includes education, health, criminal justice, census data, defense, government regulations, and other areas with a special emphasis on Social and Environmental Justice and Entreneurship. Plans are forthcoming to develop a center dedicated to these areas.

Music & Performing Arts Collection:

The Music & Performing Arts Collection provides a variety of resources and materials for research, study and classroom projects, which includes books, scores, and over 3000 recordings—mostly in audio CD format. Electronic resources include music databases (International Index to Music Periodicals) for journal access and three streaming music listening services: Naxos Music Library, Naxos Jazz, and African-American Song. The collection also has theater and dance resources.

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