We have a new piece of technology at the Archives which will help us bring more of our collections to the campus and the community! This new equipment will help students learn how to use primary source materials as well as help us bring awareness of the Illinois State University Archives collections and our work to a wider audience.

Milner Library helped us purchase a 27-inch Lenovo tablet that we have dubbed the Archives Tablet. The tablet comes pre-loaded with software called Aura that allows multiple users to choose photos, videos, sound files, and other media and use them in a touchscreen environment. For example, you can choose several pictures at once, enlarge them, shrink them, line them up on the screen, and move them around as you choose all with a finger swipe.

We see this as an opportunity to bring collections to campus that because of their age or fragility, users could only access on site at the Archives. The Digital Center at Milner Library will be helping us out by digitizing the collected papers of Illinois State’s first president, Charles Hovey. Once these are digitized, we’ll load the images onto the tablet, and users will be able to search Hovey’s papers outside of the Archives building. In the next few years, we’ll add other materials from our other popular collections including photographs and memorabilia.

Keep an eye out—we’ll be bringing the Archives Tablet to future events and campus classrooms near you!