Skokie History Digital Collections

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Skokie Public Library Digital Collections and Archives Collection Plan

Skokie Public Library maintains collections of digitized materials that document the geography, people, institutions, and activities of enduring value to the Skokie community in alignment with our mission to promote “discovery, enrichment, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas through a broad spectrum of materials, technologies, and experiences”. 

Items in the Skokie Public Library Digital Collections include born-digital and digitally reformatted analog and physical materials such as documents, photographs, maps, newspapers, yearbooks, oral histories, and video and sound recordings, in file formats appropriate for long-term storage and preservation and/or public display online consistent with contemporary best practices under the guidance of the Digital Collections Librarian. 

Independently and in collaboration with community partners such as the Skokie Heritage Museum and the Village of Skokie, and with occasional grant funding, staff time, and expertise, Skokie Public Library contributes both descriptive metadata and stewardship to the digital collections, while the physical custody of the originals remains with our partners. These records preserve documentary evidence for research, analysis, and interpretation of our past.

While we do not necessarily own the copyright to materials included in the digital collections, we aim to determine that information related to copyright and other restrictions in our collections is accurate and we make our digital collections publicly accessible under the following circumstances:

  • We own the copyright or have been given permission by the copyright holder(s) to provide access to the materials
  • The materials are in the public domain or no longer have copyright restrictions
  • We have determined that providing access to the digital collection or items within that collection is in accordance with the principles of fair use

The Skokie Public Library institutional archives comprise primarily physical documentation of the history and growth of the Library from its beginnings as the one-room Niles Center Free Library in 1930 to its growth in the twentieth century, with the purpose of long-term preservation and in-house reference and research. Materials in this collection do not necessarily fall within the oversight of the State and Local Records Commissions who are responsible for retention rules for public records because they fall outside of the scope of those administrative bodies.

While the bulk of the materials in this collection have not been digitized, the Skokie Public Library Board Meeting Minutes from 1958 to the present have been digitized and are available to the public as well as an online display of the Library’s permanent art collection. We will pursue providing online access to other materials in the archives as time, interest, and resources allow.