Welcome to the Rock Island Public Library Digital Archives submission page.

We don't want to brag, but Rock Island is just 23 years younger than the entire state of Illinois. Pre-statehood, our town hosted Fort Armstrong, one of the nation's western defenses, from 1816-36. Rock Island Library was the first public library to open after the passing of the 1872 Illinois Library Act. We are #RockIslandProud AND #IllinoisProud.

As part of our special Illinois Bicentennial project, we're striving to make our rich history more digitally accessible. In addition to sharing our own Special Collections, we're inviting you to contribute your own local history to our BiblioBoard Creator archive.

Read on for ideas of what to submit and how.

Submitting To The Illinois Archives

Share your stories and images of railroads and rivers; rogues and heroes, Civil War and Native American lore; hometown teams and victories; businesses and places you remember, and more! Sending us your photos, documents, letters, oral histories and other digital files will preserve and extend availability of our history. Contributions will be arranged into collections viewable via our BiblioBoard Library.

The submission process is free. You are welcome to submit as many pieces of digital content as you would like. Before you submit, please make sure that your content is:

  • An original work to which you own the rights.
  • Relates to Rock Island, Milan, or Illinois Quad Cities history and heritage. Family stories of coming here, setting down roots, and growing up in Rock Island/Milan are welcome.
  • Is in keeping with the state's #IllinoisProud celebration. We welcome submissions that honor the people, places, businesses, and events that have made us who we are.

What Digital Content Can I Submit?

We encourage a diverse range of submissions that reflect and celebrate Rock Island, our Illinois Quad City region, and the state as a whole. Suggested content includes photos from the past, recorded interviews or oral histories, cookbooks, old newspaper articles or poems, maps, diaries, programs, memorabilia, and more. Your submissions will become part of a digital archive that preserves our story!

The Rock Island Library reserves the right of final review and selection of materials.

Accepted File Formats

Print materials (ePUB and PDF), Images, Audio files and Videos

How Do I Digitize My Content?

Black and white photos and print materials may be scanned in black and white on the library copier and saved as PDFs on a flash drive. Retail outlets with self-service kiosks offer do-it-yourself scanning of print photos, postcards, and documents. Services also exist that will transfer VHS and home movies to a digital DVD. For details, please contact our Reference Department at 309-732-7341.

Documents, Letters, & Other Materials

Submit your materials as a PDF or ePub file. Word documents should be converted to PDF or ePub. To do so, you can use PressBooks Public, a free publishing software provided by RIPL that lets authors produce professional ebooks.

To use PressBooks Public, create a BiblioBoard Library user account first through www.rockislandlibrary.org. Then use those credentials to log into PressBooks Public and create your file. Once your file has been converted to a PDF, download it, then return to this page and click Submit Your Digital Items.

If you represent an organization interested in submitting local history to a Rock Island Library Creator anthology, and you need assistance, please contact our Reference Services Manager.

Links: http://rockislandlibrary.org/About-Us/Administration-staff.aspx