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Constructing Our Past

Illinois Heartland Library System

Published : Jan 06, 2023
cmc catalogs constructing our past

Recently, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum reached out to the Cataloging Maintenance Center (CMC) seeking help with cataloging their special collection of blueprints. The collection consists of blueprints and technical drawings of Illinois buildings including churches, schools, historical residences, and public buildings such as courthouses. It contains over 1,300 items. A lot of planning was involved in deciding how best to handle cataloging such a large collection. The ALPL sent the first batch (blueprints of the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington, Illinois), and the CMC team put their collective cataloging experience to work to come up with a template that can be used as an aid in cataloging the rest of the collection.

Now that the first step has been completed, the ALPL will continue to send a few at a time until all items have bibliographic records. This will help their patrons researching these buildings locate the blueprints they would like to view more easily than with the previous paper finding aid. Some other items in the collection that we look forward to seeing are:

  • Illinois Executive Mansion
  • Cairo Illinois Courthouse
  • Springfield Illinois Old State House
  • Lincoln Home National Historic Site
  • Unity Temple, Oak Park (Frank Lloyd Wright)

Do you have a special collection in need of cataloging? The CMC provides FREE cataloging for items from special collections, local authors, local histories, and/or genealogy-related items. Not sure if your item qualifies? Please reach out to us at

David Davis Technical Drawing

David Davis Blueprint



Cataloging Maintenance Center (logo)

The Cataloging Maintenance Center (CMC) provides statewide cataloging support for Illinois libraries, including free original and copy cataloging of eligible special collections, consultation on metadata projects, database cleanup for LLSAPs, cataloging training, and more. Funding for the CMC is provided through the Illinois State Library and the Secretary of State and administered by Illinois Heartland Library System. Learn more about the CMC at