Featured Electronic Resources

An online trove of Biblical manuscripts

The digitization of the Goodspeed Manuscript Collection

An extraordinary collection of 68 New Testament and other Biblical manuscripts dating from the fourth to the twentieth centuries has been digitized and made available for study online. This fall, the University of Chicago Library celebrates the completion of a website (goodspeed.lib.uchicago.edu) featuring digital facsimiles of rare and delicate Greek, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts from the Edgar J. Goodspeed Manuscript Collection in the Special Collections Research Center.  This premier collection holds great artistic, historical, and textual significance for scholars.

Eusebius of Caesarea, letter to Carpianus

Goodspeed Manuscript Collection, gms-1017-007, Eusebius of Caesarea, letter to Carpianus. Gospels in Armenian. (Aleppo Gospels). Aleppo, Syria (Berea), 1624.

The inspiration for the digitization project came from faculty working in a range of disciplines from religious studies to art history and classics.  All had an interest in bringing digitized images of manuscripts into the classroom and onto the laptops of students and faculty.  An initial grant from the University of Chicago Provost’s Program for Academic Technology Innovation and an award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grants for Libraries helped to fund the early years of the project.

Completion of the digitization project was the result of a successful collaboration across Library units including the Digital Library Development Center, Special Collections Research Center, Preservation Department, and Cataloging Department.  Specialists in the Library overcame numerous challenges over the course of the digitization process.  For example, many of the manuscripts are bound in vellum or leather with parchment text pages that are proteinaceous, causing the material to cockle and stiffen over the centuries.  Others feature extraordinary illustrations—from decorative headpieces and initials to full-page images—on media that needed to be handled with the utmost care to prevent flaking or crumbling.

The faithfully photographed works are represented online by high-resolution 24-bit color images that researchers can view in tremendous detail using the zooming capability of the web interface. In addition, Special Collections staff provided detailed metadata about each manuscript’s intellectual content together with descriptions of miniatures, watermarks, and heraldic devices.  This enables both general and advanced users of all disciplines to search and browse the online collection using a wide range of subject headings, descriptive terms, and manuscript features.

Visit goodspeed.lib.uchicago.edu to see the Goodspeed Manuscripts online.

Online Library orientation: Learn the basics from home

Welcome to the University of Chicago! As the heart of campus, the Library offers much more than books. The Library’s work is to provide comprehensive resources and dynamic services to support the research, teaching, and learning needs of the University community. You are invited to explore the Library’s extensive collections, services, and spaces by visiting our website, reviewing our orientation guide or watching online tutorials.

Library website

Over the summer, the University of Chicago Library launched a redesign of the Library’s website. The redesign was informed by University faculty, students, and staff, has improved navigation, and is mobile-friendly.

Learn about the site’s most notable features and improvements by watching a brief video.

After you explore the site, the Library would love to hear your feedback. Please report any issues using our feedback form.  The Library plans to continue refining the site as feedback is received and user experience testing is conducted.

Orientation guide

Librarian helps student

A librarian shows a research guide to a student. (Photo by Jason Smith)

Designed to give a preview of all the Library has to offer, the Library’s orientation guide helps new members of campus navigate the Library’s expansive collections, meet with a librarian, and reserve a study space.

The guide, while comprehensive, is no substitute for the variety of on-campus orientation sessions that the Library offers. Incoming students are invited to participate in tailored Library orientations hosted by librarians. These orientation sessions, combined with the orientation guide, provide new students with a jump-start on resources and services to help them succeed.

A listing of orientation programs can be found on the Library’s Workshop and Events Calendar. If you cannot make an orientation program, get assistance learning about the Library and conducting your research from our Ask a Librarian service, via live chat, email, phone, or in person.

Online tutorials

The University of Chicago Library has a suite of video tutorials to help you learn how to be an effective researcher. Videos cover skills such as searching the Library Catalog, requesting materials from other libraries, and accessing library resources off-campus. The Library’s video tutorials are available 24/7, allowing you to troubleshoot any issues you have day or night.

Watch all of the Library’s current videos on the Library’s YouTube channel. To learn more about the Library’s online learning initiatives, visit the Library website or contact an online learning librarian.

New Library website launches July 5

Update: The Library will be launching the new website described below starting at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5. Site visitors should expect service interruptions throughout the evening, and, because the changes will take time to propagate over the internet, some users may be unable to reach the site through July 6.

Access to resources outside of the main Library website should continue uninterrupted during this time. These include:

Thank you for your patience as we roll out these changes.


The University of Chicago Library will launch a new website over the summer.  The new site’s improved navigation and mobile-friendly design will provide faculty and students with ready access to curated, scholarly information and research expertise.

Changes to the design and structure of the new Library website are being made in response to the needs and feedback of UChicago faculty, students, and staff. The new site will be optimized for both desktop and mobile use, with a modern look and feel. It is being made easier to browse and navigate by

  • providing streamlined access to search tools for articles, journals, and databases;
  • providing more consistent navigation across the top of the site’s pages;
  • reorganizing information into categories developed directly from user input;
  • making it easier to find information about distinctive collections, exhibitions, study spaces, hours, and locations; and
  • connecting related collections, tools, and experts, making it easier for users to take advantage of the wealth of information and services offered by the Library.

In addition, Library news will be presented in a more engaging way on the site, and pages will be optimized for discovery via Google or other search engines.

The current Library Catalog, launched in 2014, is not being redesigned as a part of this project.

The new Library website will first go live in mid-summer and will be further refined in the weeks leading up to fall orientation.  During this period, if you have any difficulty finding the information you are looking for, librarians will be happy to assist you via our Ask a Librarian service.

The University of Chicago Library website serves as a gateway to UChicago collections and licensed resources; the online Ask a Librarian service, including live chat; Library staff with expertise in a wide range of subjects; research guides in numerous fields; and videos and guides explaining how to conduct research using library resources.

Expanded access to BrowZine now available

BrowZine is a tool for keeping up to date with your favorite journals. The Library has provided access to this tool to users of iOS devices for the past two years. We now offer access for Android devices as well as on your desktop using any web browser.

BrowZine works with publishers to make journal tables of contents accessible through the BrowZine app and web site. You can then access articles directly through the app, rather than going to the journal web site or a Library database. You can browse through journals by discipline and save up to 64 titles on your personal bookshelf. The iOS and Android apps display alerts when a new issue of a journal is available. You can download articles in the app and read them at any time, even when you aren’t online.

Try BrowZine through their web site, or download the app for your Android or iOS device.

Our guide to BrowZine has more information on using the app, including configuring it for off-campus use.

Hone your IT, media, and productivity skills with Lynda.com

University of Chicago researchers have access to Lynda.com, a leading provider of online courses covering business, media, and technology.  Researchers can choose from over 4,000 courses, all of which are broken up into short, easy to use videos.  Business courses cover LyndaLinkedin_blackeverything from leadership and marketing to product management, while media courses cover specific software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign, as well as general techniques for graphic design, video editing and more.  Technology courses cover a full range of software and skills, including Java, R, SPSS, data analysis and cyber security.  Course levels range from introductory to advanced and instructors are vetted industry experts.

In addition to courses, Lynda.com has created guides using a collection of short videos, articles and checklists, that provide a step by step process for starting a business and becoming a manager.  The Starting a Business guide covers everything from evaluating yourself and your business idea to establishing operations.  Lynda.com’s Weekly Series feature guarantees that content stays fresh.  The most recent video in the Marketing Tips weekly series discusses representing the keyword funnel through SEO.

Questions about how to leverage this powerful tool? Ask us on Twitter, Facebook, or through our reference services.

New online resource: Greenleaf Online Library

University of Chicago researchers now have access to Greenleaf Online Library.

Greenleaf Online Library crosses over all sectors of business with an emphasis on ‘green’ greenleafmanagement, ethical business and corporate social responsibility.  It contains approximately 4,000 items, including ebooks, case studies, research papers and journal articles.

Topics covered include:

  • Sustainability
  • Ethics
  • Innovation, enterprise and social enterprise
  • Environmental management
  • Industry sectors including extractives, fashion and textiles, banking and finance, transport, engineering, construction
  • Corporate governance
  • Responsible leadership
  • Social responsibility/business in society
  • Government, policy and compliance
  • Reporting and standards
  • Sustainability in Higher Education
  • Poverty
  • Gender and diversity
  • Responsible investment and finance, including microfinance

Questions? Ask us on Twitter, Facebook, or through our reference services.


New online resource: Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Biblical Texts

Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Biblical TextsThe researchers at the University of Chicago now have online access to the Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Biblical Texts through Brill. The database includes high resolution images of the biblical texts discovered in the Judean desert along with a side-by-side comparison of Hebrew transcription, English translation and the text of the Leningrad Codex. Until now, this content was only accessible electronically through the CD-ROM version published in 1999. Through the online database, researchers are able to search across the entire content, link between texts and download images of scrolls either on or off-campus. Included at this time is the Revised List of Texts from the Judean Desert (2010) that includes non-biblical texts, though these are currently not available to read online. Since the database is published by Brill, researchers can simultaneously access related databases published by Brill, such as The Context of Scripture online or the Coptic Gnostic Library online. Any questions can be directed to Anne K. Knafl, Bibliographer for Religion and Philosophy.

The display of a fragment from Genesis 19:27-28 from the Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Online.

The display of a fragment from Genesis 19:27-28 from the Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Online.


Soda tax and soda price in Mexico

On November 9th, Jeffrey Grogger, the Irving Harris Professor in Urban Policy at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, presented his preliminary research on soda tax and soda price in Mexico as part of the Becker Brown Bag Series.  Mexico’s nine percent soda tax took effect on January 1, 2014.  In addition to taxing soda, fruit juices and waters with added sugars are also being taxed.  The Mexico soda tax is a straightforward example of price theory.  The tax raises the price and the higher price lowers consumption.  The lower consumption then ideally leads to lower weight and less chronic disease.

Professor Grogger’s research strives to answer two key questions that aren’t addressed by the theory:

  1. How much do prices rise?
  2. What happens if consumers substitute other caloric drinks for sodas?

Interested in exploring this topic further? View Professor Grogger’s presentation and his slides.

University of Chicago researchers also have access to Euromonitor data through Passport GMID.  Euromonitor’s category briefing on sugar confectionery in Mexico discusses the effect of the tax.  Consumption data is also available, although Professor Grogger noted in his presentation that consumption data varied greatly across different sources.

Questions? Ask us on Twitter, Facebook, or through our reference services.



A single portal to Chicago history

UChicago Library partners with 21 institutions to create a tool for exploring the history and culture of Chicago


Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her children, 1909, 13.7 x 9.5 cm. Ida B. Wells Papers, Box 10, Folder 1. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

The University of Chicago Library is a major partner in the creation of a new online portal, Explore Chicago Collections, that documents the rich history and culture of the Chicago region. Launching on October 22, the free portal helps researchers, students, and the general public to locate and access more than 100,000 maps, photos, letters, and other materials from across the city.

This portal is the cornerstone initiative of a city-wide consortium, Chicago Collections, that includes universities, museums, and organizations as diverse as the Alliance Française and the Chicago Zoological Society.

Charles Blair, Director of the University of Chicago Library’s Digital Library Development Center, has played a key role in the development of this new search tool. As Co-chair of the Chicago Collections Portal Committee he has contributed technical expertise in the underlying portal software as well as experience developing effective digital asset management and discovery tools that meet the needs of a wide variety of users. The Library will also be contributing content for the portal, including finding aids describing our Chicago-related archival and manuscript collections, as well as several thousand digitized photographs, beginning with 33 photographs of pioneering Chicago civil rights activist Ida B. Wells and more than 1,000 of Chicago neighborhoods and urban renewal by photographer Mildred Mead.

In addition to bringing resources from member organizations together into a single search interface, the consortium has been developing a wide range of outreach programs and services including an exhibition, lectures, and a Cooperative Reference Network that will provide answers to questions from researchers and the general public about Chicago history and member collections.

Access the portal at explore.chicagocollections.org.

Resource spotlight: Factiva

University of Chicago researchers have access to Factiva, a database of global news and business information.  Factiva provides access to thousands of domestic and international newspapers, newswires, company profiles and media programs with sources from over 100 countries in 28 languages. logo_factiva  Its powerful search engine allows for comprehensive research and the Factiva Expert Search feature has been created to simplify complex searches, including investor and news sentiment.

The News Pages section makes it easy to browse the top business publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Barron’s.  Once you’ve found articles you would like to read, translations are available and the articles can be downloaded as MP3s to listen to on your commute or as you walk around campus.

Fun fact: Transcripts are available from BBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN and NPR.

Questions? Ask us on Twitter, Facebook, or through our reference services.