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In 1997, the Northern Illinois University Libraries, DeKalb, Illinois, successfully applied for a grant to the Illinois State Library for the Illinois Periodicals Online (IPO) project. The project was awarded three separate grants through the Illinois State Library's Educate and Automate funds. The project will benefit Illinois citizens and the library community by providing public domain Internet access to Illinois-based magazines covering many topics of interest about the state.

IPO is a large digital imaging project that will evolve over a period of years. Participating magazines are currently being scanned and placed on the IPO Web site http://www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/. Subject coverage includes many areas of interest in the arts, recreation, politics, commerce, biography, civics, genealogy, education, history, environment, science and other topics. The Web site is targeted to an audience of general readers, including citizens in all age groups, adolescents to older adults.

The magazines that currently or eventually will participate in the IPO project are available by subscription and may also be found in libraries. Some magazines are starting to develop their own full-text Web sites, though access is limited to recent issues and possibly to selected articles. The goal of IPO is to make long backruns of these magazines available in a Web site that is fully keyword searchable, including authors, titles and subjects. The project uses FineReader Academic 4.0 OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software. Each article is scanned then re-formatted in HTML format.

To date, the IPO project has reached agreement with ten journals; Illinois Country Living, Illinois Heritage, Illinois History : A Magazine for Young People, Illinois History Teacher, Illinois Issues, Illinois Libraries, Illinois Municipal Review, Illinois Parks & Recreation, and Outdoor Illinois. The digital imaging of these titles is an ongoing process. The goal is to scan a magazine's entire backrun up to the current time. Coverage may entail decades worth of issues. The project director works with the magazines' editors to determine the exact extent of coverage. The IPO Web page also has links to a number of related Illinois sites.

Illinois Periodicals Online
Northern Illinois University Libraries
97 FML
DeKalb, IL 60115
Fax: (815)753-1003

Brian Conant
IPO Project Coordinator
Illinois Periodicals Online (IPO) is a digital imaging project at the Northern Illinois University Libraries funded by the Illinois State Library
Brian Conant, Illinois Periodicals Online Coordinator