Research Rescue (pilot)


The Research Rescue (RR) workflow was created to assist members of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community who are interested in preserving and enabling access to Illinois research materials that are currently at risk for potential obsolesce. Examples include migrating data on legacy media or digitizing research materials currently on physical media. Through this process, a team of Library subject specialists, archivists, research data specialists, preservation specialists, other pertinent library personnel will coordinate to review your inquiry and assess how we can help.

A number of outcomes may result from your inquiry. For research materials that can become part of the Library’s collections, University Library staff will work collaboratively to “rescue” the materials by taking actions to make them usable, discoverable, and available in perpetuity. Preservation actions undertaken may include digitization or other value-added services. For research materials that cannot become part of the Library’s collections, we may be able to advise you on other avenues to pursue.

How to apply:

To request to participate in the RR program, please complete the Research Rescue Request form.

Due to limited resources and other factors, not all research materials can be rescued. To help the University Library start assessing your inquiry, please provide as much information about your research materials as possible.


After receiving an inquiry, you will be contacted within 3 business days to confirm the request is being reviewed. We will assemble a Response Team of library specialists at this time, and you will be contacted within an additional 5 days if a secondary consultation is needed to gain more information about materials. The Response Team, in consultation with other specialists as needed, will evaluate several issues, including preservation of the materials, in what collection or collections the materials might belong, the overall research value, and if the research materials are suitable for rescue and acquisition by the Library. In the event that the materials are not suitable, the Response Team will strive to suggest other viable avenues for you to pursue.