UIS Archives/Special Collections includes several distinct collections:
- The Archives of the University of Illinois at Springfield and its predecessor institution, Sangamon State University, includes administrative records, reports, publications, student newspapers, theses and dissertations, faculty papers, photographs, audio-visual records, and digital records that document the history and progress of the institution.
- An Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), a collection of county and other local government records dating from the beginning of Illinois into the 20th century that have significant historical and genealogical value. Typical records include birth, marriage and death records, probate and court records, deed and land tax records, naturalization records, and County Commissioners/Board of Supervisors Minutes.
- Special Collections includes non-circulating library material such as rare, historic, valuable, and fragile books and periodicals; books signed or inscribed by their authors; monographs by UIS faculty; UIS publications; limited-run books pertaining to local history and culture; and reference items that enhance the research use of the UIS Archives’ collections. All Special Collections items are included in the main Brookens Library Catalog.
- The UIS Oral History Collection is a large collection of taped, transcribed and digitized audio interviews and textual memoirs collected from the 1950s to the present. These oral histories, mostly collected from a wide variety of persons in and around Illinois, are a vital record of life in the Midwest from the late 19th century to the present. Nearly all of the UIS Oral History Collection, both the audio interviews and transcripts, are available online at the Illinois Digital Archives (IDA).
- UIS Digital Collections include several sets of records, textual, graphic as well as audio-visual, which have been digitized and made available for online use. These collections are drawn from a variety of the UIS Archives/Special Collections holdings, including university documents and photographs, Commencement programs, student newspapers, official campus newsletters, and selections of documents and photographs from historical and manuscript collections.
- The Handy Colony Collection is a large and significant collection pertaining to the Illinois-born novelist James Jones , who wrote the 1951 best seller From Here to Eternity, which was also made into a blockbuster movie (Best Picture Academy Award, 1953). Jones and his mentor Lowney Handy established a writing colony in Marshall, Illinois that operated from 1950 until Handy's death in 1964. The collection has been drawn on for a number of scholarly books, articles, and documentaries.