Inspired explorations: New website connects the curious to Lilly Library

Highlights of the site rolling out this summer include;

  • Tremendously increased use of visual information and digital content resulting in immediate interaction with scanned materials.  
  • Integrated functionality with other campus libraries for easier searching and event information.
  • Archives Online search functionality for all Lilly Library manuscript collections, optimizing the ability to request these items for use.
  • User paths to assist educational tourists, students and global researchers with the most direct route to information.

Dowell was especially interested in building a bridge between online searches and in-person visits. She notes that every year visitors from nearly all 50 states make their way to Bloomington specifically to view items at Lilly Library.  International researchers are also very common, as well as online-only connections with up to 60 different countries each year.



Image is a head shot of a women wearing glasses.

We are going to help people find what they need, whether they are staying at home or traveling from across the globe. We are here for our local and campus community and the very broad world of users. Our new website is built with all of these people in mind.

Erika Dowell, Lilly Library Associate Director and Curator of Modern books and Manuscripts.


A long transition is expected as digital exhibitions from years past are reconsidered for new technologies, and digitization continues within this unique and extensive library.   The Lilly Library and IU Libraries team members working on the web project will continue to add new content on a regular basis.

“This is our starting point,” Dowell said. “This is a living website and we will always be adding interesting new things.”

What do you think? Provide feedback and help us improve the new Lilly Library website. 

Start your exploration

We have millions of resources. Many are not yet digitized.

If you are having trouble finding what you are looking for, contact us.

Need Help?

Helpful finding aids like our manuscripts index, card catalog, and special card files are not online. We can help you navigate these resources.

Learn more about finding aids that are not online

We can make PDFs, digital images, and other reproductions of Lilly Library materials to meet your needs. Fees help us pay for this service.

Learn more ordering PDFs and digital images

If you plan to use Lilly Library materials in a book, article, or other publication, we ask that you fill out our Permission to Publish form. We do not own reproduction rights to most of the material in the collection, so you may also need to secure permission from copyright holders.

Learn more asking for permission to publish