University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Project Unica

Project Unica is an initiative of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to produce high quality digital facsimiles of printed books that exist in only one copy. The concept of a "unicum" is difficult for the average library user to understand, since printed books, by their very nature, exist in more than one copy—that's the genius of Gutenberg's invention, after all. But fate and circumstance has sometime led to the destruction of every copy, save one, of a printed book. And the University of Illinois has quite a number of absolutely unique printed books. The aim of Project Unica is to digitize these supremely rare items and to provide a simple and efficient way of getting this valuable and unique information to scholars when and where they need it. The records of the books and the digital facsimiles are also available from institution's online catalog, Illinois Harvest, and OCLC.