Environmental Studies Collections

In support of the University's commitment to sustainability, Tate Archives & Special Collections in The Ames Library is the home of four collections related to Environmental Studies. These materials are available for researchers from any part of IWU’s community, both on and off campus, and serve as a resource for the IWU Environmental Studies Program. The archives serves the local environmental organizations and individual below by providing a secure but accessible home for the documentation of their work. Full descriptions for these collections are available from the links below.

Additionally, we seek to acquire books written by local and regional authors on environmental themes and records of other local environmental groups. Visit the archives homepage for hours and contact information.


The Ecology Action Center was born in 1994 and operates from the Hewett House on College Avenue in Normal. The center’s work focuses on environmental education and provides the community with tours, workshops, classes, and other events. This collection contains historical information and publications about the center as well as administrative and not-for-profit development information.

The records of the JWP Audubon Society describe meetings and activities of the group and its officers since its founding as the Cardinal Audubon Club in 1962. The JWP Audubon Society focuses on watching and studying different species of birds; the society is also involved with conservation, ecology, habitat protection and nature education.

Organized in 1967, the ParkLands Foundation owns and maintains more than 1600 acres of natural land in McLean and Woodford counties. Hiking, photography, and nature study are allowed in these preserves which also function to protect our native plant and animal communities. Research materials in this collection include corporation records, minutes, correspondence, land records, management plans, subject files, and newsletters.

Sandra Steingraber, IWU Class of 1981, is an advocate, author, scientist, poet and teacher. She uses her personal experiences with cancer and her knowledge of ecology to study how toxins in the environment can lead to cancer. This collection contains Steingraber’s original notes, draft manuscript copies, published commentaries and material related to speaking engagements and honors she has received as a result of her work.


"Perhaps going to the Moon and back in itself isn't all that important. But it is a big enough step to give people a new dimension in their thinking--a sort of enlightenment. After all, the Earth itself is a spacecraft. . . .[Hopefully, people will start to] think of themselves as a group of people who constitute the crew of a spaceship going through the universe. If you're going to run a spaceship, you've got to be pretty cautious about how you use your resources, how you use your crew, and how you treat your spacecraft."

Pilot, astronaut and engineer Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the Moon, reflecting on the significance of his experience.
Apollo 11 Thirtieth Anniversary Press Conference; qtd. in Rocket Men (2009) by Craig Nelson.

Last updated: September 27, 2010