J. Stephen Downie

Photo of J. Stephen Downie

Professor and Associate Dean for Research

PhD, Library and Information Science, Western Ontario

213 LIS
(217) 265-5018
jdownie [at] illinois.edu

Research Focus

Design and evaluation of IR systems, including multimedia music information retrieval; the political economy of internetworked communication systems; database design; Web-based technologies.

Other Professional Appointments

Faculty Affiliate, National Center for Supercomputing Applications


J. Stephen Downie is associate dean for research and a professor at GSLIS, and the Illinois codirector of the HathiTrust Research Center. He has been an active participant in the digital libraries and digital humanities research domains. He is best known for helping to establish an vibrant music information retrieval research community. Since 2005, he has directed the annual Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange (MIREX). He also was a founder of the International Society Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) and its first president.

Research Projects

HathiTrust + Bookworm Project

The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) is partnering with the Cultural Observatory team that developed the Google Books Ngram Viewer together with Google. The goal of this collaboration is to implement a greatly enhanced open-source version of the Cultural Observatory’s open-source “Bookworm” text analysis and visualization tool designed to assist scholars to meet the challenges posed by the massive scale of the HT corpus. We are calling our multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional...

Repository Services for Accessible Course Content

Across the country, colleges and universities are struggling to meet demand for accessible forms of course materials for students with an array of disabilities. At present, each institution is addressing this problem individually, at great expense, and often without full campus coordination, much less consortial collaboration. Locating digital files is difficult and entails numerous sources. The resulting accessibility enhancement/conversion work creates a large corpus of digital files in...

HathiTrust Research Center: New Opportunities through Computational Analysis of HathiTrust Digital Library 2014-2018

The HathiTrust has provided funding for the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), colocated at University of Illinois and Indiana University, to serve as the research arm of the HathiTrust and create an agile, technology-rich service for researchers in the digital humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and informatics. This service will help researchers conduct nonconsumptive research on the HathiTrust digital library database, a collection of just under 14 million digitized volumes,...

Completed Research Projects

Related Topics

Cultural Informatics and Heritage, Data Analytics, Digital Humanities, Digital Libraries, Information Retrieval, information systems, music information retrieval, database design, web-based technologies