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Student Organizations Archiving their Records: Home

This guide is home to the Student Organizations Archiving their Records project to help support student organizations in preparing and preserving their records in the University Archives.

What is SOAR?

Student Organizations Archiving their Records is a project devoted to capturing the history of student organizations on the University of Iowa campus in our University Archives. With archiving kits, processing support, and one-on-one check ins with archives staff, student organization leaders can ensure their footprint on campus is preserved.

Archive What?

  • Constitution/Bylaws 
  • Meeting minutes/notes 
  • Event flyers/posters 
  • Marketing materials 
  • Correspondence/email 
  • Newsletters/publications 
  • Annual financial budgets
  • Handbooks 
  • Petitions 
  • Photographs/videos 
  • T-shirts, buttons, stickers, etc.
  • Website 

Work with the University Archives

You can play an active role in how your organization's archival collections are organized, described, and stored reflecting your orgnaization's values and mission. 

Pictured above is former VSA leader, Kayla Nguyen, working to organize the Vietnames Student Association Records.

Are you an Alumni?

If you're a University of Iowa alumni and were actively involved in one or many student organizations while on campus, we would love for you to participated in SOAR! Donate physical or digital materials from your time on campus by reaching out directly via email.

Why Student Organization History Matters

Student organizations are central to student life on campus and a vital spect of our campus history. Whether an organization is on campus for a few years or nearly a century, it is crucial for the University Archives to capture the history of student organizations that flourish on our campus. 

For future University of Iowa students, your organizations materials can serve as a resource to guide them in upholding your organization's mission and values or to reactivate an organization if it becomes inactive in the future. Having an archival collection also allows current students to learn about your organization when they visit Special Collections & Archives and could lead to new membership.

For researchers, your organizations materials serve as evidence of your organization's impact on campus and allows them to learn about why your organization exists and how it functions on the University of Iowa campus.

Ready to SOAR?

Is your organization interested in donating materials to the University Archives and learning more about SOAR? Fill out this short survey to tell us more about the records your organization is hanging on to: SOAR Involvement Survey

Is your Organization Affiliated with a Campus Center, Department, or Office?

If your organization is affiliated with a qualifying center, office, or department on campus that is will support you storing your archival collections in their offices, we can help facilitate the care and access of your materials. In order to store your organization's archival collection on campus, but outside of the University Archives at the Main Library, the center, office, or department must be able to:

  • have regular, public open hours
  • provid storage space for your organizational records
  • have space for library patrons to visit and conduct research with your archival records


Say Hello!

Are you curious about how your organization's history can be preserved in the University Archives? Not quite sure what's important to keep or whether you have enough stuff to build a collection? Email me to set up a short meeting so we can start to save your organization's legacy on campus.

On-Campus Storage

Storing your organization's at an affiliated center, office, or department on campus can lead to easier access for students looking to learn about your organization's history whether currently involved or prospective members.

Pictured above are the Vietnamese Student Association Records currently stored at the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center on campus.