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Introduction to the Iowa Women's Archives: Researching with ArchivesSpace

A guide for students and classes who want to use IWA materials for assignments and projects.

What is ArchivesSpace?

ArchivesSpace (ASpace) is an information management application that helps provide access University of Iowa’s archival collections. ASpace works similarly to other databases you might have used like EBSCO or JSTOR. It allows you to search for collections by name, date, and keyword. It also provides access to all of IWA’s finding aids.

ArchivesSpace Tutorial

How to Use ArchivesSpace

Start at the IWA repository page. ArchivesSpace gives you the option to search by keyword, subject, or collection name. Knowing the purpose of your search will help you decide how to use ArchivesSpace.

Viewing an Item

When you search through ArchivesSpace, sometimes your search result will direct you to a specific folder. To understand that item better, look at the directory information that tells you what collection, series, and box for your search result.


Viewing a Collection

A Collection page has different parts of the finding aid, as well as the list of boxes and folders in the collection.



Browse by Collection

The online page for a collection record includes various parts of the finding aid, which gives you background information about the individuals or organizations represented in the collection. The collection record also tells you the scope and contents of the collection, as well as how those materials are organized.

Browse by Keyword or Subject

ArchivesSpace allows you to look at keyword or subject terms to find items in our collection. Your search results might include entire collections or specific boxes and folders. If a specific folder or item is your search result, it's always best to look at what collection it comes from to decide if it might be useful for your research.


Browse by Record Group

Have a topic in mind and want to find collections that represent that topic? Browsing by Record Group shows you all the collections within a topic area.