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Introduction to the Iowa Women's Archives: Visiting IWA

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

Preparing for Your Visit

Know your topic:

  • Have an idea of what time period, geographic area, or type of material you are interested in seeing, or a particular group or organization you want to know more about.

Have a question:

  • Knowing the goal for your research can help you find relevant material. For example, do you want to learn about an organization's history, a political movement, or maybe the experiences of a particular individual, family or community?

Browse our collections online:

  • The beauty of ArchivesSpace is that you can learn a lot about our collections before you come to the Archives.

Let us know you're coming:

  • Anyone is welcome to visit IWA during our normal business hours. But if we know in advance when you are coming and what materials you are interested in seeing, we can help you more quickly.


Register for an Online Account

You must open an Aeon account in order to use materials in our reading room. With an Aeon account you can: 

  • Schedule upcoming visits
  • Request materials
  • Order scans or photocopies
  • Keep track of past visits and requests

What Happens When You Visit?

When you arrive, a staff member will greet you.

You will be asked to place your belongings by the coat rack and sign in. 

You can bring a pencil and your personal device into the reading room. We will provide note paper and pencils for users. 

You can request material online through your Aeon account during or before your visit. If you're not sure what you want to look at, a staff member can help you find materials of interest.

You'll settle in at a reading room table, and a staff member will bring requested materials to you.

To keep our collections organized, we ask you to use a single folder and box at a time. When looking through a folder, turn the pages like you're reading a book to keep them in order.

What's With All the Rules?

We get it--archives have a lot of rules.

We ask you to wash your hands, lock up your bags, open an online account, sign in, use only pencils, don't take notes on your own paper, only use one folder out of one box at a time........the list goes on.

Archives use these policies because our materials are irreplaceable. We're thinking about the big, BIG picture. Every rule we have is designed to make sure our materials remain available and in good condition for researchers today, tomorrow and 200 years from now!

Citing Our Collections

Keep track of where you find a document to be able to properly cite it later. Each finding aid includes the preferred citation format for that collection. Our general template:

Name of the Collection, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.