Special Collections has created a resource page for utilizing the collections during Fall 2020. It has answers to many of the most common questions from students and faculty.
To search Special Collections online, use http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/. Not every item is digitized, but searching online is a great place to start your research!
For additional information, you can email Special Collections at
Collections discussed on September 21st:
Fanzine Collection - Special Collections has a sizable collection of fanzines and the guide will help you navigate the holdings.
Evelyn Birkby (Radio Homemaker) - Collection of materials including photos, journals, and recordings of various radio programs
African American Women in Iowa - Images, correspondence, and articles documenting the lives of African-American women in Iowa from the 1890s – 2000s.
Other popular collections - This webpage has links for many of the most popular collections held by the University of Iowa.
Effective immediately and until normal access to physical collections resumes, students, faculty, and staff at the University of Iowa have online access to a large portion of the University Libraries’ print collection—volumes that would have been difficult to access from library facilities that are closed due to COVID-19.
Reading access to digitized copies of print volumes has been granted to the UI by HathiTrust, a not-for-profit, collaborative digital library that holds over 17 million volumes digitized from academic and research libraries. The UI Libraries, in collaboration with the Big Ten Academic Alliance, is a founding member of HathiTrust.
This means that any books available through HathiTrust that are also in the UI Libraries’ collections will be available online without the additional step of requesting a digital scan. HathiTrust’s online collection contains nearly half of the UI Libraries’ book collection.
To take advantage of this resource:
HathiTrust has provided detailed instructions, including how to use the service on a phone or tablet.
For help with access to these and other digital resources at the UI Libraries, please contact us.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the operations of the Libraries and the University. To stay up-to-date on the current happening within the library, including hours, circulation, and services, refer to https://www.lib.uiowa.edu/alerts/coronavirus/
In addition to offering scans and delivery of materials, the Libraries also offer contactless pickup of physical materials. Information on that service can be found at https://www.lib.uiowa.edu/services/contactless/
A few of the more common questions are listed below:
Will I be able to get physical books and materials from the library?
Delivery to home and offices continues as normal. In addition, we offer a contactless pick-up service for Main Library materials. We also encourage you to check HathiTrust for an e-copy of the book you need. Find step-by-step instructions here.
What will be the average wait time for a physical book or digital scan?
For journal and book chapter scans, we anticipate it will typically take 2-3 days to process most requests. For physical book requests, the wait time will typically be 5-7 days for books delivered via mail and 1-2 days for books picked up on campus. We will add staff and increase service levels as public health guidance allows. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience with delays or inconvenience.
When will I be able to request books from Interlibrary Loan (ILL), UBorrow, and FastTRAC again?
Physical Interlibrary Loan (ILL) will not resume until the University of Iowa and at least a few of our partner libraries are able to begin lending materials beyond our home institutions. Throughout the campus shutdown, we have continued to accept and fill ILL requests for scanned articles and book chapters based on availability. As of Aug. 24, several BTAA partner libraries began to offer ILL services through UBorrow. Every day, more libraries are reopening and able to process ILL requests for books. The UI Libraries will accept ILL requests, but please be patient as these services are still not at full capacity and it may take longer for a book to arrive.