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Welcome to Special Collections

A guide to visiting the Special Collections department at the University of Iowa Libraries.

How to Find What You Are Looking For

The University of Iowa Special Collections & Archives welcomes users of all kinds to explore our collections of rare books, manuscripts, University Archives, Iowa Women’s Archives, and other unique collecting areas. The reading room is open to everyone and no appointment is needed. From seasoned researchers to first-time library users, we welcome and encourage everyone to use our space and resources. Not sure what materials to even start with? Not a problem, as a staff member would be happy to assist you. We look forward to working with you!

Lindsay Moen,
Public Services Librarian

  How to find what you are looking for


The best place to start is the Special Collections website located at, but you can also contact Special Collections directly.


  Search for Books or Maps in INFOHawk+

INFOHawk+ is used to search the library catalog for books and maps. You can search using title, author, subject, or keywords.


Items in the catalog will indicate which library houses the item. Items at Special Collections will say "Available at Special Collections" and list the specific collection it belongs to and the call number.


  Search for Manuscripts and Archives in ArchiveSpace

ArchiveSpace is used to search our manuscript and archives collections. You can search using title, author, subject, or keywords. You can narrow your search with additional filters.


Manuscript collections use the following numbering system: MsC0000, the University of Iowa archival collections use: RG00.0000.000, and the Iowa Women's Archives use: IWA0000.


  Other ways to search

If you want to find all resources related to a particular subject, you can browse our collections. We also have many items that have been digitized and are available through the Iowa Digital Library.


  Ask an Archivist

If you do not know exactly what you are looking for, no problem!  We can help you find what you are looking for by submitting a question here or by visiting our reading room on-site. Just provide as much information as you can and our staff will take it from there.