Using the collections from a distance
We aim to reduce barriers to collection use for those unable to visit us in the reading room. A few of our collections are available online, visible in the Iowa Digital Library.
If the collection you would like to look at is not available online, we are often able to scan materials and send them to you. More information is available on our photoduplication page. Depending on the specificity and amount of materials requested, we may not be able to complete the request with Special Collections staff. If accomplishing the request will take longer than 30 minutes or require scanning more than 100 pages, we recommend finding a personal researcher to look through the collections on your behalf.
Special Collections collaborates with other departments in the Libraries to digitize select collections in order to make viewing easier for the public. These digitized collections can be viewed in the Iowa Digital Library.
If you are trying to find something not located at the University Libraries, try looking in WorldCat, a catalog of the collections and services provided by over 10,000 libraries, worldwide. You can also use Archive Finder, a searchable subscription database of collections at 5,500 U.S., British, and Irish repositories. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) is very complementary to Archive Finder, but perhaps a bit less user friendly. This is a searchable database of U.S. manuscripts collections reported to the Library of Congress. The records include descriptions of the collections, location, and whether or not the items are available online. These, and other resources, can be found on our links page.
(State of) Iowa Center for the Book
Archive Finder, Home Page
National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC)
Repositories of Primary Sources (University of Idaho)
WorldCat / OCLC
The University of Iowa Collections Consortium
The Atlas of Early Printing
Consortium of Iowa Archivists