Skip to Main Content
Skip to content

Welcome to Special Collections

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

Message From the University Archivist

Welcome to the University of Iowa Archives!

The Archives gathers, preserves, and provides access to records pertaining to The University of Iowa that are of enduring historical, fiscal, administrative, or legal value. Our records are wide-ranging in scope, and delve deeply into the collective experiences of our campus dating to its founding in 1847.

Explore our web site to learn more about our holdings. Check out our resource guides, which are arranged by popular topic. Online, you’ll also find our Hawkeye yearbooks (1892-1992), The Daily Iowan (1868-present), and official publications of the University including general catalogs (1970-present). We also have an abundance of historical campus images hosted by the Iowa Digital Library.

Whether you’re conducting genealogical research, interested in learning more about past presidents or campus life from another era, or trying to settle a family argument, the University Archives is here. We look forward to assisting you.

David McCartney, C.A.,
University Archivist

  What are the University Archives?

The University Archives contain historical information on people, colleges, departments, and buildings at The University of Iowa.

To find collections or items in the Archives, follow the directions here. You can limit your search there to University Archives record groups, identifiable by the collection identifier beginning with "RG." If you are not quite sure what you are looking for, consult our collection lists that explore Record Groups in more detail: Resource guides to holdings in the University of Iowa Archives, an alphabetical list of collections in the archives, or a list of archives collections arranged by record group.


  Using the Archives

Using the University Archives is very similar to using the Special Collections. We recommend registering as a patron prior to your first visit to help make your trip more efficient. Then simply visit the reading room on the third floor of the Main Library at any time during our open hours. If you need additional assistance while registering, any staff member will be happy to assist you.

Once you have registered and filled out a request in Aeon, a staff member will retrieve your item for you so you can view it in the reading room. Before the staff member at the desk gives you the item you have requested, they will go over some basic tips to keep in mind when using the item. For example, you may request more than one archival box at a time, but we ask that you only take out one folder at a time. If you have any questions about handling an item, always feel free to ask someone at the desk for help.

Scanners are available in the reading room, but please consult a staff member prior to using them. We also ask all of our users to consider the copyright laws when posting or publishing any materials found in our collections. If you are publishing something and would like to cite our collection, you may do so through the following format: [Name of the Collection], University of Iowa Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.