Our Mission

Special Collections and University Archives is home to Iowa State University Library's rare books, manuscripts, photographs, audio recordings, film, artifacts, archival records, and other historical documents. Our collection covers a large range of areas, including agriculture and rural life, life sciences, engineering, technology, and Iowa State University history.

We collect and preserve these materials to enhance scholarship and to help researchers understand the past and its relationship to the present.

We welcome and are open to all who want to see and research these rare and unique materials.

Reopening August 17th!

We are excited to announce the reopening of our Reading Room on August 17th. We are committed to providing a quality learning and research experience for the Iowa State community and also our off-campus and off-site researchers.

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we have revised some of our policies and rearranged our furniture to protect both our researchers, staff, and our collections.

  • We will be open by appointment only between 10 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 3 PM, Monday through Thursday.
  • We are requiring 24-hour notice for appointment requests.
  • Allow 3 business days for us to bring materials from off-site storage to the Reading Room.
  • Occupancy of Reading Room reduced to one researcher per table.
  • We will be following ISU policy regarding use of masks and social distancing.
  • Collection materials will be briefly quarantined after use.
  • We will be open for instruction sessions, though depending on class size, we may opt for remote sessions or hybrid of remote and in-person visits.

It is likely there will be additional updates, but we wanted to share these new policies now so that people can begin planning for their class visits and research.

Here is more information on Fall Semester start for Iowa State University: https://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2020/06/10/fallplan.

For University Library updates, click here.

For Iowa State University campus updates, click here

For questions and information relevant to Special Collections and University Archives please email us at archives@iastate.edu