Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) maintain an extensive number of audiovisual collections, roughly twenty thousand items in total, including film, magnetic, grooved recording, optical, and digital formats.

Notable collections include:

WOI Radio and Television records, 1911-2012 (RS 05/06)

WOI-AM went on the air on April 28, 1922, with regular market news broadcasts. During the next 25 years, the scope of station programming expanded to encompass all areas of Iowa State's activities including agricultural programming, programs for homemakers, lectures, forums, and classical music. On July 1, 1949, WOI-FM became one of the first FM stations in Iowa when it started broadcasting. In 2004, WOI Radio became part of  Iowa Public Radio. WOI-TV went on the air in February 1950 and for several years was the first station in central Iowa to offer a regular schedule of programming. It was the first television station owned and operated by an institution of higher learning and was noteworthy for its early experiments in Kinescope recording techniques. WOI-TV was sold to Capital Communications Company, Inc. in 1994.


Iowa State University. Telecommunicative Arts, 1950-1990 (RS 13/13/04)

The Telecommunicative Arts Program, which began at Iowa State University in the early 1950s, was designed for students interested in studying radio, television, and film production. This collection includes information on courses offered in this discipline, students’ projects and papers, the development of the program, and pictures and scrapbooks with news clippings which illustrate the history of the Telecommunicative Arts Program.



Films and videos of activities on the Garst Farm, including farming, fishing, employee parties, etc.


National Farmers Organization records, 1955-2001 (MS-0481)

The National Farmers Organization (NFO) was founded in 1955 to combat low prices farmers received from food processors. The NFO argued that farmers made up nine percent of the nation's population but only earned four percent of its income. The original headquarters of the NFO was located in Corning, Iowa.

The early history of the NFO was marked by radicalism.  Farmers organized withholding actions to increase prices, then staged boycotts and protests that included the slaughter of livestock and property damage. The violent aspects of the organization's activities receded by 1979, when its focus turned to collective bargaining for better prices. The NFO, which now has its headquarters in Ames, Iowa, is organized on county, Congressional district, state, and national levels


  • Work for food featuring Senator George McGovern, South Dakota
  • U.S. Farm Report: Farm Policy & Parity Prices featuring Senator Walter Mondale
  • Family Farm vs. Corporate Farm

Rath Packing Company records, 1890-1985 (MS-0562)

The Rath Packing Company (Rath) of Waterloo (Iowa) opened for business on November 24, 1891, on the Cedar River. Initially, the company concentrated on hogs, but by 1908 the company was also slaughtering beef and lamb as well. 

Verda Louise Williams papers, 1975-2001 (RS 05/02/51)

The series contains Verda Williams videotapes, including the master of the program "Black Des Moines: Voices Seldom Heard," research tapes for the program, interviews, stills, historic events, and footage used to compile the program.


  • Black Des Moines: Voices Seldom Heard

Philip Homer Elwood papers, 1907-1969 (RS 26/05/11)

This collection (1907-1969, undated) includes Elwood's correspondence, as well as correspondence with Elwood's son following his death, biographical information, articles and papers, and materials from his time as Head of the Department of Landscape Architecture. This collection also has materials related to the summer travel schools, including news clippings and a scrapbook from the 1927 trip to the western United States. The 1927 trip took Elwood and his students from Ames through South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, with stops at National Parks such as Yellowstone, Glacier, and Yosemite, and included meetings with city planners in Seattle and Los Angles.


Hobart Beresford papers, 1927-1977 (RS 09/07/13)

The collection (1927-1977, undated) contains biographical information, news clippings, correspondence, publications, photographs, slides, and scrapbooks, including one large scrapbook with posters and photographs of tractors and other agricultural machinery. The correspondence, dated 1936, is primarily with companies involved in storing and transporting agricultural products. The photographic prints and slides are mostly of agricultural events, celebrations, cultivation and harvesting, machinery, and livestock. The collection also includes audio tapes of interviews done with J.B. Davidson (Head, Department of Agricultural Engineering, 1905-1915; 1919-1946). There is also a series of films regarding agricultural engineering at Iowa State and the University of Idaho. These films are unprocessed.


Iowa State University audio recordings collection, 1946-1987 (RS 00/17/04)

This collection contains audio recordings of oral history interviews, radio broadcasts, and recorded speeches by various members of Iowa State University.

Highlights include:

  • Curtis, Austin W., 1979 lab assistant to Dr. George Washington Carver
  • Schmidt, Harry – interviewed by Bill Walsh regarding Jack Trice, 1973 
  • Orr, Robert – interview (reel-to-reel tape), 1966

John D. "Jack" Shelley papers, 1944-2011 (RS 13/13/55)

The materials from Shelley’s time as a war correspondent in World War II comprise the majority of this collection. It includes biographical information and personal memorabilia from his travels as a war correspondent, radio broadcast scripts, war documents, cablegrams, news releases and clippings, personal accounts and reports of events witnessed, family correspondence, photographs, and audio recordings on reel to reel, cassette tape, and VHS video tape.

Audio reel to reel tapes have been digitally transferred to compact disc for listening, Disc 004 336, #s 1-12. The use of boxes 9-13 has been restricted due to the brittleness of the original paper. These files have been photocopied and provided for viewing in folders 1-5. 

Highlights include:

Request to view or receive copies of audiovisual materials

For information about receiving copies of our films, please review our policy for Audiovisual Requests and Transfer Fees.