Photograph Collections

Photograph and Slide Collections


Special Collections and University Archives maintains over 1,000,000 photographs, slides, and digital images. The majority of these images focus on Iowa State University. Only a selection of these collections are available online through Digital Collections, however most of them will need to be viewed by visiting the Department.

Copies may be requested; see the Scans and Reproductions page for more information. Please allow two weeks for fulfillment of image requests.


University Photo and Image Collections

These collections document Iowa State University through photographs and 35 mm slides with the earliest photographs of campus dating back to the 1870s. The inventories below will guide users in locating images, however in most cases researchers will have to visit the department in order to view the actual images. The department also holds digital images created by the University Photographer dating from 2000-2015 and these can only be accessed by contacting University Archives directly. 

Photographs may be found throughout University Archives collections in scrapbooks and alongside paper records. Browse the finding aids in CARDinal for more information or contact us for assistance.

Agriculture and Rural Life Images

These collections contain significant numbers of images related to Iowa's agriculture, rural life, and local history. Some may also include images of the larger Midwest region. These collections have been donated to the department largely by private individuals and organizations. It is important to note that this is just a selection of the collections held by the department that contain visual images related to agriculture and rural life. Search CARDinal for the finding aids for these and other collections.

  • Aden Family Photographs and postcards (MS-0609)

  • Tom Becker Photographs (MS-0681)

  • Friedrich Fritsch Photography Collection (Garner, Iowa) (MS-0539)

  • C. J. (Dutch) Gross Soybean Photographs (MS-0230)

  • Michael P. Harker Photographs (MS-0661)

  • Iowa Aerial Photograph Collection (MS-0336)

  • Iowa Train Photograph Collection (MS-0604)

  • Bob Kisken Photographs (MS-0596)

  • Descartes Pascal Papers (MS-0091)

  • Ordella J. Thompson Photograph Scrapbooks (MS-0532)

  • United States. Soil Conservation Service Photograph Collection (MS-0179)

  • United States. Work Projects Administration (Iowa) Projects Photographs (MS-0260)

  • Helen D. Gunderson Papers (RS 21/7/92)