Special Collections and University Archives contains Iowa State University Library's rare books, manuscripts, photographs, audio recordings, film, artifacts, archival records, and other historical documents.

Collections by format

  • Manuscript Collections: papers and records of individuals and organizations primarily in the fields of life sciences, agricultural and rural life, and engineering.
  • University Archives: departmental and administrative records, university publications, papers of faculty and alumni, materials documenting student life, and university related photographs and films.
  • Artifact Collection: variety of three-dimensional items; including around 3,000 items dating from 1849 to the present.
  • Audiovisual Collection: around 10,000 titles, mostly produced by Iowa State University.
  • Photograph Collection: over 1,000,000 photographs, primarily documenting Iowa State University and the activities of ISU faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
  • Web Archives: provides access to millions of archived pages from Iowa State University and other select websites.

Collections by topic area

Also known as collecting areas:

Access our collections in-person

Visit the Special Collections Reading Room.