Find Manuscripts and Archives

Special Collections and University Archives holds many primary source collections in different formats including paper documents, photographs, audiovisual materials, electronic documents, and artifacts. Topics cover personal papers of individuals, records of various organizations and businesses, and the University Archives.

Use Quick Search to find manuscripts and archives collections. Narrowing the collection to "Special Collections" will typically highlight special collections.

Search CARDinal to access finding aids and some of our digitized materials.

Find Historical Images

Our Special Collections and University Archives has over 1,000,000 photographs dealing primarily with the university and the activities of ISU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Topical areas include agriculture, rural life, science, technology, home economics, and campus events.

Physical access

To identify, locate and use university photos, visit the Special Collections Reading Room (403 Parks Library) during open hours, or consult with staff by e-mail or phone (515 294-6672).

Electronic access

The Library provides electronic access to a growing selection of its photographs through a variety of digital management systems, including:

  • Digital Collections (ISU Library) - A digital collection of photographs, drawings, letters, books, journals, moving images and sound recordings that are representative of the collections from the ISU Library, including Special Collections and University Archives.
  • Iowa Heritage Digital Collections - An online repository of Iowa history and culture including documents, images, maps, interpretive and educational materials, and other media from collections held by a wide range of organizations throughout Iowa.

Need more help?

Visit the Special Collections Reading Room (403 Parks Library) during open hours, or contact staff online or by phone 515-294-6672.