Find Images

The ISU Library's Special Collections Department houses 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 created by bringing together in digital form documents, images, maps, finding aids, interpretive and educational materials, and other media from collections held by a wide range of organizations throughout Iowa.
  • Flickr--An online community for photo/video sharing. Search "Iowa State University" for images from the Library's Special Collections Department, or add relevant keywords like "campanile" or "solar car."

Images and Copyright

Remember to obtain permission from an image's copyright owner before using it. Sometimes, depending on the intended use, the copyright owner may allow you to use the image at no charge. In other cases, you will be required to pay a fee. Usually images will have a statement of terms, conditions, or restrictions on use.