About Special Collections

More than 200,000 rare books range in age from the 15th century to newly created artists’ books; over 1000 manuscript collections, medieval to modern; 8,000 feet of records document University history.

The Libraries’ repository of primary source materials: Exceptional literary collections of writers from Walt Whitman to Iris Murdoch; historical collections document the French Revolution, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War – and Chautauqua and vaudeville performers, science fiction fanzines, the culinary arts, political cartooning, screenwriting, artists’ books, and more.

Tens of thousands of pamphlets, photographs, posters, sound recordings, and other formats.

Special Collections News

  • Shakespeare Invades Iowa City Once Again – 100 Years Later

    By Hannah Hacker On August 29 through September 25, the University of Iowa Libraries’ Main Gallery will be featuring the Folger Shakespeare Library’s traveling exhibit First Folio! The Book That […]

  • Special Collections & Archives staff present at the Society of American Archivists Conference

    Last week, several members of Special Collections attended the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in Atlanta, Georgia. Two of our staff made professional contributions having a poster and a presentation competitively […]

  • Saying Goodbye to Olson Graduate Assistant Kelly Grogg

    Kelly Grogg has been an Olson Graduate Assistant in Special Collections for the past two years. In May she completed her Masters in Library and Information Science. Kelly completed her […]

  • Sample the Szathmary Culinary Collection

    Feeling overwhelmed by the more than 20,000+ cookbooks from 1498 to the present day, thousands of recipe pamphlets, and multitudes of handwritten cookbooks? Sample an item from a tasting menu. […]

  • Special Collections News & Updates 7/29/2016

    Newsfeed: Documenting and Treating Scrolls: Part 3 Final from the “Preservation Beat” blog. http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/preservation/2016/07/27/documenting-and-treating-scrolls-part-3-final/ A Visit to Himie Voxman’s Hometown from Iowa Now. […]

  • Special Collections News & Updates 7/22/2016

    Newsfeed: Update on the Music Library Move: http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/rbml/2016/07/22/were-moving/ Pomerantz Business Library’s 2015-2016 Infographic:  http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/biz/2016/07/14/pomerantz-business-library-a-look-back-at-fy-2016/ Migration is Beautiful Website […]

  • Special Collections News & Updates 7/15/2016

    Newsfeed: UI Librarians Serving the Iowa Library Association: http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/news/2016/07/11/ui-librarians-serving-the-iowa-library-association/ 1960’s Exhibition featured in the University of Iowa Alumni Magazine: http://www.iowalum.com/magazine/digital/july16.cfm […]

  • YouTube Series If Books Could Talk Finishes Final Episode

    If Books Could Talk is a collaboration between Heather Wacha from History Corps, a digital public history project from the History Department at the University of Iowa, Colleen Theisen, Outreach […]