This guide describes materials available in the University of Iowa Archives, Department of Special Collections, that pertain to campus buildings and landmarks. RG numbers refer to the described collection’s record group number.
If you have questions about our holdings, please feel free to contact us.
Alumni magazines, including The Iowa Alumnus (1903-1925), The Iowa Alumni Review (1947-1993), The Iowa Alumni Quarterly (1993-2000), and The Iowa Alumni Magazine (2000- ). Back issues of all alumni publications, with the exception of the most recent five years, are available online as part of the Iowa Digital Library. RG 01.09.02.
Biennial Report of the State of Iowa Board of Education. Many of the reports include early maps of the UI campus. The reports, titled as Biennial Report of the State of Iowa Board of Regents from 1954 forward, span 1910-1976 and are part of the Records of the State of Iowa Board of Education and Board of Regents (RG 04.02).
Books of note. Scott, John Beldon and Rodney Lehnertz. The University of Iowa Guide to Campus Architecture. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2006. Gerber, John C. A Pictorial History of the University of Iowa. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1988 and 2005.
Building plans. This is an online index of architectural drawings and list of blueprints available at the University Archives.
Campus Buildings and Grounds Vertical Files. The Archives’ buildings files contain information about the construction and history of most campus structures and features. Files are arranged alphabetically, by name of building. RG 01.15.
Campus Maps Digital Collection. Part of the Iowa Digital Library, this online collection documents nearly 150 years of campus development, including an 1893 pacing survey and a 1946 (post-World War II) guide to temporary buildings. Search by year or by decade, or browse the entire collection.
Committee on Building Names records, 1967-2008. Records of an advisory committee which considers and recommends the naming of buildings and other campus features. RG 05.03.46.
Current maps, webcams and virtual campus tours. This University website features up-to-date images, maps and other campus information. Descriptions of major construction projects currently underway are included.
Hawkeye annual. The University of Iowa’s yearbook chronicled campus life from 1892 until 1992, and includes many photographs of buildings and other landmarks. There is an online index to the photographs for the 1893 to 1942 editions. RG 02.10.
Historical campus maps. The University Archives maintains sets of historical maps of the campus as part of the campus buildings vertical files (RG 01.15). Maps of the campus are also included in each issue of the general catalog beginning in 1903 (RG 01.08). Many of these maps are featured in the Campus Maps Digital Collection, described above.
Iowa City Assessor’s Office. The website provides information about date of construction of buildings within the city, as well as lot descriptions and other data. Choose ‘parcel search’ and enter the desired address.
Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes. An online collection of images that form part of the Iowa Digital Library. The photos are from the Samuel Calvin and Frederick W. Kent photograph collections in the University Archives and feature local landmarks and activity spanning 1890 to about 1950.
Old Cap: Remembrance and Renewal. An online exhibit featuring Old Capitol, the University of Iowa’s most widely-recognized landmark.
Photographs. Photographs of many buildings – both exterior and interior – from prior to 1970 are available in the Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs (RG 30.01.01), the Quick Reference Collection: University Presidents and Campus Buildings (RG 30.01.32), and other photograph collections. More recent images are maintained by the University’s Center for Media Production.
Publications. University-produced publications often include references to campus buildings and landmarks. Titles of over 200 such publications may be searched in the University Serials and Journals Collection (RG 01.09.02).
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