This guide describes materials available in the University of Iowa Archives, Department of Special Collections, that pertain to aspects of the University’s history. Also featured are links to history-related sites administered elsewhere in the University. 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 01.0009.002.
A Bibliography of the History of the University of Iowa. Originally prepared by Earl M. Rogers as a printed guide (University of Iowa Libraries, 1997), the online resource includes additions through the current year. The bibliography lists histories and selected contemporary accounts of the University and many of its faculty, colleges, departments, and other programs, and it often suggests effective ways to begin research. Both published and unpublished works are included.
Chronology of University of Iowa History. A timeline of significant events prepared by the Office of University Relations to commemorate the University of Iowa’s sesquicentennial in 1997. The chronology includes many notable ‘firsts’ at the University.
Amos Currier Scrapbooks Collection. The scrapbooks span 1864 to 1908 and include guide books for students, graduation ceremony programs, and other materials. RG 99.0326.
Papers of the Federal Writers’ Project. This collection includes a series of about two dozen papers devoted to University of Iowa history, written primarily between 1936 and 1938.
Fiction With an Iowa City Setting: An Updated Checklist. A list of novels, poems, short stories and other works of creative writing with references to Iowa City and The University of Iowa. Compiled by Earl M. Rogers. The list appeared in Books at Iowa 55 (1991) and expanded upon an earlier list released in 1986. The list linked here continues to be updated occasionally.
Historical Papers Collection. A collection of mostly unpublished papers pertaining to a wide variety of aspects of University of Iowa history, including college and department histories, faculty biographies, academic programs, political activism and social life. The papers are arranged alphabetically by author. RG 01.0001.003.
House Books of the Shambaugh Family Papers. Daily journals of activities at the Iowa City home of Benjamin and Bertha Shambaugh include notes about official guests of the University, 1902-1941. RG 99.0152.
Online histories and timelines of the University of Iowa.
- Center for New Music
- College of Business
- College of Dentistry
- College of Education
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- College of Medicine
- College of Medicine: Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
- College of Nursing
- College of Public Health
- Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research
- Iowa Writers’ Workshop
- School of Journalism and Mass Communication
- School of Music
- University Hospitals and Clinics
- University Libraries
Published histories of the University of Iowa.
These titles are particularly noteworthy:
- Persons, Stow. The University of Iowa in the Twentieth Century: An Institutional History (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1990).
- Gerber, John C. A Pictorial History of the University of Iowa (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1988; 2005).
- Scott, John Beldon and Rodney Lehnertz. The University of Iowa Guide to Campus Architecture (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2006)
- Sjolund, Richard. The University of Iowa Reflections: A Seasonal Journey Through the Campus and Its People and the River That Binds Them (Allen, Texas: DSA Publishing and Design, 2008). Includes images of the Flood of 2008.
Publications. University-produced publications often include articles pertaining to some aspect of University history. Titles of over 200 such publications may be searched in the University Serials and Journals Collection (RG 01.0009.002).
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