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

  • Edward Gorey’s Reawakening of Dracula

    By Hannah Hacker Dracula has been a name that has instilled fear and fascination in the imaginations of readers and viewers since its original publication by Bram Stoker in 1897. […]

  • Special Collections News 10/21/2016

    Newsfeed: ‘Invisible Hawkeyes’ Celebrates UI’s African American Alumni:  http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/education/university-of-iowa/2016/10/20/invisible-hawkeyes-celebrates-uis-african-american-alumni/92424070/ The UI Libraries is holding an Instagram Scavenger […]

  • Special Collections News 10/14/2016

    Newsfeed: Why Study Fan Archives?: An Interview with Abigail De Kosnik (Part Two) from Henry Jenkins’ blog:  http://henryjenkins.org/2016/10/why-study-fan-archives-an-interview-with-abigail-de-kosnik-part-two.html     Highlights From Social Media: This visitor has been […]

  • Special Collections News 9/30/2016

    Newsfeed: Lichtenberger Library Stretches Imagination.  http://daily-iowan.com/2016/09/29/lichtenberger-library-stretches-imagination/ Jim Downey preserves history as a book conservator. […]

  • Special Collections News and Updates 9/23/2016

    EVENT TOMORROW, September 24, 2016, 1PM-3PM: Readers and Revelers needed to bring back the celebration of Shakespeare in City Park just like 100 years ago for the closing event to […]

  • Iowa Reads Shakespeare in the City Park “Globe Theater” Saturday, 9/24

        Dost Thou Speak Masterly: Iowa Reads Shakespeare Step up to read Shakspeare and celebrate The Bard’s 400 Death Anniversary – Just like they did 100 years ago in […]

  • A Trip to the Conservation Lab – YouTube

    Colleen Theisen took a trip up to the Conservation Lab to meet with Kristen Hartman to find out about two “batch treatments” that she had been working on. Large sets […]

  • Sunday! Shakespeare Family Festival – Book Arts, Crafts, Fencing, and Celebrating Shakespeare

    SHAKESPEAREAN FAMILY FESTIVAL Hands-on demonstrations of book arts, acting, fencing 18 September 1:00 – 4:00 pm Main Library, North Plaza Rain location: Just inside the Main Library’s north entrance Free […]