About Special Collections

200,000 rare books range in age from the 15th century to newly created artists’ books; over 800 manuscript collections, medieval to modern; 7,000 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, the culinary arts, political cartooning, screenwriting….

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

Special Collections News

  • Special Collections News & Updates 6/17/2016

    Newsfeed: Library Field Responds to Orlando http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2016/06/public-services/library-field-responds-to-orlando-tragedy/#_ Statement on the Orlando Shooting from SAA President Dennis […]

  • Special Collections Instruction Year in Review 2015-2016

    Bring your Class to Special Collections […]

  • Special Collections News & Updates 6/3/2016

    Newsfeed: A look back at the “Meet the Manuscript” workshop: http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/speccoll/2016/06/03/meet-the-manuscript/ Riverside Theater will return to City Park for Pericles June 17-July 10: http://www.riversidetheatre.org/returningtothepark Salisbury House in Des Moines […]

  • Meet the Manuscript

    By Heather Wacha 28 beaver fur hats. 6 panels of tapestries. Wool from Flanders. Silks, cloths and linens. Furniture, paintings, and sculptures. Gold and Silver. All manner of carriages.   […]

  • Special Collections News & Updates 5/27/2016

    Important Announcements: Special Collections and the Iowa Women’s Archives’ Reading Rooms will be closed May 30th for the Memorial Day holiday. Newsfeed: Old Gold: The course catalog, or UI’s ‘wish […]

  • Special Collections Curator Peter Balestrieri Featured in “Archival Outlook”

    Curator of Science Fiction and Popular Culture, Peter Balestrieri is featured in the Cover Story of the May/June issue of Archival Outlook from the Society of American Archivists. “Archivists are artists,” […]

  • Special Collections Weekly Update 5/13/2016

    Important Announcements: The Iowa Women’s Archives will be closed May 16-27th for painting.   Newsfeed: Iowa City Press-Citizen, UI Libraries celebrates Star Trek’s 50th anniversary by Zach Berg USA Today, UI […]

  • Special Collections Weekly Update 5/6/2016

    Important Announcements: The Iowa Women’s Archives will be closed May 16-27th for painting.   Newsfeed: Talk of Iowa: Brinton Films Make Second Debut in 100 Years at World’s Longest Running Movie […]