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

  • Special Collections News & Updates 12/01/2016

      News of Interest: UI earns No. 1 ranking in university website accessibility: https://now.uiowa.edu/2016/11/ui-tops-in-university-website-accessibility A Snapshot of Cook’s Point (with a shout out to Migration is […]

  • December 14th Iowa Bibliophiles: Arthur Bonfield: 60 years of collecting rare books from 1490-1800

    Iowa Bibliophiles December Meeting Arthur Bonfield: 60 years of collecting rare books from 1490-1800   For the last 60 years Professor  Arthur Bonfield has collected rare books— original copies of […]

  • Special Collections News and Updates 11/17/2016

      Statements from the American Library Association and the Society of American Archivists confirming a commitment to diversity and inclusion: American Library Association: “As an association representing these libraries, librarians […]

  • Special Collections News 11/11/2016

    Newsfeed: November “Old Gold” column from University Archivist David McCartney, “What Chicago, UI looked like 108 years ago”: https://now.uiowa.edu/2016/11/old-gold-108-years-ago Featuring UI Libraries staff Rob Shepard: Daily Iowa article: Keeping an Eye […]

  • Tom Brokaw Donates His Papers and Artifacts to UI Libraries

    Collection spans five decades of work as TV journalist, correspondent for NBC Tom Brokaw, former anchor of the NBC Nightly News and co-anchor of the Today show, attended the UI […]

  • Special Collections News 11/03/2016

    Newsfeed: Edward Gorey’s Reawakening of Dracula by Hannah Hacker: http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/speccoll/2016/10/24/edward-goreys-reawakening-of-dracula/ Keith/Albee Vaudeville Collection in DIY History! by Justin Baumgartner: […]

  • 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 […]