First circular of the University of Iowa, 1855

First circular of the University of Iowa, 1855

Founded in 1931 by Ruth A. Gallaher, Ph.D., of the State Historical Society of Iowa, the University Archives collects, preserves and provides access to information about the University of Iowa that is of enduring historical, administrative, fiscal, or legal value.

The Archives is a reservoir of information on people, colleges, departments, and buildings at the University of Iowa. It is used by students, faculty, administrators, and the public to examine historic events and decisions.

Among the varied holdings of the University Archives are noncurrent official records, personal papers, publications, vertical files (including subject files, faculty and staff files, alumni and former students files, organizations and clubs files, and buildings and grounds files), theses, building plans, campus maps, scrapbooks, oral history transcripts, photographs, microfilm, sound recordings, and electronic records detailing the history of the University. Printed material includes University catalogs, yearbooks (The Hawkeye and others), alumni and student directories, commencement programs, course schedules, budgets, student newspapers (including the Vidette-Reporter and the Daily Iowan), literary and humor magazines, departmental histories, and programs of musical concerts, lectures, dramatic performances, and athletic events.

Other resources include documentation of the period of student protest in the 1960s and 1970s. The Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs, with over 50,000 images, is a rich source for early photographs of University faculty, buildings, departments, athletic and dramatic events, as well as other subjects.

Administrative offices, centers, colleges, committees, departments, institutes, schools, and student and faculty organizations whose records are preserved, at least in part, in the University Archives include, among others: Child Welfare, Gerontology, Graduate College, History, Human Rights Committee, Hydraulics, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Journalism, Law, Liberal Arts, Music, Nursing, Physics, President’s Office, Religion, Scottish Highlanders, Theatre, and University High School.

The University Archives preserves college and departmental records, regardless of format, for administrative use and scholarly research. Departmental administrators are responsible for preserving the noncurrent records of their respective units as specified by the University’s Records Management Program. According to the Operations Manual of the University, “The University archivist will have the opportunity to examine and review all University records selected for disposal to determine whether the records proposed for disposal have research or historical value to the University. The archivist shall maintain those research and historical records in a manner consistent with this policy.” (V, Ch. 17.3g)

Gifts to the University Archives are welcomed. For inquiries about the services of the Archives or to arrange transfer of materials, please contact us. Telephone: (319) 335-5921. Fax: (319) 335-5900. Email:

The University Archives is a unit of the Department of Special Collections and is located in the Main Library, third floor. It is a member of the University of Iowa Collections Coalition, the Consortium of Iowa Archivists, and the CIC University Archivists Group. The CIC, or Committee on Institutional Cooperation, is the 13-member academic consortium of the Big Ten conference institutions, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. University Archives staff also participate in the Midwest Archives Conference and the Society of American Archivists.


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