If you are unable to visit the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives, you have the option to hire a local researcher or an independent researcher to complete research or digital scans on your behalf. Hiring an independent researcher may be suggested to patrons who have research needs that Special Collections & Archives staff are unable to fulfill due to staffing limitations.

To get started with hiring an independent researcher, please consult the following information, then reach out to Special Collections staff at lib-spec@uiowa.edu, who will provide you with a list of local independent researchers.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have not already done so, please reach out to University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives (lib-spec@uiowa.edu) with your research needs. A Special Collections & Archives employee will assist you with your query and help determine if your request requires an independent researcher based on the nature and complexity of your needs.

Special Collections staff will provide you with a list of local independent researchers, which includes their contact information and possible areas of expertise. It will be up to you to select a researcher from the list and reach out to them independently to see if they are available for hire.

Please note that independent researchers are not UI Libraries employees. The UI Libraries will neither be responsible for any arrangement made with independent researchers, nor endorse the quality of the researchers’ work. Such arrangements, including extent and cost of the work, are purely private, contractual matters between the independent researcher and you.

Due to the complexity and variability of archival materials, we are unable to give estimated timelines as to how long your research may take.

Payment is dealt with solely between you and your independent researcher. The UI Libraries Special Collections & Archives is not responsible for payment or involved in this matter in any way.

Independent researchers set their own rates, so you will need to inquire directly with the researcher as to what their rate of pay is.

If you want to learn more about the qualifications of the student who responds to your request, you are welcome to ask them.

If you are interested in having your information added to the list of local independent researchers, please contact Special Collections staff at lib-spec@uiowa.edu.