Hiring an Independent Researcher

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 from the School of Library and Information Science 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 from the School of Library and Information Science, please consult the following information, then proceed to fill out the webform located at the bottom of this page.

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.

Currently enrolled students from the School of Library and Information Science are eligible to opt into a list-serv in which they are notified when a patron needs to hire an independent researcher. The first available student to respond to your job posting will be selected to complete the needed work, and you will be contacted accordingly.

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. Neither the School of Library and Information Science nor the UI Libraries Special Collections & Archives is responsible for payment or involved in this matter in any way.

While the amount per hour is up to you, we suggest a minimum payment of $20-$25 USD per hour.

All independent researchers hired through the list-serv are University of Iowa graduate students, and have at minimum obtained a bachelor’s degree or similar. If you want to learn more about the qualifications of the student who responds to your request, you are welcome to ask them.


Hire an Independent Researcher

Please complete the following form to be connected with an independent researcher from the School of Library and Information Science. Your representative from Special Collections can assist you with any questions you may have about the form. If you have not already done so, please contact Special Collections & Archives with your research needs at lib-spec@uiowa.edu before filling out the request form.

Name of Collection(s) You Need to Access(Required)
Examples: Papers of John Smith, The Jane Doe Collection.

If you have specific box numbers, please include that information along with their corresponding collections.

Collection Number(s)(Required)
Examples: RG30.0002.002, MsC0150, IWA0540

If there is no deadline, please type ‘none’.

If you have not contacted Special Collections & Archives, please do so before filling out this form by emailing lib-spec@uiowa.edu.