Skip to Main Content

Archiving Student Life at Iowa State University

This guide and the Student Life Archivist are here to help you and the student organizations you are a part of collect, organize, and preserve your records.

About this Guide

This guide was created by your Student Life Archivist to provide you with the information you need to get involved with preserving your legacy at Iowa State.

Whether that means donating your records to Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) or working with the Student Life Archivist to develop better recordkeeping skills to maintain your own records, we're here for you!

Archiving Student Life at Iowa State University

The University Archives collects, preserves, and shares archival materials related to the experiences, achievements, and memories of Iowa Staters that document the history of Iowa State University.

As students at Iowa State University, the decisions you make and the records you create shape the university's history. SCUA’s holdings are regrettably missing the students’ perspectives due to decades of prioritizing the collection of official university records created by the administration, faculty, and staff. This focus—at a predominantly white intuition—along with the regular graduation of students, has contributed to a lack of student voices, especially students of historically underrepresented and marginalized communities, in the university's history.


In SCUA, we recognize that the university wouldn't be here without its students, and the archives should reflect the presence and impact of our students.  SCUA is dedicated to reparative and inclusive archival practices with the goal of building a historical record in which everyone can see themselves. 

Collecting All Aspects of Student Life

While this guide focuses mainly on collecting the records of student organizations, SCUA collects all aspects of student life at Iowa State.

Student/Alumni Organizations: Records documenting the creation, development, priorities, and activities of these organizations. 

Students/Alumni: Documenting the individual’s student experience with an emphasis on unique materials created and collected during their time at ISU and/or their engagement with ISU afterward.

Student Activism: Materials documenting involvement in activism by ISU students.  

  • Note: Your privacy is of the utmost importance to us.  We are happy to discuss time-based restrictions on materials to protect your privacy while contributing to the historical record.

Your Student Life Archivist

Profile Photo
Rebecca Wells
Special Collections & University Archives
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Ames, Iowa 50011-2012
(515) 294-6676