Skip to Main Content

Archives - What They Are and How to Use Them

This is a general guide to using archival materials - what they are, where to find them, how they are organized, and how to use them. For questions about using the ISU Special Collections and University Archives specifically, click the "questions" tab.

Finding Archives and Collections

This section lists tools you can use to locate archives and search collection descriptions. Most archival materials are found using collection descriptions called "finding aids." A finding aid is a tool that serves to describe the contents of a particular collection, how the collection is organized, and who or where it came from. An archives collection usually refers to a group of materials that come from the same person, family, or organization.

Contact Us

Profile Photo
Special Collections & University Archives
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University Library
Ames, IA 50011
515 294-6672