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Special Collections and University Archives Instruction Services

This guide describes instruction services offered by SCUA.


This guide is for instructors who want their students to learn how to do research and interpret and evaluate primary sources at Iowa State University Library Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA).

We do ask for three weeks advance notice for class visits. 

Our Mission

Special Collections and University Archives is home to Iowa State University Library's rare books, manuscripts, photographs, audio recordings, film, artifacts, archival records, and other historical documents. Our collection covers a large range of areas, including agriculture and rural life, life sciences, engineering, technology, and Iowa State University history.

We collect and preserve these materials to enhance scholarship and to help researchers & understand the past and its relationship to the present.

We welcome and are open to all who want to see and research these rare and unique materials.

COVID-19 Policies for Research and Instruction

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not able to accommodate in-person class visits, except for very small class sizes. We can create an online session and our reading room is available for researchers, by appointment only.

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we have revised some of our policies and rearranged our furniture to protect both our researchers, staff, and our collections.

  • We will be open by appointment only between 10 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 3 PM, Monday through Thursday.
  • We are requiring 24-hour notice for appointment requests.
  • Allow 3 business days for us to bring materials from off-site storage to the Reading Room.
  • Occupancy of Reading Room reduced to one researcher per table.
  • We require researchers wear face coverings or masks and maintain social distancing.
  • Collection materials will be briefly quarantined after use.
  • We will be open for instruction sessions, though depending on class size, we may opt for remote sessions or hybrid of remote and in-person visits.

Instruction Request Form

Your Archivists

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