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Instruction Services

This guide describes instruction services offered by SCUA.

What to Expect When you Visit

We are eager to assist you with your research so read on and prepare for your visit!

  • The materials available in the reading room do not circulate. Material must be viewed in the reading room during the hours we are open

  • Personal belongings are now allowed in the reading room, please see our policies and procedures for exceptions.

  • Special Collections & University materials are in closed stacks. Researchers must request items at the reference desk.

  • You can generally make copies, though there are exceptions (e.g., material is restricted from reproduction or too fragile). 

  • Bring a second layer of clothing. It can get chilly.

  • Feel free to contact us ahead of time with any questions. We are happy to assist you! 

Reading Room Guidelines

Policies and Procedures

Please help us safeguard our valuable and unique materials by observing the following rules:

1. Patrons must create accounts in AeonAeon is a special collections and archives request system. ISU users  
    can create an account in Aeon using Okta.

2. No food or beverages of any kind are allowed. Jackets, coats, backpacks, purses, etc., must be placed in  
    the closet and lockers to the right of the front desk. 

3. Use only pencil when taking notes,.

4. Use colored note paper provided by department. Your own notebooks or note paper not allowed.

5. Laptops are permitted, laptop bags or sleeves are not.

6. Cameras or photographic equipment may be used with permission. Personal scanners are not permitted.

7. Hands must be clean to handle materials. 

8. Researchers are requested to observe the following: 

  • Use one folder from a box at a time
  • Maintain existing order within each folder and box
  • Use placeholder when removing folders
  • Do not remove items from folders--bring entire folder when scanning materials or showing something to staff
  • Notify the Reference Desk if any materials are damaged or appear out of order
  • Lay folders flat on table when in use

9. All materials must be viewed in the reading room. Materials do not circulate.

10. The use of some materials may be restricted by statute, the office of origin, or by the donor. The researcher must assume full responsibility for fulfilling the terms connected with any restricted material. The Library reserves the right to restrict the use of materials which are not processed, of exceptional value, and/or fragile.

11. For all bound volumes, foam book supports are located in the cabinets above the hold shelves. Book weights are also available in a box located in the far left cabinet. Never put pressure on spines of books.

12. Only one person allowed to handle materials at a time.

13. Off-site/Library Storage Building materials can take up to seven business days to retrieve. Please email to request material and schedule your visit.

Please note the reading room is under video surveillance.

How to Get Here

Interactive map of ISU campus. Includes locations for parking lots.

Driving Directions

From Highway 30

  • Exit at University Boulevard (exit sign says Iowa State University).
  • Head north on University Boulevard passing Reiman Gardens, the football stadium, and Hilton Coliseum.
  • Turn left at the stoplight onto Lincoln Way and head west to the Memorial Union.
  • Paid parking is available in the Memorial Union Parking Ramp for a small fee. The parking ramp and the Memorial Union are on the right hand side of the street.
  • Free parking is available at the campus commuter lot located between the Jack Trice Stadium and the Hilton Coliseum. The shuttle stops directly in front of the library.

From Interstate 35

Exit at Highway 30 West (exit sign says Iowa State University). Then follow the directions above.

Inside Parks Library

The Reading Room is on the 4th floor, 403 Parks Library.

Contact us

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

Contact us before you visit!

You will get access to the materials much faster if you contact the archives in advance. Here's why:

  • Off-site/Library Storage Building materials can take up to seven business days to retrieve. Please email to request material and schedule your visit.
  • Related materials: Even if you have something specific you want to see (and know how to request it), we may have suggestions for other materials.
  • Check the holdings: As with most archives, many of our collections don't have detailed descriptions. If you're looking for a specific document or piece of information, contact the archives before making a trip so that you won't be disappointed if the collection doesn't have what you're looking for.
  • Research Help: We understand that using archives can be complicated. We know our collections and are truly happy to help!