The Special Collections department at Iowa State University was established in 1969. It is now called the Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA). Special Collections within the department name refers to our manuscript collections and rare books.
Both Manuscript Collections and University Archives contain the same types of materials, such as papers, photographs, film, audiovisual, artifacts, etc. Their primary difference relates to where the records originate.
Manuscript Collections (the Special Collections part of our department) include personal papers and organizational records that have a strong emphasis on the major research areas of Iowa State University, but are not directly affiliated with the university.
University Archives includes Iowa State University administrative records, faculty papers, and alumni collections. University Archives are records created by the university -- by faculty, staff, students, colleges, departments, units, centers, institutes, programs, etc.