Visit Special Collections and University Archives

Reading Room

Hours of Operation


Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday.

The Department and Parks Library are closed during University Holidays. Other closings will be noted on our homepage.


Directions to Library


Special Collections and University Archives is located in Room 403 of Parks Library.

The easiest way to reach campus by car is by taking the University Boulevard exit north from Highway 30. For those unfamiliar with the Iowa State University campus, visitor parking is available at a pre-paid metered lot near the Armory northwest of the Library or at the Memorial Union parking ramp southeast of the library. Alternatively, visitors can request a visitor parking pass for $5 a day Parking Division.  More details available here. Please note that there is still a considerable walk regardless of which parking location is chosen. Review the map below for details.

Iowa State University campus map

For those new to the Ames area, please visit the University's Visitor's Guide for helpful information about the University and Ames, Iowa. For more detailed information regarding places to eat and stay and things to do and see in Ames, please visit the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau web site.


Internet Access for Guests


It is possible to sign up for a guest account to access the Internet through the campus wi-fi network. Click the link below for instructions from ISU Information Technology on how to do this.

Get Guest Internet Access on Campus


Disability Services


Any questions related to services provided by the ISU Parks Library to persons with disabilities should review the information on the Library's Disability Services webpage.

Disability Services at the ISU Library

If you have a specific question regarding access to collections in Special Collections and University Archives, please contact us directly.




Special Collections and University Archives are here to work with you and your classes. With enough notice we can tailor an instruction session to fit your needs and meet your educational objectives.

Instruction sessions include, but are not limited to, an orientation to the reading room and how to handle materials, information on how to search the collections, and instruction on evaluating primary sources. It is also possible to prepare a presentation in our classroom where students can get a closer look at some of our rare and unique materials.

Contact us to request an instruction session.