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Guidelines for Using Resources in Special Collections Department



The Special Collections Department is located in Room 403 of Parks Library on the Iowa State University Campus.



Monday-Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, or by special appointment


Contact Information

(515) 294-6672


Rules for Using Special Collections

  • All Special Collections materials must be used in the Special Collections reading room, 403 Parks Library. Materials may not be checked out.
  • No food, drink, or chewing gum is permitted in the Special Collections Department
  • No pens are allowed; researchers are asked to use pencils. Laptop computers are permitted.
  • Researchers are asked to complete a brief registration card at the Special Collections reference desk upon arrival.
  • All bags, backpacks, briefcases, purses, etc., must be placed in the closet.
  • Special Collections materials are in closed stacks. Researchers must request items at the Special Collections reference desk.
  • Materials must be handled with care.


General Tips

  • Many collections have finding aids available online or in the department.  The finding aid provides an overview of the collection and a container list which can help you identify which boxes or folders to use.
  • If you have any questions in advance of your research visit, or if you would like to know whether the Special Collections Department contains materials which would be helpful for your project, contact the department by e-mail( or telephone (515-294-6672).
  • Some materials are stored off-site, so it is best to contact the Special Collections Department in advance of your visit to ensure that the materials will be available for use.
  • The Special Collections website has additional information about the department and the collections.


Reproducing Special Collections Material

  • Self-serve Scanner: Researchers can now use a self-serve overhead scanner in the Special Collections Department reading room to obtain digital copies free of charge.
  • Document Delivery Service: If you cannot visit the Special Collections Department in person, you may request photocopies of selected materials. Fees do apply. For more information, contact the department or see the department's photocopy policy.
  • Digital Scans: It is possible to order scans of documents and photographs; fees do apply. See the request form and policies for scanned materials for more information.
  • Digital cameras: You may request permission to use a digital camera (without flash) to take pictures of Special Collections material.