Library & Archives Research Centers
Our offices are currently closed to the public, but you can access us online. Click here for information.
Whether you are an author, educator, student, reporter, curator, archeologist, preservationist, historian or genealogist, the Library & Archives Research Centers can help you achieve your research goals by providing access to 209 million documents, photographs, newspapers and more.
Our offices are currently closed to the public.
Wednesday - Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Note: Some collections are unavailable on Saturday without prior notice, please check the collection retrieval schedule.
State Historical Building
600 E. Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Prepare for your visit.
|Renovation Notice: The Des Moines research center has moved to a temporary location on the first level of the building. This relocation, through summer 2020, is part of a renovation to better protect and preserve the state’s vast historical collection for years to come. All materials will still be available; however, due to limited space in the temporary location, some additional collections will be retrieved by our staff. To make the most of your visit feel free to contact our staff ahead of time – especially if you are visiting from out of town or out of state. We appreciate your patience during this transition.|
402 Iowa Ave.
Iowa City, IA 52240
Prepare for your visit.
Collection Retrieval Schedule
Materials located in the closed stacks including maps, manuscripts, photographs, original newspapers and state archives collections are retrieved by filling out a call slip at the main desk. State archives materials are only available in Des Moines. The Research Center team will retrieve items based on the following schedule:
- Wednesday - Friday: 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
- Saturday: Requests submitted by noon on the preceding Friday will be available by 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. Other retrievals will not be made on Saturdays.
Materials located in the open stacks are available on a self-serve basis during regular operating hours.
Prepare for Your Visit
The State Historical Society of Iowa team will assist you in the Library & Archives Research Center by directing you to pertinent collection guides, recommending sources of information, retrieving requested materials and filling reproduction orders.
In preparation for your visit, here are a few tips to ensure you have a great research experience. Please contact us if you have any questions about your visit.
- Upon arrival, check in at the welcome desk.
- Store your coat, purse, briefcase, fanny pack, equipment case or other similar items in one of the lockers provided. Lockers take
two quartersthat are automatically refunded when you return the key. Clear plastic bags for storing personal items are provided.
- All personal notes and equipment are subject to search when you leave the center.
- Bring a pencil. Pens or markers of any type are not permitted in the center. Pencils are provided.
- Food and beverages are not allowed in the Research Center and smoking is prohibited on the State Capitol Complex. A break area and vending machines are located in the lobby.
- Collections in the closed stack area may be retrieved by filling out a call slip for each item at the reference desk.
- Photocopy service is provided for materials. Copies of maps, manuscripts, photographs and state archives materials are available unless prohibited by copyright or curatorial restrictions.
- Maps, manuscripts, photographs and state archives materials are unavailable on Saturdays unless requested by noon on the preceding Friday.
- You may use an audio recorder, laptop, tablet or camera. Please check with the staff to ensure your equipment doesn't inconvenience others.
- The staff will re-shelve materials, please leave materials on the provided carts when you are finished.
- All collections must stay in the research center and cannot be checked out or taken to another area of the building.
- Collections from our other location are sometimes available through loans.
Visiting the Des Moines Research Center
Visiting the Iowa City Research Center
The State Historical Society of Iowa welcomes archives collection tours and Library & Archives Research Center orientations. To schedule a tour or orientation, please contact us.