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Local History Resources at the Library

The Digital History Project is a web-based archive highlighting historic Iowa City and Johnson County featuring a growing collection of more than 300 photos and videos.

A wealth of additional local history resources are available at the Information Page Station on the second floor of the Library. Available resources include:

Historical Readings about Iowa City

View the text of historical readings done during Iowa City's 175th anniversary in December of 2014.

Census Materials

Johnson County Vital Statistics

All data compiled and provided by the Iowa City Genealogical Society

Cemeteries

For information on recent burials, contact City cemeteries directly.

Maps and Plat Books

City Directories

Phonebooks

Located at the Information Page Station

  • Iowa City (includes surrounding area) - From 1925 - Present
  • University of Iowa directory (students, faculty and staff) - Herd books from 1922 – 2013

Yearbooks

Iowa City Public Schools

Other Public Schools in Johnson County

Private Schools in Iowa City

Civil War Military Records

Relevant Materials from our General Collection

We have many local history resources in print, DVD, and streaming video formats.

Books of interest:

We also have many interviews conducted by Ellen Buchanan in both the One of a Kind Series and the Tell Me Your Story Series.

Irving Weber

Irving B. Weber (1900-1997) was a prolific citizen historian chronicling Iowa City and Johnson County history through the more than 800 columns he wrote for the Iowa City Press Citizen from 1973-1998. Half of the columns were reprinted in eight volumes titled Historical Stories about Iowa City, published by the Iowa City Lions Club. Searcher’s aids to Irving Weber’s stories are available in the circulation and the Iowa Reference collections.

A complete collection of the 800 Iowa City Press Citizen article authored by Irving Weber are available the University of Iowa’s Iowa Digital Library and The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection.

Irving Weber also recorded a number programs about Iowa City, including a bus tour of Iowa City and a tour of Iowa City cemeteries. Also of interest are Lolly Parker Egger’s, (retired Iowa City Public Library director) Iowa City’s Irving Weber: A Biography and Ellen Buchanan’s Tell Me Your Story interview of Irving Weber.

Online Resources

We have many resources available for local history research and well as much broader historical and genealogical. Resident library card required.

America’s Obituaries & Death Notices

Includes The Gazette which has obituaries from Iowa City and surrounding cities from 1992 to present.

Ancestry Library Edition In-Library Use Only

Search census, birth, marriage, death, military, & immigration records.

Des Moines Register

Iowa’s newspaper of record with coverage from 1992 to present.

HeritageQuest

Search census and family records, local history, city directories, military records and more.

Iowa City Press Citizen

Iowa City’s local newspaper with coverage from Nov. 13, 2002 to present.

Sanborn Fire Maps

Initially created to estimate fire insurance risks. Iowa maps only, includes Iowa City fire maps for September 1883, July 1888, April 1892, June 1899, April 1906, January 1912, July 1920, February 1926, and February 1933 through April 1946.

Social Security Death Index In-Library Use Only

Genealogical tool lists birth and death dates, and place of death.

Additional Genealogical Research Resources

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

2730 Bradford Drive
Iowa City, IA 52240-2550
319-338-5306
319-338-1027

Iowa City Genealogical Society

PO box 822
Iowa City, IA 52244-0822

Iowa Department of Public Health

Vital Records
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-4944

Johnson County Administration Building

Vital Records
913 S. Dubuque St.
Iowa City, IA 52240

State Historical Society -- Iowa City

402 Iowa Ave
Iowa City, IA 52240
319-338-3916