What's in the State Historical Society of Iowa archives?

Sometimes we get a question at the Info Desk that makes us turn to the archives held by the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI). The SHSI's official web presence has information maintained by the State of Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, their parent body. You can dig for the links on their website to find a way to search the SHSI's catalog of items, or you can stick this knowledge in your back pocket: the University of Iowa Libraries hosts the SHSI catalog, so you can go directly to their InfoHawk+ catalog to do your research.


Simple InfoHawk Search Bar

The two SHSI research centers are in Des Moines and Iowa City. Being a local history searcher at ICPL, I generally limit my search to what is held in the SHSI Iowa City stacks. Find the "Refine my results" section and check "Iowa City Historical Library."


Refine Search by Library Location


The limiters available are powerful. Here I can separate out the type of document I'm looking for so I can home in on what I'm really looking for.

Active Filters

I do find myself sometimes getting lost on the website maintained by the State, which is why I like knowing I can go directly to InfoHawk+. The State's research center Collections page does provide a nice overview of what kind of items the institution as a whole preserves, but I'm out of luck if I want to be able to tell someone they can just walk down the street to find what they are looking for.

Happy researching!

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