Hello everyone! This is the second in the blog series about visiting Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) from the perspective of someone who is pretty new. In SCUA 101, I covered some of the reading room rules and why they exist. Today I will cover what will happen when you visit us here on the 4th floor of Parks Library.
If this is your first time to the archives during this calendar year, we will ask you to fill out a registration sheet. We will also ask to see a photo ID (don’t worry—you can definitely use your ISU student ID). We will also ask that you sign into the reading room, which is the only thing you will have to fill out for each subsequent visit.
The friendly desk staff can help you with what you are looking for. We can help teach you how to search for materials on our website and explain how to use a finding aid. Throughout your visit, staff is happy to answer any questions you have; whether that be a question on how to handle a certain set of documents or suggestions for places you might look for further research.
When you are ready to request materials, you will fill out the form below so that someone on staff can retrieve the materials from our closed stacks. The stacks are closed to the public for security reasons and also because our very special materials need to be kept in a certain temperature and humidity range. You would definitely need a jacket if we kept the reading room the same temperature as the stacks!
Before you look at materials you will need to store your bags, coats, umbrellas, etc. in the lockers or the closet. Now you are ready to take a seat and wait for your materials. When they come, SCUA staff will give you a brief handling demonstration; then you are ready to start your research!
Throughout your visit, please let us know if there is anything we can help with. We know it can take some time to get used to the rules and feel comfortable handling the materials, and we want you to have the best experience possible.
The reading room is open from 9-5, Monday-Friday. If you have more questions about visiting SCUA, feel free to email us at email@example.com or visit our tutorial pages on planning a visit and using our materials.
When you visit, be sure to allow yourself a few extra minutes to check out our latest exhibit: “Do[ing] their bit” Iowa’s Role in the Great War.