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Black Hawk County and Cedar Valley Monument / Memorial Resources

This guide is created for TAG students at Holmes Jr. High School completing the Waterloo Monument / Memorial assignment.

Introduction to Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives

Welcome to Rod Library Special Collections at University Archives (SC&UA)! Check out our homepage, where you can learn about our policieshourscollections, and more. 

SC&UA is home to the University Archives and the Manuscripts Collection, where you will find all manner of primary sources and other special materials such as diaries, letters, photographs, faculty papers, local politicians' papers, local organizations' records, audiovisual materials, and more. SC&UA is also home to a number of books, including the Rare Books Collection, the Stageberg Linguistics Collection, the Small Press Collection, the Wadle Paperback Collection, and the American Fiction Collection. You can read about these collections. All of these books can be found in the library's online catalog.

Materials in SC&UA are open for public use and research, but because they are often fragile, rare, and valuable, the materials may not be used without supervision in the Special Collections reading room. We are more than happy to help you find and use the materials you may be interested in - just ask!

To speed up the research process, you may request specific materials from the archives ahead of time, and we will have the materials ready for you when you visit the reading room. You can do this by email (, or you can schedule an appointment with the university archivist.

There are a few guidelines that all researchers in SC&UA must follow:

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  • No food or drink
  • Do not mark, fold, or alter the material in any way
  • Leave your backpacks and any other belongings in the lockers and cubbies by the door
  • Be sure your hands are clean before handling materials
  • Especially fragile materials may require a book cradle or gloves for handling; we will assist you with this
  • Use pencil only (not pen) when you take notes
  • Cameras and laptops are permitted

If you have any other questions, ask us! There is always somebody ready to help you at the SC&UA reference desk. You can also reach us via email at

For in depth research questions and projects that need a bit more help, or to schedule a consultation, you can make an appointment with the university archivist.

If you would like to learn more about archives and how to use them, please visit the Society of American Archivists' guide, "What are Archives?"