Research Collections

Archon Searchable Database

The link brings you to the Special Collections Archon database, which provides a searchable interface for discovering University Archives and Rare Books & Manuscripts materials.

Archival research

Archives houses a wide variety of university records, student memorabilia, and more.  These unique collections provide a first-hand account of ISU's operations and campus life to today's researchers.  To see what collections Archives holds, look through the finding aids linked in the above database.

ISU Archives follows archival practices by organizing each collection by its creator, that is, deposited collections are kept with the records created by the same office or individual.  With most collections, efforts are made to retain the original order the creator(s) organized the records.  Patrons researching a specific subject should expect to review several collections from a variety of creators since archives are not organized by subject. 

Review the finding aids or ask staff for assistance in determining which collection might best meet your research needs.

Online Collections

Sycamore Scholars

Wabash Valley, Visions & Voices

A growing number of university publications, photographs, and memorabilia are now available online on the above two links.

Finding Aids

Finding aids are tools created by Archives staff to assist your research.  Much like a library catalog record or the inside cover of a book jacket, finding aids tell you what you can expect to find in an archival collection.  Due to the unique nature of each collection, each finding aid may be a little different though there are basic similarities with each other and between another archive's finding aids.

Finding aids describe what materials are in a collection, who created/organized the collection, and how the collection is organized.  Some finding aids may provide a high level of detail describing every item whereas other finding aids may only give a list of folder titles or the names of major records series within the collection.  The detail of a finding aid depends on the amount and variety of materials within a collection.

Viewing Collections

We recommend arranging an appointment with Archives staff so we can have your requested collection on hand when you visit.