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Des Moines Public Library Postcard Collection

Contributor: Des Moines Public Library

The Des Moines Public Library Postcard Collection includes postcards depicting scenes from all over the state of Iowa. For this digital collection, we chose to focus on the Des Moines area and specifically on those postcards that had been posted. Our process of digitizing and combining both the front and back side of each unique postcard into single images makes each one more accessible to a larger audience. Each of the personal sender's messages opens a window to the past, an understanding of lives and relationships in the early 1900s.

Des Moines University Historic Photograph Collection


Contributor: Des Moines University Archives

Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center is a freestanding medical university founded in 1898 as the Dr. S.S. Still College of Osteopathy in Des Moines, Iowa. Today the university includes three colleges: the College of Osteopathic Medicine; the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery; and the College of Health Sciences. This collection is a digital sample of the most popular images from the resources housed in the Kendall Reed Rare Book Room. They show the university's three campuses, early leadership, and student life.

Descartes Pascal Digital Collection

Contributor: Iowa State University Library Special Collections Department

This collection contains a selection of images from the glass plate negative collection documenting rural life in Iowa around the turn of the twentieth century, including homesteads, buildings, and the Pascal family. Descartes Pascal was a photographer, farmer, and pioneer seed corn breeder from De Witt, Iowa where he farmed, raising corn, shorthorn cattle, and Berkshire hogs.

Four Mounds Digital Collection

Contributor: Four Mounds Foundation, Dubuque, Iowa

Four Mounds Foundation was founded in 1987 as a non-profit organization as a means for managing and stewarding a generous gift of property willed of the City of Dubuque from the estate of Elizabeth Adams Burden upon her passing in 1982. The Burdens had a vision for the 54 acres of scenic river view property - that it be preserved for the public good and utilized for educational purposes. The foundation exists to perpetuate that vision through preservation of the estate and operation of its vocational at-risk youth program.

Iowa Capitol Complex 

Contributor: Iowa Library Services/State Library of Iowa

Photos of the Iowa Capitol Complex were taken around 1913 when state officials decided to clean up the area around the Capitol. There were very few state buildings and monuments at that time. The Capitol was surrounded by older residential buildings and was not in an attractive area. Each photo is paired with one showing a similar view in 2010. Following the photos is the Rowley vs. Clarke case in which a lawsuit is filed by citizens of Van Buren and Wapello Counties who objected to the levying of taxes by the state to pay for the purchase of land around the Capitol grounds. The photos in the collection were used in the case to show the need for improving the Capitol grounds.

Iowa Capitol Complex Historical Documents

Contributor: Iowa Legislative Services Agency

This is a collection of historical documents compiled by staffers at the Iowa Legislative Services Agency that serves state government. They include: " Looking Back", a history of the present day Ola Babcock Miller Building originally known as the Iowa Historical Building; a history of the Iowa Capitol grounds area in Des Moines and the story of the 1904 Capitol fire in Des Moines.