Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

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Collection Development Policy


Iowa Heritage Digital Collection (IHDC) is a free, online repository of Iowa history and culture maintained by the State Library of Iowa created by bringing together digital collections of documents, images, maps, finding aids, interpretive and educational materials, and other media from collections held by a wide range of organizations throughout Iowa to enhance access and preserve long–term accessibility of these valuable materials.


The intended audience of the IHDC is anyone interested in the history and culture of Iowa: the citizens of Iowa, students, lifelong learners, scholars, researchers, state and federal government, the business community, and hobbyists.


Scope. Materials should be selected for the IHDC with the mission in mind. Each collection should have a unifying theme and is expected to address a broad audience. A look at current collections will give an idea of the variety of collections possible and idea of how to select a unifying theme. Any format that can be digitized may be included as long as it is consistent with the mission of the IHDC.

Restrictions. Materials in the IHDC will be freely available online, although each institution can set their own policies for the sale of images. Ownership of the images remains with the institutions.

Metadata. Institutions are required to include descriptions of the digital objects in the collection. See the Best Practices documents for more information.

Priorities. The IHDC reserves the right to select collections for inclusion. The following are important factors: diversity of subjects, statewide interest, geographic diversity, educational application, protection of fragile collections, and the demonstrated availability of resources to create the collection.

Responsibilities of the Institutions

The preservation of both the original analog material and the digital master is the responsibility of the owning institution. The IHDC will provide storage space for access images and back-ups of these images if requested by the institution.

Institutions may also choose to store the access images on their own server in which case they will be responsible for the availability and back-up of the access images. They also need to work with the technical staff of the IHDC to provide access to their collections through the federated software.

Institutions are responsible for following copyright laws and for determining the copyrights of their own materials.


A collection may be removed from the IHDC for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Content is not consistently available or reliable
  • Inaccurate metadata
  • Violation of copyright
  • Content is no longer free to the public

For More Information

About IHDC

Digitization Resources

Funding Sources

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