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Archives and Special Collections

A quick guide to understanding and using DMU's archives and special collections.

What is an archive?

An archive is a collection of documents and records from an institution, place, or group.

So what does that mean?

The DMU Archives contain the history of Des Moines University through its many name changes, physical locations, and over 100 years of existence. It is open to the public for anyone who wishes to utilize it for research. These records come in many formats including paper, photographs, DVDs, film, art, and more.

What is a special collection?

A special collection is a group of specialized items that are often rare or valuable.

In the case of DMU's Special Collections, we focus on the history of medicine. We have rare and historical medical books, film, art work, medical artifacts, and much more, dating from the 17th century to the 21st. These are also available to be utilized by the public for research purposes.

Using Materials

Our rare books and archival materials do not circulate, nor are they available through interlibrary loan.

Materials in the historical book collection may be used in the Kendall Reed Rare Book Room which is located in the University Library, on the second floor of the Student Education Center.

About Kendall Reed

Dr. Kendall Reed, DO, FACOS, FACS, is a former faculty member and Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine who served DMU for twenty-eight years, before retiring in 2014. The Rare Book Room has been named for him not only because of his legacy as an educator, but for his profound dedication to expanding the University Special Collections. While the rare and historical book collection was begun by the donations of S.S. and George Still, Reed donated books and artifacts numbering in the hundreds. His contributions have made the Special Collections what they are today.

Phone: (515) 271-1537

Email: library.dmu.edu