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Archives and Special Collections

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

What do I do with this stuff?

If you are unsure whether you should donate materials to us, please contact us! We are happy to answer questions about our facilities and whether we would be interested in accepting specific objects. Areas we are specifically interested in expanding are listed below. We happily accept all related materials, and if it is not the best fit for our collections, we re-home to institutions that are a better fit.

If you plan to drop off a donation, or would like to read our donation agreement, please take the time to view and/or fill out our donation form below.

Donation Form

Expansion Interests

We are always looking to strengthen our collections through new materials related to Des Moines University and medical history.

The areas that we are most interested in currently expanding are:

  • Osteopathy
  • Podiatry
  • Personal papers
  • Personal accounts of the University
  • DMU related audio/visual materials
  • Women and minorities at DMU
  • Still Family
  • Medical equipment

Why donate to DMU?

Our Mission

The Des Moines University Library's Archives and Special Collections collects, organizes, describes, preserves, and provides access to materials relating to the institutional history and legacy of Des Moines University as well as the history of medicine. These actions will allow the Archives and Special Collections to provide information about and understanding of the past as a way to educate diverse and compassionate medical professionals and members of the community going forward. 

Our Facilities

The Kendall Reed Rare Book Room was built to house our special collections and archival materials. It was constructed with a vapor barrier to protect against humidity, with no direct sunlight to prevent exposure by harmful UV rays, its own HVAC system for optimal temperature and humidity control, and air filters. These provide optimal conditions to ensure the perpetuity of our materials.

Our Caretaker

Kay Grigsby, MSLIS, our archives and special collections librarian, graduated from the University of Illinois I-School, which is currently ranked as the number one library and information science program in the United States. She has a background in museum studies as well as libraries and archives, which have given her formal education and hands on learning in a large quantity of materials, making her an ideal caretaker for our unique collections.

Des Moines University Library