Skip to main content

Iowa Memorial Union Records

Identifier: RG24.0004.001

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Iowa Memorial Union include minutes, correspondence, special events memorabilia, newspaper clippings, art exhibition information, financial reports, planning documents for 1955 addition construction, Union Board records, annual reports, and scrapbooks. The bulk of the documents date from 1919, following the end of World War I, when discussions were underway to construct a memorial to all war veterans who were associated with the University of Iowa.While documenting the development of the IMU, the records also contain references to various aspects of the University's social and political history. Women, for example, were prohibited from using the billiard room until 1958, when a women's physical education course in billiards was offered for the first time. Soapbox Sound-off, a free-speech forum begun in 1964, was the scene one year later of the campus's first draft card-burning incident in protest of the war in Vietnam. Both episodes are recounted in scrapbooks in boxes 45 and 46.


  • 1912-1995


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

The Iowa Memorial Union, one of the University of Iowa's most enduring landmarks, has served as the campus's social and cultural center since 1927. Major additions were completed in 1955 and 1965. At various times the IMU has housed a browsing library, art exhibit space, bowling alley, soda fountain, book store, private and public dining rooms, hotel, performance hall, and offices for student organizations. It is situated on the east bank of the Iowa River in the heart of the campus, flanked by Hubbard Park to the south and by the Pentacrest to the southeast.


26.50 linear feet

Method of Acquisition

The Records of the Iowa Memorial Union have been transferred to the University Archives at various times. Partial inventory prepared by Jill McCleary in 2004; completed and revised by David McCartney in 2007. Guide posted to the Internet February 2007.

Related Materials

Papers of Earl E. Harper (RG99.0316)

Papers of Rufus H. Fitzgerald (RG99.0315)

Papers of Ted Rehder (RG99.0014)

"Iowa Memorial Union, 1963-1970, the Kottner Era." Iowa City, n.d. 21 pp. University Archives, in Historical Papers Collection (RG01.0001.003).

Musselman, Gearhart Alan. "A History of the Iowa Memorial Union." M.A. thesis, University of Iowa, 1969. 223 pp. University Archives , in Historical Papers Collection (RG01.0001.003).

Neville, Mary Jane. "A History of the Iowa Memorial Union." Iowa City, 1944. 25 pp. In "History of the University of Iowa, Miscellaneous Papers," 5.

File, "Iowa Memorial Union," in Campus Buildings and Grounds Vertical Files (RG01.0015.002)

Jill McCleary in 2004; David McCartney in 2007.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242