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Archive Collections Policy

Mission Statement:

IIHR's first director and founder, Floyd Nagler, examines a turbine.

IIHR’s first director and founder, Floyd Nagler, examines a turbine.

The IIHR Archive contains papers, photographs, and objects to be preserved, in perpetuity, for studies of the history of IIHR and its efforts related to hydraulic engineering, research, and education. These archives are to remain available for use by students and scholars, both within and outside the University of Iowa, conducting studies related to these subjects, either for professional or personal purposes.

History and Background of IIHR Archive:

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering’s research staff has, from the hydraulics laboratory’s founding in 1920, held a strong interest in the history of hydraulics, as well as its own esteemed history. As a result, IIHR’s hydraulics laboratory through the decades became the site of an ever-growing collection of meticulously sorted papers referring to the institute’s administration and research. The building also became a repository for less voluminous papers and objects reflecting the history of human relationships to water and its use. At one time, this collection included massive turbines and portions of the water wheels that powered Iowa’s early settlement, a collection that unfortunately disappeared with time. These early collections excited the imagination of IIHR researchers, some of whom wrote papers and books on historical topics, while others used them as background material for writings on IIHR’s history. One such book, Flowing Through Time: A History of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, by Cornelia F. Mutel, was published in 1998.

In 2000, in anticipation of the extensive remodeling of the Hydraulics Laboratory, IIHR staff collected and sorted remaining historical materials and designated those worthy of preservation in a formal IIHR Archive. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities supplied proper archival containers and supplies. When staff returned to the refurbished hydraulics laboratory in 2002, the archived materials were moved into a single-room repository designated specifically for archival purposes.

Description of IIHR Archive:

The IIHR Archive includes papers, objects, and  photographs (including photographic negatives) and other images. These items are housed on the fourth floor of Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory in room 423B, which also serves as the archivist’s personal office.

Approximately 50 linear feet of papers are sorted into topics and arranged chronologically, within the following record groups:

A dozen scrapbooks of original newspaper clippings and photographs representing important events in IIHR’s history are stored in the archives; copies of scrapbook materials are also  available for perusal.

IIHR possesses thousands of photographs and photographic negatives dating from the 1920s and relating to teaching and research efforts. These images are currently being sorted and catalogued; further information will become available as materials are processed.

IIHR Archive also contains the following sets of books and bulletins:

  • Books published by IIHR
  • IIHR Bulletin Series (published 1926–71)
  • Final Reports: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Laboratory Tests on Upper Mississippi River Locks and Dams (1935–48)
  • Books written by Hunter Rouse
  • IIHR Student Log Books
  • IIHR Guest Books

The Rouse family has donated personal items, award and recognition certificates, and memorabilia relating to Hunter Rouse’s personal life. These items are preserved primarily for display purposes.

Two sets of historic materials are housed in the University of Iowa’s Department of Special Collections at the Main Library. The first, a collection of more than 500 scientific and technical historic books on hydraulics and water problems, is considered one of the finest history of hydraulics book collections in existence.

The second set of materials includes files of papers that were moved to Special Collections in the university’s Main Library prior to formation of IIHR Archive. These files, which are partially catalogued, are listed on the following websites:

Persons with questions about these materials can contact Special Collections.

Management and Use of IIHR Archive:

The archived materials are maintained and stored to ensure that they are properly preserved and also accessible to those interested in their content. The archives are open to use by students and scholars, both within and outside the University of Iowa, who are studying the history of IIHR or its employees, hydraulics engineering, and the use and control of water. Visitors must be accompanied by the archivist and will work under supervision. A visitor must comply with collection procedures. All access to the collections should be made or arranged through IIHR’s archivist and not through other IIHR personnel.

All use of archived materials shall be carried out at IIHR under conditions that ensure proper handling and preservation of the archived materials; these materials cannot leave the premises. Arrangements to view and use any archived materials should be made, preferably in advance, with the archivist. Occasional loans for display purposes, tours, or exhibits can be arranged by consulting with the archivist.

Limited copying of paper materials and photographs can be arranged through the archivist, as long as such copying does not physically damage the objects in question. All reasonable attempts will be made to provide materials in a timely manner. Charges for copies depend on the number of copies requested. The standard charge for photocopies is $.20 per page plus postage. Standard charges for duplication of photographs depend on the number of photos desired and the intended usage of the copies. General guidelines for policies and charges follow those of the University of Iowa Libraries’ Special Collections.  Do not send payment directly; you will be mailed an invoice with payment instructions.

IIHR reserves the right to charge use fees for permission to publish images from its archives. Duplication of material in a research paper does not constitute publication; posting it on a website open to the general public may. Payment schedules for use of images generally follow those used by the University of Iowa Libraries’ Special Collections.

Disclaimer: Note that payment of a use fee does not constitute, and should not be viewed as, permission by a copyright holder to reproduce works that are copyrighted. Users must determine if their intended use invades copyright, rights to privacy, or other rights. As owners of the materials to be reproduced, IIHR gives no exclusive rights to any publisher or author, makes no warranties or representations, and assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any claims against those reproducing images or against the University of Iowa by an artist or photographer, his/her agent, estate, or any other party in connection with the reproduction of images in IIHR’s collections. Additionally, those reproducing images agree to indemnify the University of Iowa and hold it harmless against any and all such claims, including copyright infringement claims, royalty, or fee demands and/or actions, including attorney fees and all other costs thereof, arising as a result of their reproduction of images in IIHR’s collections.

Any photographic or written materials used in publications should include the following credit line: IIHR Archive, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

To initiate communications regarding use of materials in IIHR Archive, please contact Archivist Connie Mutel. No persons outside IIHR are routinely provided the information you submit. To inquire about the availability of certain materials, to apply for copying of known materials, or to ask other questions about IIHR Archive or its use, please contact:

Connie Mutel, IIHR Archivist
IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering
C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA  52242
Phone: 319-335-5315
Fax:  319-335-5238

Notice Regarding Copyright:

IIHR has legal as well as physical custody of most of the materials in its collection. Thus you may be asked to submit a copyright release letter when requesting permission to publish or otherwise use archived materials. All such correspondence should be addressed to IIHR’s archivist at the address posted above.

The University of Iowa Libraries’ statement on “Copyright” may be useful in understanding “fair use” of materials, possible liability problems, and other aspects of copyright law.

Acquisitions, Deaccessions, and Collection Dissolution:

Materials related to IIHR’s activities, research, and previous staff members may constitute useful additions to IIHR Archive. Persons possessing such materials are encouraged to contact the archivist for further discussions.

Materials will be accepted, as long as space is available, if they constitute relevant additions to the current collection and are not already represented in the collection. All additions will be placed in proper archival containers and catalogued appropriately, thus becoming accessible to historians and researchers in like manner to materials in the existing collection.

IIHR continues to collect and preserve materials created in-house that reflect the institute’s ongoing administrative and research efforts, staff members, and topics related to IIHR’s activities and evolution. Other publications and materials reflecting the significance of IIHR’s efforts are also collected on a continuing basis.

Deaccession of materials (permanent removal of items from IIHR Archive) shall be carried out with caution and deliberation. Materials shall be removed only if they have deteriorated beyond usefulness, have become redundant, or are occupying space that is necessary for more significant items, as determined by the archivist. Individual items that are to be deaccessioned, if donated by private individuals, shall be returned to those individuals (or their heirs) if they so desire. Remaining items shall be offered to The University of Iowa Archives. If neither donors nor UI Archives desire the materials in question, disposal shall be performed in a respectful manner, without profit to individuals or IIHR employees. Deaccessioning decisions and activities shall be documented according to professional standards and shall remain part of the permanent archives.

It is the intent of IIHR’s administration to continue to retain, maintain, build, and utilize the IIHR Archive in the manner indicated in this policy. However, if dissolution is deemed necessary, it shall proceed only after proper evaluation of the worth and contribution of the archive, as approved by IIHR’s archivist, director, and at least one IIHR research engineer. The archive then shall be dissolved in the following manner:

  • Items donated by private donors shall be offered to those donors (or their heirs).
  • Remaining items then shall be offered to the University of Iowa Archives.
  • Attempts then shall be made to transfer remaining items, if any, to other Iowa or hydraulics institutions, with the proviso that any such contributions be maintained, preserved, and utilized in a manner consistent with this IIHR Collections Policy.
  • Remaining items shall be disposed of in a respectful manner, without profit to individuals or IIHR employees.
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Last modified on June 29th, 2015
Posted on February 25th, 2011

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