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Microfilm for Interlibrary Loan or Purchase

General Policies

All requests must be made through a library. All requests must be made on an ALA approved form, and must include a return-shipping label. Depending on the collection being borrowed, the request should be mailed to one of the following addresses:

Interlibrary Loan
State Historical Society of Iowa
402 Iowa Ave.
Iowa City IA 52240-1806

Interlibrary Loan
State Historical Society of Iowa
600 East Locust
Des Moines IA 50319-0290

Interlibrary Loan Service hours: Tuesday - Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Newspapers (available from both libraries)

The State Historical Society lends its microfilmed newspaper collection. The fee per request is $6.00, for up to 2 reels. A request may cover only one title, or one city and range of dates if a title is not known. If the dates requested are on more than 2 reels of microfilm, the first 2 reels covering the starting date will be sent. You must specify the city of publication, and the dates needed. The loan period for newspapers is 2 weeks.

For specific information on microfilmed newspapers available, consult:

  1. Reference desk at either library.
  2. Newspapers in Microform, published by the Library of Congress
  3. OCLC Serials Control System in the Union List Mode (most papers are NEPU union group)

Iowa Census (available from IOWA CITY library)

The State Historical Society lends the following microfilmed Iowa Census records from its Iowa City library. The fee is $6.00 per county, per census year. You must specify the county and the census year on your request. In addition, for the 1915 census, specify surname(s) needed.

Iowa Federal and State Population Census available

1840, 1850, 1856, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1885,1915, 1920, 1930

Iowa Mortality Schedules available

1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

NOTE: This film has been heavily used, and some rolls may be difficult to read.

Iowa Civil War Roster (available from IOWA CITY library) 

The State Historical Society lends the Civil War Roster and Index for all Iowa regiments from its Iowa City library. The fee is $10.00.

Iowa Plat Maps (available from IOWA CITY library)

The State Historical Society lends pre-1940 county plat (land ownership) maps on microfilm. The fee is $6.00 per county. Map holdings vary greatly by county.

Fees subject to change.

Purchase of Microfilm


Bell & Howell (formerly University Microfilm International), and Heritage Microfilm, Inc. each currently film several Iowa newspapers and have back files on many Iowa titles. For order and price information contact a vendor listed below.

Bell & Howell Information and Learning
300 North Zeeb Road
PO Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Toll-free: 1-800-521-0600
Phone: (734) 761-4700
Fax: (734) 975-6458


Heritage Microfilm, Inc.
4049 21st Ave. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Toll-free: 1-888-870-0484 - ext. 20
Phone: (319) 390-9442
Fax: (319) 396-4329
Contact person: Jeff Brown


Federal Iowa Census for the years of 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910 and 1920 can be purchased from these vendors:

Heritage Quest (formerly American Genealogical Lending Library)
PO Box 329
Bountiful, UT 84011-0329
Toll-free: 1-800-658-7755
Fax: (801)-298-5468

Scholarly Resource, Inc.
104 Greenhill Ave.
Wilmington, DE 19805-1897
Toll-free: 1-800-772-8937 

Iowa State Census

The years of 1856, 1885, 1895, 1915, 1925 and various special census between the years of 1836 and 1897 are available from Heritage Microfilm, Inc., as is a 1905 directory listed by counties and towns/townships giving names of all family members together with their post offices. See address above.

Iowa County Plat Maps and the Iowa Civil War Roster are also available from Heritage Microfilm, Inc. See address above.

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