State Historical Society of Iowa

State Historical Society of Iowa The State Historical Society of Iowa has been a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy since 1857.
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Jason Momoa, Cloris Leachman, Simon Estes Foundation or another famous Iowan? Come caucus for your favorite Iowa Enterta...
01/20/2020

Jason Momoa, Cloris Leachman, Simon Estes Foundation or another famous Iowan? Come caucus for your favorite Iowa Entertainer on Thursday, Jan. 23, during the "History on the Rocks: Caucus and Cocktails" program at the State Historical Museum of Iowa.

Plus: Nacho-First-Choice-Candidate bar, CōZY beer (while supplies last) from West O Beer (courtesy of Doll Distributing - Des Moines) and a cash bar.

Bonus: The first 50 people to visit the C-SPAN Bus at the museum on Thursday will receive free admission to History on the Rocks, courtesy of Mediacom and C-SPAN.
Details: https://bit.ly/2Tye7zX

C-SPAN Iowa GOP Polk County Republicans Of Iowa Iowa Democratic Party Polk County Democrats

Here's some great news! The C-SPAN Bus will roll into the State Historical Museum of Iowa next Thursday for our "History...
01/18/2020

Here's some great news! The C-SPAN Bus will roll into the State Historical Museum of Iowa next Thursday for our "History on the Rocks: Caucus and Cocktails" event. Be one of the first 50 people to hop on board the bus to get free admission to the event.
Event details: https://bit.ly/2Tye7zX
Mediacom C-SPAN Iowa Democratic Party Polk County Democrats Polk County Republicans Of Iowa Iowa GOP
#iowahistory #iowaculture

Even in an era of social media, political campaigns can still push people's buttons. Go figure, right? Come see the muse...
01/17/2020

Even in an era of social media, political campaigns can still push people's buttons. Go figure, right? Come see the museum's collection of campaign buttons dating back to the mid-1800s and make a few of your own during "History on the Rocks: Caucus and Cocktails" on Thursday using designs created by Iowa artist Laura Palmer/XO-LP.
Details: https://bit.ly/2Tye7zX
Mediacom C-SPAN Iowa Democratic Party Iowa GOP Polk County Republicans Of Iowa Polk County Democrats @DavidYepsen

Bottoms up! On this date a hundred years ago, Americans raised a glass to their "last day of freedom" before Prohibition...
01/16/2020
During Prohibition, Americans Were Shaken and Stirred

Bottoms up! On this date a hundred years ago, Americans raised a glass to their "last day of freedom" before Prohibition took effect nationwide. Of course, by then, Iowa was already dry . . . mostly. Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division
#iowahistory #iowaculture

Believe it or not, there was a time when the spigot ran dry on liquor in America.

Want to spend two weeks at the historic Marcel Breuer House in Pocantico Hills, NY, working on your preservation project...
01/14/2020

Want to spend two weeks at the historic Marcel Breuer House in Pocantico Hills, NY, working on your preservation project? Applications for the 2020 Pocantico Fellowship are due March 27. The two-week residential fellowship takes place July 21-Aug. 4. Visit Forum.SavingPlaces.org/Pocantico for details and an online application.
@RockBrosFund Saving Places
Preservation Iowa
#iowahistory

01/13/2020
"Grand Hotel" Premiere

Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced this morning, but Iowa's connections to the Oscars go back to their earliest days. Keokuk native Conrad Nagel hosted the Oscars in 1930 and 1932, and co-hosted the 1953 ceremonies with Bob Hope. He received an honorary Oscar in 1940, and you can see it in our "Hollywood in the Heartland" exhibition at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Curious?https://bit.ly/2FOGe66
Conrad Nagel Film Festival
Produce Iowa #iowaculture #iowahistory

Newsreel footage of the premiere of "Grand Hotel" showing many of the stars arriving, being interviewed, and signing the famous lobby book.

Do you have a passion for history and want to volunteer? If so, we're looking for you! We have oodles of opportunities w...
01/11/2020

Do you have a passion for history and want to volunteer? If so, we're looking for you! We have oodles of opportunities with Visitor Experiences, National History Day and special projects in the Archives and Museum.

Visit https://iowaculture.gov/about-us/employment/volunteer and fill out a Volunteer Interest Form to get involved.
#iowahistory

If the kids get tired of the snow and movies on Saturday, bring 'em over to our "Hands-On History" exhibit where Duplo b...
01/10/2020

If the kids get tired of the snow and movies on Saturday, bring 'em over to our "Hands-On History" exhibit where Duplo blocks, crayons, tractors, books and more are literally at their fingertips. State Historical Museum of Iowa. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free admission. (Drive safely!)
https://bit.ly/35FwFRs
#iowahistory

Congratulations to teacher Suzan Turner of Nashua-Plainfield Middle School / High School who published a profile of Worl...
01/08/2020

Congratulations to teacher Suzan Turner of Nashua-Plainfield Middle School / High School who published a profile of World War II hero, Pfc. Harvey Eugene Wilson , Jr. on an award-winning website used by educators nationwide. Check out the profile (https://bit.ly/39QRyMD) and get more info (https://bit.ly/2Tbai3o).
National History Day #iowahistory

Check out the latest round of grants and opportunities announced today by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Fundi...
01/07/2020

Check out the latest round of grants and opportunities announced today by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Funding is available for history, historic preservation, arts and film/media projects and programs. Application deadlines begin March 1 and run through June 1. Get more details here: https://conta.cc/35s73Hu
#iowahistory #iowaculture

Ever want to know how Iowa towns like Correctionville, Sheldahl, What Cheer or Sabula got their names? Tune in to this e...
01/06/2020
How Iowa Towns And Cities Got Their Names

Ever want to know how Iowa towns like Correctionville, Sheldahl, What Cheer or Sabula got their names? Tune in to this entertaining Iowa Public Radio interview with State Curator Leo Landis and writer Patricia O'Conner to learn more.
#iowaculture #iowahistory

The origins of many of Iowa's town and city names are obvious: Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Mason City, Fort Dodge. But what about places like What Cheer,

Need a quick primer on the Iowa Caucuses and their history? Check in at the Rod Library @ UNI at the University of North...
01/06/2020

Need a quick primer on the Iowa Caucuses and their history? Check in at the Rod Library @ UNI at the University of Northern Iowa Jan. 7-29 to see caucus images, film clips and artifacts in the "First in the Nation" traveling exhibit from the State Historical Museum of Iowa. https://bit.ly/2QlWJMZ
#iowaculture #iowahistory

Just one month to the Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses. Meantime, check out our "First in the Nation" museum exhibiti...
01/03/2020
Iowa: A History as a First in the Nation State

Just one month to the Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses. Meantime, check out our "First in the Nation" museum exhibition and this list of other Iowa "firsts." #iowahistory #iowaculture Greater Des Moines Partnership

Each caucus season Iowa receives national coverage about our state and its role in winnowing the presidential field. Caucus season provides…

Wow!! Iowa's only National Trust Historic Site came through the holidays with some outstanding news. Built in the 1880s,...
01/02/2020

Wow!! Iowa's only National Trust Historic Site came through the holidays with some outstanding news. Built in the 1880s, the Brucemore in Cedar Rapids was named one of the top 10 "Best Holiday Historic Home Tours" in the country. Congratulations to the Brucemore!
https://bit.ly/2QamTSH
Brucemore
Travel Iowa
Iowa Tourism Office

01/01/2020
Big Ten Film Vault: 1965 Yearbook - Bob Jeter's 81-Yard 1959 Rose Bowl Touchdown

Happy New Year!! We're looking back 61 years today to the 1959 Rose Bowl when the Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the California Golden Bears 38-12. Iowa halfback Bob Jeter was named player of the game. Check out his 81-yard touchdown run: https://bit.ly/2MH21Am
Big Ten Network Studios Big Ten Networks Iowa Hawkeyes Football University of Iowa Hawkeye Football Hawkeyesports Iowa Hawkeyes

A look at the 1959 Rose Bowl game where Bob Jeter scores an 81-yard touchdown and amassed for 184 yards on the after noon.

Barbara Blair of Des Moines rang in the new year in 1968 with this Electrohome AM-FM Record Player. It's patterned after...
12/31/2019

Barbara Blair of Des Moines rang in the new year in 1968 with this Electrohome AM-FM Record Player. It's patterned after the tulip-style pedestal tables that were in vogue in the 1950s-1960s. You can see it on display at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Long live vinyl!
#iowaculture #iowahistory

12/28/2019

Happy birthday, Iowa! The state we call home joined the Union on this great and glorious day in 1846. … And just 11 years later, a few wise Iowans had the foresight to found the State Historical Society of Iowa. Help honor their vision and join the #1857Society, which helps preserve and share history for generations to come: iowaculture.gov/support
#IowaHistory #IowaCulture #IowaArts

For the past few months, students, genealogists, historians and other visitors have been digging up all kinds of #IowaHi...
12/27/2019

For the past few months, students, genealogists, historians and other visitors have been digging up all kinds of #IowaHistory in our temporary research center at the State Historical Building of Iowa. But we can’t wait to move it back to its permanent spot, with an array of 21st century upgrades and enhancements. Check out the progress so far – and consider donating to the #1857Society to help us preserve and share history for generations to come: iowaculture.gov/support

12/26/2019
Mike Wolfe Talks History on the Move

Sooner or later, this year’s Christmas gifts may end up at Antique Archaeology and catch the eye of Mike Wolfe American Picker. He helped us launch our #IowaHistory mobile museum three years ago, and we’re proud to report it visited all 99 counties. Keep it rolling by making a donation to the #1857Society to preserve and share history across the state: iowaculture.gov/support.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ATd8VU97i8

Did you know Orville and Wilbur Wright lived in Cedar Rapids when they were kids? The history of aviation flew right thr...
12/24/2019
Iowa’s Early Birds of Aviation

Did you know Orville and Wilbur Wright lived in Cedar Rapids when they were kids? The history of aviation flew right through Iowa, with a few daredevil stunts along the way, which is why we’re conserving three antique planes at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Make a donation to the #1857Society and make history: iowaculture.gov/support

If Ohio claims to be the “Birthplace of Aviation,” Iowa was at least its childhood home. Ohio natives Wilbur and Orville Wright spent a…

If you ever run for president, consider changing your name to facilitate a rhyme. This sticker from the 1988 cycle is on...
12/23/2019

If you ever run for president, consider changing your name to facilitate a rhyme. This sticker from the 1988 cycle is one of more than 100 artifacts in “First in the Nation” at the State Historical Museum of Iowa.
#IowaHistory
#iacaucus

12/23/2019

Keep the mobile museum rolling by joining the #1857Society, which supports #IowaHistory programs across the state. Make a donation to the #1857Society and make history: iowaculture.gov/support

“More than 1,000,000 served.” We’re not into McDonald’s stats quite yet, but we’re proud to announce that our online arc...
12/22/2019
One Million Served a Slice of Iowa History

“More than 1,000,000 served.” We’re not into McDonald’s stats quite yet, but we’re proud to announce that our online archive of The Annals of Iowa surpassed one million downloads this October. That’s a lot of free research, happening on six continents! Check out the journal’s Top 10 greatest hits – and then join the #1857Society to support other statewide (and worldwide!) #IowaHistory programs: iowaculture.gov/support

Cue the balloons or confetti cannon. Someone, somewhere today downloaded the one millionth article from The Annals of Iowa digital archive…

Did you know Amelia Earhart saw her first plane at the @IowaStateFair? #IowaHistory boasts a whole flock early birds in ...
12/21/2019
Iowa’s Early Birds of Aviation

Did you know Amelia Earhart saw her first plane at the @IowaStateFair? #IowaHistory boasts a whole flock early birds in aviation, which is why we’re conserving three antique planes at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Make a donation to the #1857Society and make history: iowaculture.gov/support

If Ohio claims to be the “Birthplace of Aviation,” Iowa was at least its childhood home. Ohio natives Wilbur and Orville Wright spent a…

12/20/2019
History and the Horse Race

Who will win the Iowa Caucuses? Nobody knows -- but David Yepsen's panel of experts have some VERY educated guesses. They'll look back at caucus history and look forward to 2020 during our "History and the Horse Race" event on Jan. 5 at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. As David put it: "It's going to be great night for a political junkie."

Details: https://tinyurl.com/rp4fx96

12/20/2019
Iowa History 101 Mobile Museum

Three years … 99 counties … and one beautiful blue museum on wheels. Our #IowaHistory mobile museum was custom-built by Winnebago and finished its first statewide tour on Halloween in Osceola. See it when it hits the road next spring or, better yet, help keep it rolling. Join the #1857Society and make history: iowaculture.gov/support

An estimated 1,000 trick-or-treaters visited the State Historical Society of Iowa’s mobile museum during its Halloween trip to Osceola. The celebration marke...

How fast can you run a mile and a quarter? OK, now how fast can you move a mile and a quarter of historic books, manuscr...
12/19/2019
Moving the Research Center and Library

How fast can you run a mile and a quarter? OK, now how fast can you move a mile and a quarter of historic books, manuscripts and files? Our expert staff and volunteers did it – very carefully – in about 25 days this summer to prepare our research center for renovations. … Want to help? Join the #1857Society to preserve and share #IowaHistory for the future: iowaculture.gov/support

Moving the Research Center and Library Aug. 26, 2019 If you’ve ever moved from one home to another, you know it can be a challenge. So just imagine what it took to move our Research Center and Library, which houses millions of historic books, documents, maps and other materials from Iowa’s past....

12/19/2019
The Longest Flight

The longest “flight” in #IowaHistory ended this summer when Methods & Materials lowered three antique planes from our museum atrium, where they’d been hovering for decades (with the help of cables). We’re working with a former National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution conservator to assess their condition and hope to re-install them next year. … Want to help? Join the #1857Society to support history programs across Iowa: iowa.culture.gov/support

12/18/2019
1857 Society

Be a part of Iowa history and celebrate Iowa! Join the #1857Society to support #IowaHistory programs across the state: iowaculture.gov/support

12/17/2019
2019 Celebrate Iowa Gala

We are so thankful for all the sponsors, partners, artists and guests who made Friday’s eighth annual #CelebrateIowa Gala our best yet. Keep the celebration going and join the #1857Society to support #IowaHistory programs across the state: iowaculture.gov/support

Heads up: It's time to send in your nominations for the State Historical Society of Iowa's awards and board of trustees....
12/12/2019

Heads up: It's time to send in your nominations for the State Historical Society of Iowa's awards and board of trustees. This year, we're introducing two new award categories that honor the late Dorothy Schwieder (pictured) and recognize archaeology and historic preservation projects.
Details and deadlines: https://bit.ly/2Pg1sPS
Iowa State University Department of History

Today's #IowaTimeCapsule shines a spotlight on some of the State Historical Society of Iowa images featured at Friday's ...
12/12/2019

Today's #IowaTimeCapsule shines a spotlight on some of the State Historical Society of Iowa images featured at Friday's #CelebrateIowaGala, which supports statewide efforts to preserve and share Iowa history for generations to come!

Celebrate Iowa Gala ticket info, program, menu & more: iowaculture.gov/gala

#iowaculture #iowahistory #PreserveHistory #ShareHistory #MakeHistory

Pop some popcorn, kids! Instead of Netflix tonight, why not pop in a VHS tape from Pat Robertson’s 1988 presidential cam...
12/10/2019

Pop some popcorn, kids! Instead of Netflix tonight, why not pop in a VHS tape from Pat Robertson’s 1988 presidential campaign – or see the artifact on display in “First in the Nation” at the State Historical Museum of Iowa.
#IowaHistory
#iacaucus

Anna Weiss-Pfau (second from right) visited the State Historical Museum of Iowa today to assess and help develop a conse...
12/05/2019

Anna Weiss-Pfau (second from right) visited the State Historical Museum of Iowa today to assess and help develop a conservation plan for three historic airplanes that are currently in storage while the building undergoes renovations. Anna is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation and has worked with museums around the world including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Photo: Brent Taylor of the Antique Airplane Association and Museum Collections Coordinator Kay Coats flank Weiss-Pfau.
@aiconservation @airandspace

Throughout Iowa, cinematic treasures are being renovated and bringing back some of the charm from the golden age of Holl...
12/05/2019
Take Two: Iowa's Historic Theatres

Throughout Iowa, cinematic treasures are being renovated and bringing back some of the charm from the golden age of Hollywood. At the same time, the updated venues are breathing new life into these rural towns. Learn more about a few of these historic Iowa cinemas and what makes each unique. #ThisIsIowa
Produce Iowa

Throughout Iowa, historic picture places are being renovated and bringing back some of the charm from the golden age of Hollywood.

Congratulations to George Anderson of Cedar Rapids Kennedy on being named the Iowa Department of Education's 2020 Teache...
12/05/2019

Congratulations to George Anderson of Cedar Rapids Kennedy on being named the Iowa Department of Education's 2020 Teacher of the Year. The 13-year teaching veteran presents his history classes as hands-on, problem-solving opportunities that make "social studies come alive and relevant in his classroom," said DOE Director Ryan Wise.

“Outstanding educators like George Anderson help shape our state’s future,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “Providing more than just facts from a page, George brings moments of historical significance to life in the present day."
@IaDeptofEd @crkennedyhigh
https://bit.ly/2PdAIhx

Address

600 E Locust St
Des Moines, IA
50319

General information

Library & Archives Research Centers Wednesday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. State Historical Museum of Iowa Monday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. iowaculture.gov/about-us/visit With a dual mission of preservation and education, the State Historical Society of Iowa maintains the document and object collections, State Historical Museum of Iowa, State Historical Research Centers, State Historic Preservation Office, and eight State Historic Sites. It preserves and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources through a variety of statewide programs, exhibitions and projects while serving as an advocate for Iowa’s past and connector to the future.

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Our Story

The State Historical Society of Iowa has been a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy since 1857. With a dual mission of preservation and education, it maintains a museum, two research centers, preservation office, and eight historic sites. The society preserves and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources through a variety of statewide programs, exhibitions and projects while serving as an advocate for Iowa’s past and connector to the future.

Learn more at iowaculture.gov/history.

Nearby museums


Comments

I have been trying to find a color picture of Christie Vilsack's 2003 inaugural gown - the one based on stained glass in terrace hill. I have found plenty of black and white photographs, but nothing in color. Does anyone have one they can post? It doesn't have to be fantastic quality - I just want to see the dress in color.
Remove if not allowed, but worth bringing to your attention... I acquired one of the best collections of hundreds of historical Iowa railroad postcards. Old RPPC depots, bridge construction, coal loading, roundhouses...if interested in details contact me!
Hanks Family Picture from early 1900"s.
I have some old family photos not known, some taken in Iowa for sure due to the photographers logo on the back. Would it be okay to post them here?
If you are looking to learn more about the real life #LauraIngallsWilder and her writing join us at the LIWLRA academic conference this July in Wisconsin. Caroline Fraser, Pulitzer Prize winning biographer of #PrairieFires is a keynote speaker. #LP19 Registration:
Is there anyone on here familiar with Primrose, Iowa history? My grandmother and her family lived there back in the 1800's, I believe. My great grandfather was William Williamson. He had a big general store with I believe a playhouse upstairs for plays and musicals. My grandmother's name was Nina Jean Williamson. In later years she went by Jimmie. Married to Frank Alfred Ross. I think I may have pictures and some news paper articles if anyone might be interested. I'm not sure where I have her papers, but when I find them I'll let you know. My email address is [email protected]
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1537903646474-713c46c9f75fc24d3184cfc95ab98260/Flood_FIMA_Fact_Sheet_2015_508_rev_092418.pdf
Wasn't the Western Historic Trails Center only underutilized because the DCA cut the hours of operation? What a spit in the eye to the rich history of Council Bluffs.
I have visited the State Historical building and enjoy this facility. I believe it is important to save our Historic buildings in the State"if" at all possible. Our Historic City owned building at 20 East State St. in Marshalltown Iowa survived the EF3 tornado. It is possible that this building could be restored for the use it had. I have enclosed a photo here taken Dec 26 2018. The history of this building is amazing.
I invite you to come to a reading from Gangster In Our Midst (2017) at one of these venues (in particular, I’ll be reading from the chapter “Duck Blind,” about duck hunting in Iowa): — Fri, Nov. 2, 11 am–2 pm, Decades, 25 South Frederick, Oelwein, IA, (319) 504-1464 — Sat., Nov. 3, 9 am-3 pm, Barn Happy, 11310 University Ave, Cedar Falls, IA, (319) 266-0888 — Sun., Nov. 4, 12:30-2:30 pm, Laree’s, 306 1st St E, Independence, IA, (319) 334-6703 The book tells the saga of an Iowa small town marshal during the Prohibition Era who finds himself in quite a muddle, trying to keep a town safe whenever the gangster comes to town. What does Marshal Sweeney Delaney do? He follows the adage: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer—so, of course, he takes the gangster duck hunting at his private blind on the Little Wapsie.
Where can I find birth records for a person born in 1857 in Drakesville, David, IA.