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Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Special Collections and Archives at the Eli M. Oboler Library, Idaho State University acquires, preserves, and makes accessible research materials that document the historical, cultural, and folk life experience of Southeast Idaho, the Intermountain West, and the history of Idaho State University.

While the holdings in our collections are developed in relation to instructional and research interests within the University, all holdings are available for use by visiting scholars and the general public as well as by Idaho State University faculty and students.

We welcome donations of materials pertaining to our geographic collecting scope. We will consider offers for donations of literary papers, family papers, business and organizational records, diaries, journals, personal memoirs, photographs, maps, and other materials that support the collectionís focus. Offers will be evaluated based on the availability of resources to properly care for the materials, as well as on their potential research value. All gifts are acknowledged unless requested otherwise. Donors will be asked to sign an official deed of gift acknowledging the donation.

Valuation of Gifts

As per United States federal tax regulations, Special Collections cannot provide monetary appraisals or estimates of value for donors. Those wishing to take deductions on their personal income taxes are encouraged to seek the services of a qualified appraiser. The American Society of Appraisers publishes a directory of certified appraisers by state and by specialty.

Our Collections

The Collections included in Special Collections come in a variety of forms. Our major holdings include:

Digital Collections
Manuscript Collections
The Intermountain West Collection
Rare Books Collections
University Archives

Due to the nature of its collections, the Department has specific guidelines for access and use of its materials. All of the collections are non-circulating and must be used in the Department's reading room area.† Patrons will be required to sign-in upon arrival and adhere to the Departmentís Reading Room Policies. Photocopies and/or scans of materials may be made by Department staff only when doing so will not damage the item(s).

Some University Archives materials may be restricted due to federal law. Special Collections reserves the right to limit the duplication of materials due to copyright, collection donor restrictions, and confidentiality or related issues.† Since the copying of materials may be handled only by archives staff, and because of limited availability of staff, patrons may need to make arrangements for a later pickup or for delivery.

Directions to Special Collections

Special Collections is located on the lower level of Oboler Library in Room 39. Information on getting to Pocatello, parking on campus, and obtaining parking passes is available through the Department of Public Safety.

Since we are a small staff, our normal hours of operation change each semester based on student worker availability. On occsion we do have to close intermittently and hours are subject to change during times when the University is not in session. For our most current hours please consult the Library Hours page of this website.

Researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Department prior to their visit to ensure access to the materials required. Advanced notice of your visit and research topic will also enable archives staff to prepare for your visit and provide better service. We want to make your research experience as productive as possible.

For research and reference requests, or to make an appointment, please email us at isuarchs@isu.edu or call (208) 282-3249.

For additional information, please contact:

Ellen M. Ryan, M.A., M.L.I.S.
Head, Special Collections and University Archives
Assistant Professor
Eli M. Oboler Library, Room 36B
850 South 9th Avenue
Campus Box 8089
Pocatello, ID 83209-8089
(208) 282-3608


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209