Research & Collections

The JCHS collections consist of a wide range of objects including atlases, farm directories, aerial photographs, soil maps, deed books, and personal collections of Johnson County residents.

Those wishing to have access must make an appointment in advance.

Access to JCHS collections is provided to those who request it in accordance with the JCHS Collections Policy. Please read the entire JCHS Collections Policy before visiting. Authorization for access will be granted or denied by JCHS curatorial staff.

Research Services and Fees

The following tabs represent answers to frequently asked questions about our research services and fees. Please download a PDF of the JCHS Research Services and Fees for complete information.


Please email a request to our museum curator with details regarding information you are seeking. Please provide dates and names so that we can determine if we have any information to help you with your search. The requests will be answered in the order in which they are received.

Standard access to our collections is during normal museum hours. Special requests are occasionally permitted.


There is no fee for researchers to access the collections to perform their own research.

There is also no charge to have curatorial staff look at the collections database to determine if JCHS has resources available for your topic.

If a researcher wishes to know a specific piece of information contained in material in the JCHS’ collections, JCHS can provide up to 15 minutes of research time. Researchers should submit requests in writing or online via our Contact page. Copying and postage fees will be billed as necessary.

At this time, we cannot provide additional research services but upon request staff will provide a list of private researchers.


The following fee schedule is subject to change at any time.

Black and White Photocopies (8 ½ x 11 or 8 ½ x 14): 25 cents per copy
Processing Fee for Digital Reproductions (600dpi color JPEG file): $15 per image
Licensing Fee: $20 per image
Digital Delivery Fees—Image file e-mailed to one address: no charge
Hardcopy Delivery Fees—Image file on CD: $5.00 per disk
Shipping/Handling for photocopies or CDs: $5.00

Note: Fees for more than 10 images may be subject to negotiation.

Member Benefits

JCHS Members receive up to five black and white photocopies for free (8 ½” x 11” or 8 ½” x 14”) per research project, up to one hour free research time, and a 10% discount on fees for digital reproductions and licensing.



The following is a list of current major collections within JCHS’ holdings. This is not an exhaustive list of JCHS collections, but represents possible areas of research interest.

Official Records

Johnson County Atlases. 1870, 1889, 1900, 1917, 1932, 1946, 1954, 1962, 1978

Johnson County Farm Directories. 1980-1990s

Johnson County Aerial Photographs. 1956

Johnson County Soil Maps. 1978

Johnson County Deed Books. Begins 1840. Deed records are also available on microfilm at the county recorder’s office.

Johnson County Rural Schools. 1870-1966. Includes teachers’ registers/attendance logs, photographs, school souvenirs, objects, student projects, school board records, consolidation information, commencement programs and oral histories. Contact JCHS for specific schools.

Iowa City Neighborhood Maps. Various years

Arts Iowa City. Records. 1976-1996

Personal Collections

Burianek, Lucille. Greeting Cards c. 1910-1920. Collected by Burianek. Holidays include New Years, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Birthday.

Coldren Family. Papers, Correspondance, Family Histories and Photographs c. 1848-c. 1940s. Includes material from the John N. Coldren, Ezekiel Clark, and Samuel J. Kirkwood families and travel postcards of May Coldren.

Community Stories Collection. Photographs, Histories of Johnson County Communities, Objects and Oral Histories. Assembled by JCHS’ Community Stories Project in 2008-2009.

Coralville 4th of July Parade, history and photographs, c. 1983-2000. Notebooks created by parade organizer Margaret Morgan.

Fryauf Harness Shop. c. 1890-1950s. Harness making tools and harness pieces from Fryauf Harness Shop, Dubuque Street, Iowa City.

Goosetown Neighborhood, Iowa City. Research, Correspondance, Family Histories, and Photographs. 1880-1950. Research material collected by Mary Beth Slonneger.

Mezik Family. Glass Plate Negatives c. 1900-1910. Photographs around the Mezik home, 1120 N. Dodge Street, Iowa City.

Old Capitol Questers. Records and Photographs. 1960-2005.

Oakes Family. Papers and Photographs c. 1860-1965. Materials related to the Nicholas Oakes family, Oakes Brick and Tile Company, and Oakes Coal Company.

Oral History Interviews. 1997-present. Over 100 recorded interviews and transcriptions of Johnson County residents. Project topics include farm life, theaters, Johnson County Fair, rural schools, Coralville Schoolhouse, Tiffin, Community Stories Project, St. Mary and St. Patrick School Iowa City, World War II local knitting projects, other individual non-project oral histories.

Quilt Registration Project. Photographs and Documentation. 1994. Color slides of quilts in private collections in Johnson County and those in the JCHS collection.

Snyder/Hess Family. Personal Correspondence c. 1820-c.1908. Letters of William B. Snyder and Samuel J. Hess family including correspondence during the California gold rush.

Spaziani, Carol. Iowa City Business Collection c. 1880s-1980s. Objects from mostly extinct Iowa City businesses collected by Spaziani.

Stewart, George and Zella (White). Head, University of Iowa Department of Physics and Iowa City Allergist respectively. Papers c. 1890-1960s. Personal and professional correspondence, photographs, and travel scrapbooks.

Urban Renewal, Iowa City. Photographs c. 1970-1976. Photographer Theo Lindley. 150 color slides documenting downtown Iowa City during urban renewal.