LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library

Collection Development Policy

As a community archive, the mission of the LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library (LIAL) is to collect and preserve the diverse histories of LGBTQ Iowans and Iowa-based LGBTQ organizations. We aim to make these materials available for others in the LGBTQ community, researchers, artists, and the public.

Collection Scope

LIAL’s collections focus on archival materials relating to any and all LGBTQ people who are from or have lived in the state of Iowa. Similarly, we collect materials from any and all organizations that have existed in Iowa that advocate for, provide community space for, or are built by LGBTQ people. Collection materials can include paper documents, objects, audiovisual materials and/or born-digital items.

Our current collection strengths include Iowa-based LGBTQ print publications and queer life in and around Iowa City. Collections include personal papers, publications, organizational records, photographs, and artifacts.

Donation Requirements

LIAL is actively seeking materials to grow our archival collections that are in line with our central mission and is happy to consider new donations.

Materials fitting LIAL’s collection scope must be unique and of enduring historical significance as determined through an evaluation by professional archives staff. Unique materials are typically found in collections of unpublished personal and organization records that contain correspondence, original writing, creative works, administrative files, audiovisual materials, photographs, singular artifacts, and ephemera. Historical significance is considered broadly and evaluated in terms of materials’ documentation of unique perspectives, rareness, and other factors.

Donation Limitations

The LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library:

  • Does not accept materials for which the donor’s ownership is in question or disputed.
  • Does not accept materials that are irreparably damaged or infested by insects or mold.
  • Does not accept duplicate materials.
  • Will make efforts to review materials for protected personal information and will take appropriate action to restrict access according to any applicable laws and professional standards.
  • Will review materials and restrict access based on ethical archival standards and community consideration.
  • May not accept collections if LIAL is unable to care for, safely store, and/or provide access due to space, staffing, or technological limitations.
  • May direct potential donors to other archival repositories if they already steward a substantial number of papers or records relating to the organization or individual; however, we will always respect the wishes of the donor if they would prefer storing their materials with our organization.

Collections Policy

Collection donations are accepted only after being reviewed by LIAL’s archival volunteers. Unsolicited donations may be discarded at the discretion of LIAL volunteers.

When a collection donation is formally accepted, a Deed of Gift must be administered by LIAL volunteer and signed by the donor. This form specifies what materials are being donated, confers ownership to LIAL, and provides guidelines regarding copyright transfer and material disposal. LIAL does not provide compensation to donors for their materials.

LIAL’s growth relies on the gifts, support, and generosity of donors. Accessioning donated materials involves a commitment of labor by archival staff and costs for archival supplies. Donors are encouraged to consider an additional monetary donation to accommodate for these costs if they are able.

Deaccessioning materials is the process of removing items from the collection after they have been evaluated by archival staff. Materials determined to be out of our scope or which are duplicate items may be transferred to a different repository, returned to the donor, or discarded.

LIAL’s Collection Development Policy will be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it remains in line with LIAL’s guiding mission, community needs, and professional standards and best practices.

In developing this collection policy, we relied heavily on the format and language of the GLBT Historical Society’s Collection Development Policy. We would like to acknowledge their work and our appreciation of their policy as a guide and resource.

If you have questions about our archival collection policy or would like to donate materials to the LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library, please email


538 S. Gilbert St.
Close House – Second Floor
Iowa City, IA 52240

Monday closed
Tuesday closed
Wednesday 5-8pm
Thursday 5-8pm
Friday closed
Saturday 11am-3pm
Sunday 11am-3pm

Mailing Address
538 S. Gilbert St.
Iowa City, IA 52240

(319) 512-5615

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