Skip to main content

Iowa Ornithologists’ Union records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0166

Scope and Content

The collection (1918-2012) contains correspondence, financial records, meeting minutes, photographs, and publicity materials documenting the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union’s administrative activities. In addition, the records committee series includes sighting records submitted for review by the committee, field reports, photographs, batch sheets, and documentation collected to keep a record of the birds of Iowa. Correspondents include Dr. James Dinsmore, Hank and Linda Zaletel, Ann Barker, and Dr. Thomas Kent. Also included in the collection are the bird watching records of former IOU President Walter Rosene (see also Walter Rosene Sr. Photograph Collection, MS 589).


  • 1819-2012


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


The Iowa Ornithologists' Union (IOU) is a non-profit group, organized in 1923 to promote the enjoyment and study of birds. The goals of the IOU are to encourage interest in the identification, study, and protection of birds in Iowa and to unite those who have these interests in common.

The IOU serves as a forum for the exchange of information and ideas about field identification, birding locations, habitat, distribution, and other topics. It provides an organized outlet for birding activities and bird study projects. Additionally, the IOU provides a repository for records of Iowa birds.

Both spring and fall meetings of the IOU are held annually at good birding locations across the state. A typical meeting is held over a weekend and includes birding field trips and workshops on topics such as identification, birds and birding locations, analyses of aspects of Iowa birds, and an IOU business meeting.

The IOU’s activities include the Iowa Birds and Birding web site, Iowa Birdline, a recorded message of Iowa bird sightings, and the Christmas and Spring Big Day bird counts. Publications of the IOU include Iowa Bird Life, the quarterly journal; IOU News, the quarterly newsletter; the Field Checklist of Iowa Birds, a pocket-sized folded card listing Iowa's regular and casual species, and the Iowa Breeding Bird Atlas (1996) a project co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


21.5 Linear Feet (2 records center cartons, 45 document boxes, and 1 map case folder)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized into three series:

Series 1, Administrative files, 1911-2012 (alphabetical)

Series 2, Records Committee, 1819-2005 (original order)

Series 3, Individuals’ bird watching records, 1917-1972 (chronological)

Items in related collections

MS-0589. Walter M. Rosene, Sr. papers, 1871-2008, undated

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0166. Iowa Ornithologists’ Union records, 1819-2012
December 12, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672