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State Historical Society of Iowa
State Archive folders in a row

State Archives

The State Archives of Iowa contains historic state government records that document Iowa history. The archives are organized by record groups that represent the structure and function of government — past and present. Documents held in the State Archives may be accessed by visiting the State Historical Research Center in Des Moines.

Governors’ Records

Records in the Governors’ record group document the functions and responsibilities of the Office of Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and date from Iowa's first territorial Governor, Robert Lucas (1838-1841) through Governor Terry Branstad (2011-2017). Two examples of records series unique to a single governorship are Gov. William L. Harding’s Council of Defense records from World War I and Gov. Robert D. Rays records of Refugee Programs, following the Viet Nam War. Prior to 1913, most records from the governor’s office are organized by record series and then by date. After 1913, most governors are arranged by governor and then by series and date.

State Archives Indexes

The following are indexes to select holdings in the State Archives.

State Land Patents Issued

State Archives Record Groups