AvIAn Encounters – The Iowa Ornithologists’ Union Collection

The Iowa Ornithologists’ Union (IOU), founded in 1923, is an organization dedicated to promoting the study and enjoyment of birds in Iowa. Made up of both professional ornithologists and amateur birders, the IOU unites people under their common interests of bird identification, study, and protection. The IOU also serves as a repository for Iowa bird sighting records and important bird watching locations.

The IOU Collection will be the first of eight collections to be digitized for the Avian Archives of Iowa Online (AvIAn). The materials selected for the AvIAn Project include field reports, photographs, bird sighting documentation, records review committee documentation, Iowa Birdline notes, Iowa Breeding Bird Atlas data, and IOU administrative records.

Image of the letter proposing the formation of the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union

Letter proposing the formation of the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union, 1923
(MS 166, box 4, folder 15)

Scan of the documentation form for Red-Throated Loon Sighting

Documentation Form for Red-Throated Loon Sighting, 1985 (MS 166, box 7, folder 5)

Additional information on the IOU collection in the Special Collections Department at Iowa State University can be found here.