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Iowa History Center

Preserving, promoting and sharing the story of Iowa

On Campus

Iowa History Speaker Series

Our Speakers Series offers programs on varied topics of Iowa history and culture. Speakers include nationally renowned authors, scholars, journalists, politicians and public figures. These events are free and open to the general public and held in Indianola, Des Moines and West Des Moines.

Iowa History Internship Program

We facilitate hands-on experience for Simpson students in public history at local institutions like the State Historical Museum, the Iowa Jewish Historical Society and Living History Farms. The Iowa History Center provides cost-of-living stipends to students doing internships. Students interested in applying for these internships should contact the Iowa History Center for more details.

Iowa History Center Newsletter

Get up-to-date information in your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter. To be added as a subscriber, send an email to  linda.sinclair@simpson.edu.

Annual Iowa History Quiz

Each February the Iowa History Center holds a student led trivia contest for students. Questions include general information about the state and Simpson College. Students eagerly compete because they are so passionate about the history of Iowa but also because there are fabulous prizes.

And Beyond

Field Trip Grant Program


We assist local schools in making Iowa history more accessible by funding K-12 students on Iowa history-oriented field trips. To apply, please fill out the 2023-2024 application form.

Annual Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis in Iowa History

To encourage graduate study in Iowa history and honor outstanding work in the field, this annual award recognizes the best master’s thesis examining our state’s past. Selection is based on contribution of knowledge, originality of subject matter or methodology, use of sources and written expression. For further information, please contact Daryl Sasser at 515-961-1226 or daryl.sasser@simpson.edu.


Peterson Farm Crisis Photographs

“Dave Peterson’s fine photographs record an important and tragic part of our recent past,” said Bill Friedricks, who founded the Iowa History Center in 2006. “They provide a moving portrait of the very human dimension of the 1980s farm crisis, when many rural Iowans struggled to keep their homes and their land amidst tumbling crop prices. We at the Iowa History Center at Simpson College are dedicated to preserving Iowa’s history and encouraging discussion about this past. These photographs do just that.” Please contact the Iowa History Center about viewing or borrowing this collection.

Your gift today can protect Iowa's past

Iowa’s history is too rich and important to ignore, yet few colleges and universities teach Iowa history, and little Iowa history is included in the public schools. To address these and other deficiencies, the Iowa History Center was founded in 2006.

Your gift can help support our mission. The Iowa History Center depends on donations to ensure that future generations learn the state’s history. To contribute a tax deductible donation or for more information, please contact Iowa History Center Director, Daryl Sasser at 515-961-1226, or Simpson College, 701 North C Street Indianola, Iowa 50125.