Rural School Records

The Rural School Records are comprised of official records documenting the rural school system of Iowa from 1849 through 1975.  The records have been organized and arranged according to county except where records for multiple counties were kept together by Area Education Agencies. The Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture maintains records collections from 87 of Iowa's 99 counties.

History of Education Collections

The History of Education Collections at the Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture (CHRIEC) document and detail rural culture and education in the United States with particular emphasis on Iowa and the Midwest. The collections are wide in the breadth of subjects cover and include many examples of rural school student work, official school records, photographs, plays, realia, school souvenirs, teaching aids, certificates, personal papers, correspondence, and educational trade publications.

Image Gallery

The Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture's Rural School Collections include photographs and ephemeral materials documenting Iowa's rural school history.

This gallery represents a selection of photographs and other images curated from the Rural School Collections. These images are intended to aid researchers by way of reference only; please refer to CHRIEC's policies page for information on publication.

Online Bookshelf

The online bookshelf contains links to rural school related reference materials from around the Internet. These resources are free to browse and (in most cases) to download. Titles are listed alphabetically below; entries with an asterisk are available in both physical and online formats. A-D, E-K, L-Q, R, S-Z

Rural School Reference Collection

The Rural School Reference Collection is comprised of volumes and manuscripts relating to the history, culture, folklore, and legacy of the rural schools in the United States with a particular emphasis on Iowa and the Midwest. It includes books, pamphlets, journals, reports, conference papers, articles, audio recordings, and videos.

Lee County Color Slides

These color slides document the rural school culture in Lee County, Iowa circa late 1940s-early 1950s.  Snapped by an unknown photographer--likely the County Superintendent--they provide a rare glimspe at Iowa's rural schools.