Official State of Iowa Website

State Law Library

The law library is an iconic and unique space, featuring:

  • “Victorian” style architecture, with intricate details from floor to ceiling.
  • Spiral staircases on each end of the library that wind from the bottom level to the top tier.
  • Approximately 100,000 books fill the shelves.

Today the space continues to be a functioning library, providing access services to a highly specialized legal collection. Research assistance is available.


Reference Desk: The Law Library offers a staffed reference desk with experienced librarians who can answer questions and provide reference services to visitors. Or you can connect remotely by submitting an Ask a Librarian form.

Wi-Fi: The Law Library provides free, high-speed wireless internet for visitors.

Wireless Printing: Visitors can print documents in the Law Library wirelessly. Ask a Librarian at the reference desk for assistance.  

Want to know more about how you can use the library? Take a look at the Law Library policies.

Special Collections

A.J. Small Room: The A. J. Small Room in the northeast corner of the Law Library houses a special collection dedicated to Arthur James Small, State Law Librarian from 1896 to 1937. It was during Small’s tenure when the legal foundational materials such as: English, Roman, and American colonial legal materials were added to the Law Library’s collection.

Currently some of the seminal documents that would have aided Iowa’s pioneer lawmakers are stored in the A.J. Small Room. State Library staff offer tours by appointment. Submit an Ask a Librarian form to request an appointment.

Iowa Collection: Located in the Law Library, the Iowa Collection contains non-fiction books about Iowa and Iowans. From vibrant cities to serene small towns and unique scenery, discover the history, heritage, people, pastimes, and nature of the Hawkeye state.

Titles can be checked out from the reference desk with a State Library card, or browse the collection online in the State Library catalog. Submit an Application for a library card.

Photography & Videography

Photography and videography in the Law Library is allowed during open hours from within the accessible visitor space. Aligned with the overarching Iowa State Capitol policy, large equipment is not permitted to be set up or used in the library.

Media or Publication Images

High-resolution images of the Law Library are available for media and public use. As a courtesy, please credit the State Library of Iowa and notify Emily Bainter if using for media purposes to allow the opportunity to promote on the State Library's social media and other communication channels.

Law Library Images 

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  • AJ Small

    AJ Small

  • Stained glass ceiling

    Stained glass ceiling

  • Pillar bust

    Pillar bust

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