The University of Iowa

David McCartney

Adjunct Lecturer
University of Iowa Archivist, Special Collections
Phone Number: 
335-5921

David F. McCartney, CA, is the University of Iowa Archivist. He received his MA in history and MLS in library science (archives concentration) from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1998, and his BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979. In 2000 he was certified as a member the Academy of Certified Archivists. He is chair of the CIC University Archivists Group.

David is a member of the Society of American Archivists and served on the steering committee of its College and University Archives Section, 2003-2007. He is also past secretary of the Midwest Archives Conference and currently serves as its membership chair. He served on the board of directors of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, 2004-2007, and chaired its interpretation and research committee during that time.

His interest in public history is reflected by his volunteer work for the Floyd County Historical Society and the Carrie Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Museum, both in his hometown of Charles City, Iowa. He has also consulted with numerous volunteer and non-profit historical organizations and archives across the state with regard to development, description, management, and preservation of document collections. David serves on the advisory board of the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting, Wartburg College, and chairs its acquisition and policies subcommittee.

Documenting diverse and under-represented University communities for future scholarship is of particular interest to David. Since joining the University of Iowa Libraries in 2001, he has acquired and developed collections representing the activity of LGBT, African-American, Latino, and other communities. Records of the University of Iowa Council on Disability Awareness and the Office of Student Disability Services are significant recent additions to the Archives’ holdings.

The preservation of non-textual records in obsolete or at-risk formats concerns David. He has secured National Film Preservation Foundation grants to restore selected motion pictures in the University Archives, including two 1939 master’s thesis films determined to be among the first in the nation to document visually the creative work of graduate students in dance and choreographic design. In 2009, he participated in a successful application to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to create the Spartan Archive, Michigan State University’s pilot project to manage comprehensively the creation, management and ultimate storage of born-digital records in its Office of the Registrar.

As an adjunct instructor in the Department of Anthropology, David teaches a week-long introductory course in archives administration. While many of its students are in the Museum Studies certificate program or from the School of Library and Information Science, the course is open to anyone who is interested in the history and management of archives. David has also presented to undergraduate and graduate students in the departments of English, history, rhetoric, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication on the use of archives in their research.