The Historic Des Moines collection gives a glimpse of Des Moines, Iowa as it entered the 20th century. This was a period of substantial growth for the city, and a time when Des Moines was growing away from its origins as an outpost in the West. The collection was created by scanning images from the original sources held by the Special Collections Department of Drake University's Cowles Library. Each image was researched, described, and indexed. The result is a searchable collection filled with the history of Des Moines.
Accompanying the collection is an article written by local historian John Zeller. In his article, From the Real to the Ideal; Images of Des Moines in the Progressive Era, Mr. Zeller describes the times in which these images were captured and how they relate to each other.