Database of the Week: Proquest Historical Annual Reports

Each week we will highlight one of the many databases we have here at the Pomerantz Business Library.

The database: Proquest Historical Annual Reports Historical_Annual_Reports

Where to find it: You can find it here, and under P in the databases A-Z list.

Annual reports (1844-current) available for over 800 companies, 43,000 reports, 1.3M pages. Searchable puff images with indexed data such as: financial, Fortune 500 ranking, industry classification, key people, geographic location, auditor and related companies. It can also be browsed by company name, related names, industry or date..

Use it to find:

  • Annual reports, dating back to 1844
  • Company histories
  • Historical financials

Tips for searching:

  • Do a Basic Search using the search box
  • Or do an Advanced search – and look up companies or codes from a list
  • Or Browse by Company, Industry or Date



Want help using the Proquest Historical Annual Reports? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures & Medical Prescriptions |new exhibit @Hardin Library

Victorian marketing card image

Image from U.S. National Library of Medicine

Hardin Library is currently hosting the National Library of Medicine (NLM) exhibit, “Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures & Medical Prescriptions.” The traveling exhibition, consisting of six large banners, was produced by NLM in cooperation with the National Museum of American History and will be on display on Hardin’s third floor through December 23rd.

Pick Your Poison” explores the social and medicinal history of mind-altering drugs in America and explores the shifts in opinion over the years.  Substances explored include tobacco, alcohol, opium, cocaine, and marijuana.  Stop by Hardin any time the library is open to see the exhibit.

For additional information, including online versions of related medical books, see The National Library of Medicine’s online exhibit.

How do I get there?  Take Pentacrest Cambus to the VA Loop Stop.  The library is just up the hill.

What is Thanksgiving Without Cranberries!?


Opening a bag of cranberries can take you right back to Thanksgiving with your loved ones and that traditional cranberry dish. But have you ever wondered about how cranberries became associated with holidays? Wondered how they are grown? Or thought about their health benefits?


Cranberries are well known for helping to prevent UTIs.

The simple cranberry is one of the few fruits that is native to North America.  No one knows for sure how it became associated with the holidays, but it is believed it goes back to the Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving meals. Cranberries are generally harvested between Labor Day and Halloween and they store well, all of which makes them a perfect fruit for the holidays.

Native Americans also used the cranberry as a source of red dye for decorations, and also medicinally. Cranberries have an astringent tannis and therefore can help stop wounds from bleeding. Cranberries also have an antibiotic effect.

There are some species of cranberries that grow wild in Europe, but the cranberry most cultivated as a commercial crop is the one that is native to America. Cranberry cultivation began in 1840 in Massachusetts when Henry Hall noticed that the cranberries were most abundant where the ground was sandiest. From there the cultivation spread through Wisconsin, Washington, and Oregon. The cultivation of cranberries also spread to Scandinavia and Great Britain. Interestingly, they arrived in Holland as a result of a shipwreck of an American ship. The crates washed ashore on the small island of Terschelling and cranberries have been cultivated there ever since!

The cranberry is often considered a “super food,” due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content. And the fact that a half a cup of cranberries only has 25 calories! Cranberries have several important health benefits. They are known to help prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). There is evidence that the polyphenols in cranberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing platelet build-up and anti-inflammatory mechanisms help reduce blood pressure.  It has also been shown that the humble cranberry may slow tumor progression and to have positive effects against prostate, liver, breast, ovarian and colon cancers. They are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin E. They also contain vitamin K, manganese and naturally occurring plant chemicals that help protect the body from free radicals. A lot of health benefits for such a little berry!

A worker in a cranberry bog.

A worker in a cranberry bog.

And yes, the TV commercial is accurate – the farmers really do stand in the cranberry bogs in hip waders. However, cranberries don’t grow in water, they grow on long-running vines in sandy bogs and marshes.

The harvesting process is quite fascinating! In late September, when the berries ripen, the bogs are flooded with water and the berries want to float to the surface. Since they are still tethered by their long vines, the farmers take machines, sometimes called “Beaters,” into the bog. The Beaters create underwater turbulence which pulls the berries from the stem. Then farmers wade in and corral the freed berries into a corner of the bog.  A pump then sucks the berries out of the bog and transfers them to a truck. They are taken to a factory where they undergo several cleaning stations, including one in which workers use brooms and water jets to clear away remaining branches and leaves.

cranberry_juiceIf the cranberries are destined to become juice, part of the process includes them moving through 216 filters which remove any plant particles and bacteria that are larger than a micron. A micron is about 25,000 times smaller than an inch… The presses can make almost 9 tons of puree at a time – that’s about the weight of 11/2 elephants…

Cranberries that don’t become juice go through a grading process which includes workers removing substandard berries – by hand.  A sorting machine then scans the berries for color and substandard berries are blown off the production line with an air gun. Those that make it through these tests go on to either be packaged or dried. Dried cranberries are cut in half, seeded, pressed and then soaked in a sugar and water solution before they are dried.

The cranberry is quite versatile – there are many different cranberry recipes, including cranberry relish, cranberry sauce, cranberry bread, cranberry bars, cranberry jelly, cranberry pies, cranberry punch… And, yes, recipes for “white chocolate, macadamia and cranberry cookies”…


Now, when you gather for Thanksgiving, whether it be with friends or family, you can prepare a unique cranberry dish – one that may become a new tradition. You’ll also be able to share your new knowledge of the humble cranberry.

Even if you still have to sit at the kids’ table…



How it’s made (television program). Season 1-2. 2010. [Silver Spring, MD] : Discovery Communications. Engineering Library Circulation Desk Video Record 37144 DVD

Cranberries: Health Benefits, Health Risks. June 24, 2015. MNT. Medical News Today. MediLexicon.

Cranberries. What’s New and Beneficial About Cranberries. 2001-2015. The World’s Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation.

Cranberry Recipes. 2015.

Other Resources:

USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28.  Basic Report: 09078, Cranberries, raw. Accessed November 18, 2015.

Posted in Uncategorized

Remembering Bob McCown

My mentor and friend Bob McCown, retired Head of the Special Collections Department in the University of Iowa Libraries, died on March 31st of this year.  To remember Bob on what would have been his 76th birthday–November 21st–I share the eulogy I gave at his memorial service last spring.

Robert McCown-Dinner photo

Robert A. McCown (1939-2015)

Bob McCown was the first person I met in Iowa when I came for my job interview in 1992. On that April day twenty-three years ago, he was waiting at the bottom of the escalator in the Cedar Rapids Airport holding a sign that read: “Iowa Women’s Archives.” I was full of wonder about this new place that might become my home—amused at the scale of the airport, and charmed by the fact that we were driving past cornfields as soon as we left the parking lot. All during that drive to Iowa City, Bob told me about the history of Iowa—how it was settled, the Mormons who passed through with their handcarts, and other stories I have long since forgotten. What stayed with me was the sense of this kind, soft-spoken man who had such deep knowledge of and affection for his home state.

Bob was Head of the Department of Special Collections at that time. He had earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Iowa in 1963, taught high school history for a few years, and earned his library degree from Illinois before returning to Iowa in 1970 for a position in the University Libraries.

Bob was hired as Manuscripts Librarian at a time when the new fields of social history, ethnic history, and women’s history were emerging. He began traveling across Iowa in the early 1970s, intent on acquiring sources that would make this new scholarship possible. But the recent student demonstrations in Iowa City had roused suspicion about the University of Iowa. So Bob shined his shoes, cut his hair, and put on a coat and tie to allay the fears of outstate residents. In his quiet and considerate way, he tried to persuade potential donors of the significance of their papers to history. He modeled his collecting on progressive institutions such as the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. In addition to the usual political papers, he sought the records of environmental groups, social action organizations, and women. Sometimes he was successful, other times not. But the seeds he planted in those early years continued to bear fruit five years later, ten years later, or even two or three decades later.

Over the decades, Bob built a solid foundation for the study of Iowa history. He acquired farmers’ diaries, Civil War letters, merchants’ account books and railroad records. He solicited manuscripts by Iowa authors, and built on the already strong literary holdings of the department. Special Collections has continued to build on the groundwork Bob laid over three decades.

Of course, collection development was not Bob’s only work. He organized symposia, published articles, and edited the journal Books at Iowa and the newsletter of the Ruth Suckow Association. (He had a particular affinity for Suckow, not least because she hailed from his hometown of Hawarden.) Bob contributed to the archival profession through his service on the Iowa Historical Records Advisory Board and his longtime involvement with the Midwest Archives Conference. And he brought history home by presenting talks on a various topics to local organizations and clubs.

But I keep coming back to Bob’s efforts to preserve Iowa history, because I believe that was his greatest achievement. Bob’s vision of what Iowa history could be led him to seek out those aspects that that had been neglected by archivists and historians alike. When women’s historians began asking for sources in the ‘70s, Bob combed the Special Collections stacks searching for documents by and about women.

And then he went a step further. He began consciously seeking out women’s history. He acquired the papers of Minnette Doderer, the League of Women Voters of Iowa, and the Iowa Nurses Association. He had the foresight to contact Mary Louise Smith before she rose through the ranks to become the first female chair of the Republican National Committee; when Smith finished her term she made good on her promise to send her extensive papers to the University of Iowa, about which Bob was especially proud.

When Louise Noun suggested in the early ‘70s that the University Libraries beef up its holdings of women’s historical writings, Bob arranged to meet with her in Des Moines, initiating a relationship that would eventually lead to the creation of the Louise Noun – Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives at the University Libraries.

Bob’s careful plans for the archives, together with the papers of women politicians, artists, nurses, and lawyers he had gathered over two decades formed the core of the Archives when it opened in 1992. Equally important was the support and guidance he gave me.

When I began work as the first curator of the Archives, I was pretty green, especially when it came to donor relations and collection development. But Bob was a great supervisor! He taught me everything, from how to write a letter and make a cold call to a potential donor, to the more mundane details—like how to get a car from the motor pool and fill out the countless travel forms. And then there were the finer points he’d learned from his own experience. For example, when you’re out in the field and driving a University vehicle, do not have dinner at a supper club—even if it’s the only restaurant in town—because someone is sure to notice the car with the University seal parked out front and report this “inappropriate” activity by a state employee.

Bob guided me with gentle nudges and taught me by example, as when we visited donors together. Our weekly meetings always included some family talk, a shared laugh or two, and some musings about the topic of the day. I was grateful to have such an empathetic boss who treated me with respect and was interested not only in what I did on the job but in my family and my life outside work. Through the years I worked with Bob, I learned a great deal from him, not only about history, but about how to treat one’s colleagues and staff.

Bob contributed immeasurably to Iowa history but also to the lives of those of us fortunate enough to be around him.  Bob’s knowledge of Iowa history was broader than the Missouri, deeper than the Mississippi, and a lot more solid than the Loess Hills.  Iowa history is richer for his contributions.  And all of us who knew him are richer for his friendship and his affection.

–Kären M. Mason, April 4, 2015


Holiday hours at the Sciences Library


The Sciences Library will deviate from its normal schedule during the holiday season:

Thanksgiving Recess:

  • Sat., Nov. 21 – Sun., Nov. 22: CLOSED
  • Mon., Nov. 23 – Wed., Nov. 25: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thu., Nov. 26 – Sun., Nov. 29: CLOSED

Normal hours will resume on Mon., Nov. 30th.

Winter Break:

  • Sat., Dec. 19 – Sun., Dec. 27: CLOSED
  • Mon., Dec. 28 – Thu., Dec. 31: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Fri., Jan. 1 – Sun., Jan. 3: CLOSED
  • Mon., Jan. 4 – Fri., Jan. 8: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sat., Jan. 9 – Sun., Jan. 10: CLOSED
  • Mon., Jan. 11 – Fri., Jan. 15: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sat., Jan. 16 – Mon., Jan. 18: CLOSED

Normal hours will resume on Tues. Jan. 19th.

View all our hours and upcoming events on our calendar. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Posted in Uncategorized

Faster answers | Get free mobile clinical resources

The Hardin Library subscribes to many clinical reference tools you can install on your mobile devices for free.

Complete List at

DynaMed Plus Mobile – evidence based clinical reference, includes study results, updated daily. (Hardin staff favorite)

FirstConsult via ClinicalKey by Elsevier – point of care resource,  answer questions quickly, suggests relevant clinical concepts

 StatRef! Mobile – allows cross-searching of full-text, evidence based, point-of-care resources.  Includes ACP Smart Medicine

UpToDate Mobile – evidence-based clinical resource



Posted in Uncategorized