Special Collections News & Updates 7/29/2016

Doom Patrol comic book coverNewsfeed: Documenting and Treating Scrolls: Part 3 Final from the “Preservation Beat” blog. http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/preservation/2016/07/27/documenting-and-treating-scrolls-part-3-final/ A Visit to Himie Voxman’s Hometown from Iowa Now.  http://now.uiowa.edu/2016/07/visit-himie-voxmans-hometown James Alan McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writer, […]

Migration is Beautiful Website Premieres at 2016 National LULAC Convention

Janet Weaver holding a Migration is Beautiful posterJuly 12th was the kickoff for the 2016 National LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) convention. Janet, assistant curator here at the IWA, attended the conference to promote “Migration is Beautiful,” a new website featuring vignettes, oral history interview clips, memoirs, letters, and  photographs from the IWA’s Mujeres Latinas Project.

The new website highlights the experiences and contributions Latinas and Latinos have made to the state of Iowa. It also hosts an interactive map that shows the migration of Latinos through Iowa during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Recently, Hola Iowa, a news outlet focusing on Latinos in the Midwest, featured a vignette and photos from the Migration is Beautiful website.

We are very proud of Janet, and can’t wait to hear more about the convention when she returns!


Janet Weaver and the Migration is Beautiful display



Special Collections News & Updates 7/22/2016

Janet Weaver in front of Migration is Beautiful displayNewsfeed: Update on the Music Library Move: http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/rbml/2016/07/22/were-moving/ Pomerantz Business Library’s 2015-2016 Infographic:  http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/biz/2016/07/14/pomerantz-business-library-a-look-back-at-fy-2016/ Migration is Beautiful Website Premieres at the 2016 National LULAC Convention July 12th was the kickoff for […]

Pictures of Nursing: Zwerdling Postcard Collection | Exhibit open @Hardin Library

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Rural visiting nurse Elizabeth McPhee

Rural visiting nurse Elizabeth McPhee

Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection is now on exhibit at Hardin Library.  The exhibit explores a 2,588 postcard archive spanning over 100 years.  Images of nursing and the nursing profession around the world have been frequent subjects of postcards.

Postcards are influenced by popular ideas and social and culture life, as well as fashion. These images of nurses and nursing are informed by cultural values; ideas about women, men, and work; and attitudes toward class, race, and national differences. By documenting the relationship of nursing to significant forces in 20th-century life, such as war and disease, these postcards reveal how nursing was seen during those times.

500 additional postcards may be viewed online.nurses60s

This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.


Special Collections News & Updates 7/15/2016

18 people processing papersNewsfeed: UI Librarians Serving the Iowa Library Association: http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/news/2016/07/11/ui-librarians-serving-the-iowa-library-association/ 1960’s Exhibition featured in the University of Iowa Alumni Magazine: http://www.iowalum.com/magazine/digital/july16.cfm YouTube Series If Books Could Talk finishes final episode: http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/speccoll/2016/07/12/youtube-series-if-books-could-talk-finishes-final-episode/ How an Obsolete […]

Pomerantz Business Library: A Look Back at FY 2016

Today the Pomerantz Business Library looks back at the recently ended fiscal year 2016. What follows provides a window into the impact that the business library has on the teaching, learning, and research activities of students, faculty, and staff of the Tippie College of Business and the entire University of Iowa community.

Thanks for a great FY 2016 and here’s to a strong and productive FY 2017!



UI Librarians Serving the Iowa Library Association

2016Q&A with Duncan Stewart

ILA’s past president and UI special collections catalog librarian

Q: How long have you been an active member of ILA?

A: I joined ILA in 1998 when I got my first professional library job as a cataloger at the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City. I joined ILA because ALA was not affordable or vital to my job as a state librarian.

Q: List any positions or projects you’ve worked on for ILA

A:  When I joined, I volunteered to be a member of ILA Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC). I was a member for several years, assisting with ILA Lobbying Day at the State Capitol in the Law Library. Then I became chair of GAC and held that position for several years, working closely with ILA leadership and ILA professional lobbyists in Des Moines. ILA actually has a fairly powerful lobbying voice in the state legislature. Over the years, I have served on the ILA-ACRL board, as a member of the ILA Executive board, and as vice president, president, and now past president of ILA.

Q: How would you describe what ILA is and how it serves Iowa/Iowans?

A: ILA serves Iowa librarians, libraries, and librarians as the organized voice of the library community in the state. With 1500 members from every county of Iowa, we combine all types of librarians (teacher librarians, public librarians, academics, special librarians) into one strong group. This works well in Iowa because we are a small state and separate groups for every type of librarian would be impractical, though ILA does have subdivisions where like-minded librarians gather for professional development. ILA serves Iowa by explaining the need for and huge impact of state assistance to Iowa libraries through the State Library of Iowa. ILA has partnered with the State Library to ask for state financial aid for Inter Library Loan, making books much more available to participating libraries. ILA has worked to support and shape the State Library and the services it provides. But the best example of ILA benefiting Iowans is the statewide contract for Ebsco Host, the database of journal articles and news stories—the State Library, with ILA’s ongoing assistance, uses this contract to provide access (paid) to every library in the state. ILA has also been instrumental in garnering legislative support for ongoing access to Learning Express, which is a database of professional tests and educational materials available to all Iowa libraries.

Q: Please explain why, as a University of Iowa librarian, you joined and participate in ILA

A: I continued my membership in ILA, even though I also became active with ALA after being hired at UIL in 2002. I did this because I had seen the positive effects that ILA had on Iowa libraries, I enjoyed working with librarians from across the state and from many kinds of libraries, and because I am convinced that membership and participation in ILA is one way for UI librarians to fulfill the mission of the library and the university to serve the people of Iowa. UI librarians have had strong support for ongoing membership in ILA and have served at every level from committee member to president (I was ILA president in 2015). ILA benefits greatly from the commitment and energy of UI Librarians and would not be the same organization without us.

Q: What is something you learned through participating in ILA that you might not have learned at another conference or on-the-job?

A:  The most basic thing I learned as a member of ILA is the strength and diversity of the library community in Iowa and our power when we all work together. ILA includes para-professional staff members, state certified librarians without MLS, as well as MLS librarians. Together we span the spectrum of libraries in the state and cooperate to improve all library services. I learned that it is not only possible, but highly powerful to work with people of greatly differing backgrounds, job experience, and training. ILA taught me that there is strength in cooperation and numbers.

Q: What do you value most about your participation in ILA?

A: The thing I value most about ILA is the chance to meet, work with, and celebrate successes with librarians from across Iowa and from every kind of library. ILA is, at heart, the center of the Iowa library community. And I see my work in ILA as a direct contribution to serving the people of Iowa. ILA allows you to meet the citizens and librarians of Iowa that we are here to serve. ILA unites librarians, government, and library users into a force for library support.


Happy 160th Birthday Nikola Tesla!!

Happy 160th Birthday!!!
Nikola Tesla
July 10, 1856 – January 7, 1943

Photo Credit: http://www.teslabg.edu.rs/

Nikola Tesla  had a fascinating childhood. The son of a Serbian Orthodox Priest and a mother, who came from a long line of inventors, he was able to spend much of his childhood inventing and trying new things. During a long, cold and dry spell, he ‘discovered’ static electricity. He thought of this often and it profoundly influenced his adult life and his inventions. As a child he invented a cornstalk popgun, which contained the principles he adapted when he devised particle-beam weapons. And, after seeing a picture of Niagara Falls, young Nikola (he was somewhere between 10- and 14-years-of-age) told his Uncle Josip that one day he would place a gigantic wheel under the waterfall and harness it. In 1895, he and George Westinghouse built the first hydro-electric power plant in Niagara Falls.

His older brother died after a fall from a horse and thereafter Nikola began having “out-of body” experiences. In fact, those experiences were so real he sometimes needed his sisters to help him tell which were real and which were hallucinations. Those experiences continued throughout his life and actually were an asset to his creativity. He could visualize his finished inventions and modify them in his mind before committing them to paper.  To learn more about the life of this fascinating and influential man, check out Wizard : the Life and Times of Nikoa Tesla : Biography of a Genius

Nikola began his career as an electrical engineer in 1881 while working with a a telephone company located in Budapest. It was there that the solution to the rotating magnetic field flashed through his mind, which led to the creation of the induction motor. In 1884, Tesla moved to the United States to work with Thomas Edison. He and Edison disagreed on direct current versus alternating current. Edison promoted the direct current, while Tesla believed the alternating current was more efficient. Tesla won that disagreement…

He was a pioneer in many fields – in 1896 the Electrical Review published X-rays of a man which had been taken by Tesla. Others were also experimenting with X-rays at the same time but Tesla didn’t claim priority. It is reported that he said, “I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.”

Interestingly, in 1901 Tesla imagined a means of instant communication – he imagined receiving telegrams, stock quotes, etc., assigning them each a different frequency, which would then be broadcast to a device held in your hand. He essentially envisioned the internet and smart phones…

220px-TeslacoilHe is perhaps most well-known for the Tesla Coil, which he developed in 1891. The Tesla Coil transforms energy into extremely high-voltage charges, which create powerful electrical fields capable of producing electrical arcs. A Tesla Coil is made of two parts – a primary coil and a secondary coil. Each has its own capacitor (which stores electrical energy like a battery does).  The whole system is powered by a transformer. The two circuits are connected by a spark gap. The Tesla Coil revolutionized the way electricity was understood. Variations of the Tesla Coil are still used in radios and televisions.

Interesting Facts About Nikola Tesla:

  • He was born during a lightning storm, which the midwife claimed was a bad omen. She said he would be a child of darkness. The family legend is that his mother replied, “No. He will be a child of light.”
  • By around the age of 12, he developed strange “habits.” He developed an aversion to women’s earrings, and the sight of a pearl would give him “fits.” He would never touch another person’s hair and could develop a fever looking at a peach.
  • Not all his ideas were practical. One such idea was a ring around the equator which would transport people from one end of the globe to the other…

(Wizard : the life and times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius).



Seifer, Marc. 1996. Wizard : the life and times of Nikola Tesla : biography of a genius. Seacaucus, N.J. : Carol Pub. Engineering Library TK140.T4 S65 1996

Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse built the first hydro-electric power plant…. Tesla Memorial Society of New York. Date accessed July 7, 2016.

The 10 Inventions of Nikola Tesla That Changed the World. January 10,2012. Activist Post.

Martin, Thomas Commerford. 1995. The inventions, researches, and writings of Nikola Tesla. 2nd Edition. New York : Barnes & Noble. Engineering Library TK140.T4 M37 199

Wireless Electricity? How the Tesla Coil Works, by Kelly Dickerson. July 10, 2014. livescience.com

Tesla Coil.  Wikipedia. Page last modified July 5, 2016, accessed July 7, 2016.

**Other Resources:

Nikola Tesla : the Genius Who Lit the World. July 10, 1998. Tesla Memorial Society of New York.


Bernardino Genga |July 2016 Notes from The John Martin Rare Book Room @Hardin Library



BERNARDINO GENGA (1620-1690). Anatomia per uso et intelligenza del disegno; ricercata non solo su gl’ossi, e muscoli del corpo humano… Rome: Domenico de Rossi, 1691.

An authoritative anatomist and surgeon in Rome, Genga stressed the importance of solid anatomical knowledge for the surgeon. Genga wrote the first book devoted entirely to surgical anatomy which remained a widely used manual for fifty years.

Genga was one of the first Italians to accept Harvey’s theory on the circulation of the blood, but Genga also maintained that the discovery was made by Colombo and Cesalpino before Harvey. The parts played by those two Italian investigators and anatomists in the unfolding of the facts of circulatory physiology have been a point of study and argument among medical historians.

This large atlas contains 40 magnificent full-page engraved plates depicting the human figure in various poses, with and without dissection. Some of the full-figure plates are engraved renditions of celebrated antique statues in Rome. The plates, probably engraved by François Andriot, were intended primarily for the use of painters and sculptors, and they are still considered to be one of the best collections for the use of student artists. The text is by Giovanni Maria Lancisi.

You may view this book in the John Martin Rare Book Room, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.  Make a gift to the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences by donating online or setting up a recurring gift with The University of Iowa Foundation.