Get an Introduction to NCBI Gene Expression Databases at our open workshop Tuesday, October 21

This session provides an overview of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases that contain information on gene expressions. Learn how to search for homologous gene sets for selected organisms, clusters of expressed transcripts, gene expression and molecular abundance profiles, functional genomics studies and epigenomic studies and display tools.

Our next session is:
Tuesday, October 21, 1-2pm, Information Commons East, 2nd Floor

Register online : .  No time for class?  Request a personal session on the registration form.

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There is no mail going or coming at present

Joseph Culver Letter, October 18, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters, Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills. Vols.
Chattahoochie River, Ga., Octr. 18th 1864
My Dear Wife

There is no mail going or coming at present, but, as we are ordered out for forage in the morning with 5 days’ rations, there may be an opportunity in my absence to send this to you.1 I will leave it in the hands of some of those who remain to be forwarded. I did hope that some mail might arrive in the trains which passed this evening, but we leave so early that it will not reach here in time. So I am to wait 5 long days before I hear from you. If I only had the assurance that you are well. I cannot overcome the impression that you may be very ill, as my last letter was dated the 26th while several were received of as late date as the 30th.2 I will trust all to “Our Father” who in his boundless Love has dealt so kindly with us. May He in the plentitude of his mercy preserve both you and our child in perfect health, and surround you with all necessary comforts to insure your happiness.

We have had no reliable news for several days though an abundance of rumors.3 I have kept myself very closely to my tent lately, having some unsettled business matters to occupy my time with and occasional reading. I preached last night in the Chapel tent of the 79th Ohio to a large & interesting Congregation from Deuteronomy 5-9. God was pleased to bless me.

Squads of Rebel Cavalry have been hovering around our lines for several days. To-day they captured 25 men & 150 mules with some private horses that were taken out to graze;4 once before, several men and mules. I think that is what gave rise to this Expedition which is for the double purpose of scouring the country & obtaining forage. Nate [Hill] is on picket and will be left behind. We will miss our comfortable tents and fires.

How very fortunate we have been thus far in being left to garrison this place. Our lot has fallen in the most pleasant places all through our term of service, and, though we have lost heavily during the Campaign of our best men, yet we outnumber a large majority of the Regiments in the service, and our Brigade is among the largest in the Army,

We have been gleaning from the papers recd. by Saturday evening’s mail [the 15th], the particulars of the battles in the East and the aspect of political affairs in the North. Rumor is afloat here that the “Copperheads” have carried Indiana by considerable majority at the State Election on the 11th inst.5 We still hope it is an error. The soldiers of that State, like ourselves, are not allowed to vote.

The Pay-master paid off the 105th Ills. to-day but has run short of funds. As there has been no opportunity to transport funds with safety, we must abide by our misfortune without complaining. As [Lt.] Smith promised to see you supplied, & Lt. Burton has probably reached Chicago & ford. the money sent by him, I have given myself but little uneasiness on that score. I hope you will not hesitate to accept of any funds which may be offered that you need, for we have no assurance of being paid very soon.

Jim Mitchell was married on the 4th inst. to a Miss Clara Carter of New Albany, Ind. Dr. Reagan recd. their cards a few days ago. Col. Ben. Harrison is stumping the State of Indiana and has been nominated for a Brig. Genl.’s commission, Genl. Ward for Major Genl.6 Col. Smith, 102nd Ills. commands the Brigade at present, & Col. Dustin, the Division.7

I saw a letter from Sam Maxwell to Wm. B. Fyfe bewailing the fate of “Poor Culver,” saying that his “Democratic friends pitied more than they derided him.”8 I should take opportunity to answer it were it not that the time will be very limited after my return before the Election.

Jim Morrow is looking well. Allen Fellows has enjoyed very good health lately. I saw Connelly to-day;9 he is well. Also Harry McDowell. Green is busy to-night preparing rations for our expedition.

I hear a train coming up from Atlanta which may possibly have mail for us, though it is doubtful, as there has scarcely been time to distribute it since the trains went down. But I must close for to-night. I will enclose three Photographs. I sent one in my last [letter] & think they will be very acceptable for your collection. I will get one of Genl. [O. O.] Howard as soon as opportunity offers.

Give my love to Mother and Maggie. Kiss baby for me & Remember me very kindly to all our Friends. Tell Remick that I will not probably be able to write such an answer to his letter as he desires, but, had the mails been going out, I would have been prompt in replying. I hope the letter written Mr. Decker arrived safely as it may answer, at least in part. May our Father in Heaven bless you with all needful blessings. Preserve us in life and health from danger and sin and fit our hearts for a close communion with him. If consistent with his will, our communion will be sweet when our duty to our Country is discharged. Let us pray and take consolation from His promises. Good Bye.

Your affectionate Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Attacks on the Western & Atlantic by Hood’s army had by October 10 caused a great scarcity of forage in and around Atlanta to feed the horses and mules. It became necessary to forage upon the country. During the next several weeks, General Slocum sent four large foraging expeditions and a number of lesser ones into the neighboring counties. O. R., Ser. I, Vol, XXXIX, pt. I, pp. 668, 680.
  2. Soldiers of the 129th Illinois on October 14 had received the “first mail … for many days.” Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, p. 112.
  3. Hood’s army, with Sherman’s columns closing in, had abandoned its efforts to destroy the Western & Atlantic Railroad and, covered by a strong rear guard, had turned southward after passing through Villanow. Sherman followed. By the evening of the 17th, Sherman was satisfied that Hood had gone south by way of Summerville toward Gadsden, Ala., having given up his plans to cross the Tennessee River anywhere above Muscle Shoals. Next day found Sherman’s “army group” continuing its pursuit through the mountains of northwest Georgia. On the 20th Hood’s army was at Gadsden and Sherman’s at Gaylesville. There Sherman halted for a week, watching Hood’s movements, “proposing to follow him if he attempted to cross the Tennessee near Guntersville, but determined to carry out his plan of a march to the sea if Hood should go to Decatur or Florence.” Cox, Atlanta, pp. 237-39.
  4. A detachment from the 102d Illinois was ordered out on October 18 to recapture the livestock, and succeeded in recovering three horses and two mules. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXIX, pt. I, p. 684.
  5. Rumors that Indiana had been carried by the “Copperheads” were wrong. Oliver P. Morton, the Republican wheelhorse, was reelected governor and the party made gains in the congressional contests. Long, The Civil War Day by Day, p. 582.
  6. Captain Mitchell and Dr. Ragan had served with J.F.C. on Colonel Harrison’s staff. General Ward was brevetted major general to rank from Feb. 24, 1865, and Colonel Harrison a brigadier general to rank from Jan. 23, 1865. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  7. General Ward and Colonel Harrison having received leaves to return respectively to Kentucky and Indiana to campaign for the Lincoln-Johnson ticket, Col. Daniel Dustin of the 105th Illinois, as senior officer, had assumed command of the Third Division, XX Corps, and Col. Franklin C. Smith of the 102d Illinois, as senior regimental commander, had taken command of the 1st Brigade. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXIX, pt. I, p. 679.
  8. William B. Fyfe, a 39-year-old lawyer, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company G, 129th Illinois Infantry. Private Fyfe served with the regiment throughout the war, and was mustered out near Washington, D.C., on June 8, 1865. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA. Samuel Maxwell of Pontiac was elected treasurer of Livingston County in November 1860. An influential and popular politician, he moved to Missouri in 1866. History of Livingston County, p. 266.
  9. Joseph B. Connelly, a 36-year-old farmer, had been mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois Infantry. Private Connelly had been detailed as an orderly with the First Division, XI Corps, on Jan. 14, 1864. When the XX Corps was constituted, Private Connelly was re-assigned as orderly with the 1st Brigade, Third Division, XX Corps. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
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Database of the Week: Business Monitor Online

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

The database: Business Monitor  BusinessMonitor

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

Use it to find Country and Region specific:

  • Economic, Political Risk, &  Industry Trend Analyses
  • Industry News
  • Company Briefs
  • Industry Reports
  • Risk Ratings
  • Political Outlooks
  • SWOTs
  • Economic Outlooks & Forecasts
  • Business Environment Outlooks
  • Data & Forecasting Tools


Tips for searching:

  • Select a “Geography” or “Service” at the top
  • Use the tabs: “Daily Views”, “Reports & Strategic Content” and “Data & forecasting” to navigate
  • Use the left hand bar to further refine your search

Demos: The following demos can be viewed on YouTube:


Want help using Business Monitor? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

Staying Current workshop

Lunch @ the Sciences Library Workshop

Staying Current: RSS, Search Alerts and More!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
3rd floor computer room

How do you keep up with the news and research in your field? Would you like to learn how to use technology to find new information for you? Join us for a Staying Current workshop and learn how to use RSS feeds and other alert options to keep up with blog posts, news, and scholarly articles.

In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Use an RSS Reader to keep up with blog posts and news articles;
  • Use Google Alerts to monitor the web for relevant information;
  • Use Saved Searches in various research databases to keep up with scholarly communications;
  • Use Citation Alerts in Web of Science or Scopus to monitor your citations;
  • Use Journal Table of Contents Alerts to keep up with your favorite journals;
  • Use BrowZine to find journals and read articles on your iPad.

This workshop is free and open to all UI students, faculty and staff. There is no need to register. If you have any questions, please contact Sara Scheib at or (319) 335-3024.

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Library Science

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Submitted by Gary Frost

Philology Book CoverFeral Seminar, 2014
Resilience of Book Transmission

Please join us for open forums,
Thursdays, 2:00—3:30, Fall Semester
Room 2058, Main Library

We have recently added an important reference for our wide study of resilience of book transmission. This is philology[1] and the legacy of comparative study of texts. We can extend this reference to include currently studied “comparative textual media”[2] as we expand philology to include screen and audio transmissions of texts. Our philology frame can also be extended if we add library science to engage books or bibliographic units and their arrangements into libraries. We could call the extension “philology of comparative libraries” and such projections could be extended to include audio and screen media.

A happy convergence can also be projected as library networks and their search engines have automated book access and automated comparative research beyond citations and down beyond texts to words. This progressive achievement offers a prospect of an even more comprehensive philology that will encompass the underlying structures of comparative texts and library automation. Word frequencies and keyword parsing can dissolve both units of texts and units of books and bring into focus comparative study of structures of composed transmissions. We can reflexively convert philology into a new reference model easily recognized by librarians.

As an example of library philology and comparative book study, we could take two books that we have recently encountered; the first printing of the Vulgate Bible and the first anthology of Shakespeare’s plays. These books, produced somewhat less than two centuries apart, offer a comparative opportunity for exercise of a new philology. One of these books appropriated a fully known text and a fully familiar format. Another presented an unrecognized genre and an innovative authorial text. One exemplified a risk of experimental technology of text production and the other a risk of an experimental, new readership. One was assimilated into a constrained continuity of Biblical text transmission while the other disputed and transacted transcription of textual representation of theatrical performance. Library philology spans such comparative transactions that attribute Biblical authority to Shakespearian texts and Shakespearian ambivalence to scripture.

Library philology can also be expanded, from macro to micro scale, to review automated concordance and collation. Word study, exemplified by Hinman’s collator, is extended to automated word frequency mining. Are textual interventions suggested by search results? Previous manual models of cross language and cross chronologies are now subjected to algorithmic processing. Will automated sorting generate new canonic readings? Automated library utilities already dissolve and reconfigure bibliographic units. A dependence on search results has reflexively provoked a librarianship of network types and maneuvers of deletion and disregard of results. Beyond legacy achievements of concordance and cross language format,[3] we may be advancing toward complementary roles of live book reference augmented by live screen discovery.

Note that our own keyword “resilience”[4] is further defined by our interplay of philology and librarianship. Resilience in “resilience of book transmission” thrives as we expand the scale and ambivalence of comparative and reflexive examination. We literary germinate more books about books.[5] We could even venture that all books are also books about their own resilience and their new engagements among readers.

We can also use the library philology model for its mediation of binaries of bionic vs. automated control, of analogue and digital research, and of paper and screen books.[6] As the librarian says; “Don’t be the bunny!” The library has been a pioneer of digital technology, network access and on-line reading. At the same time and into the current context of digital library dominance, the library continues to curate mixed format collections to serve the bionic reader. Librarians know that without service to living readers and working communities…libraries will disappear. Libraries are still here.

[1] see our workhorse reference; James Turner, Philology, the forgotten origins of the modern humanities, Princeton, 2014.

[2] see the textbook anthology; Katherine Hales and Jessica Pressman, Comparative Textual Media, University of Minnesota, 2013.

[3] see; Christianity and the Transformation of the Book, by Anthony Grafton and Megan Williams, Harvard, 2006. This is a spectacular book about master book compilers of Antiquity; Origen and Eusebius and the library of Caesarea.

[4] for a working definition see; Andrew Zolli, resilience, WHY THINGS BOUNCE BACK, Free Press, 2012.

[5] as an example; Bonnie Mak, How the Page Matters, University of Toronto, 2011. (for fun we could also mention books dealing with the eclipse, super-cession and demise of books)

[6] for vivid study of the processes of automation displacing productive capacities of bionic skills and human cognition see; Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage, 2014.

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Curriculum-Based Library Instruction Book edited by Amy Blevins published

picture of book cover Amy Blevins, Clinical Education Library at Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and adjunct faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine edited  Curriculum-Based Library Instruction: From Cultivating Faculty Relationships to Assessment.  The book is part of the Medical Librarian Association Book Series published by Rowman and Littlefield.

Chapters were also written by University of Iowa Libraries librarians Dan Gall, Jennifer DeBerg, and Kim Bloedel.

Cognitive Factors

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Submitted by Gary Frost

Reading SignFeral Seminar, 2014
Resilience of Book Transmission

Please join us for open forums,
Thursdays, 2:00—3:30, Fall Semester
Room 2058, Main Library

As we arrive at the cognitive sciences we find a pivot in our studies of resilience in book transmission. This is a pivot from givens to potentials as we consider our bionic constraints and embodied cognitions and consider their amazing adaptabilities for uses such as book writing and reading.

First considerations are inherent cognitive capacities. These would include bilateral asymmetry of the brain, primate dexterity and haptic perception, and pattern recognition. Such capacities have proven very adaptable for other uses. Perhaps our capacities are even too adaptable subjecting us to sudden shifts.[1] Currently we are seeing shifts in cognition brought about by digital technology and screen communication that will compare with others brought by handwriting and reading.

Considering other constraints of bionic living we can factor bionic mortality. This ingredient inserts a time dimension.[2] The mortality factor also inserts contrasts of youthful reading with mature re-reading. Another universal of bionic life is a unique consciousness of the individual augmented by an individual’s culture context. Here is where endless varieties of interpretation, participation, and compulsions of text communication enact.[3] Such factors together shift explanation for book resilience to living behaviors. Book resilience is driven by a writer/reader.[4]

And what of the surrounding material world? Are there too many or not enough books and are they efficient or not for conceptual transactions? Book publishing commerce is constantly investigating such questions. Lifting that curtain we can discover an ambivalence of methods of book design and reading device uses and busy bookmakers. Here is a resilience factor of the out-of-body state of the book itself. Is the book a friendly zombie living among us across time and cultures? Are books living in an ecology of things in a material world that surrounds bionic beings?

Such an ecology of books is not really a phantom. Some books and some titles seem to go on and on. They must have writer/reader value and habits of use to account for such persistence and performance. Some elaborate entanglement is at work as embodied and out-of-body factors intersect, interplay, and interdepend. From a cognitive perspective, books must be products and engagements of the mind and so they can be cognitive things.[5] Just as transition from hand writing to keyboard text was rather innocently accommodated, so, over a much wider span, book accessories of bionic thought were invented and integrated into thoughtful processes.[6]

The comparative and reflexive study of books as an accessory of cognition is endlessly pursued in philology and bibliography. Pragmatic philosophy also wants to know about books. Librarians methodically arrange and rearrange books to accentuate their uses. But all these fields of book studies need to pivot on the cognitive sciences of constraints and capacities of perception.[7] We can also examine our particular keyword phrase of “resilience of book transmission” in a cognitive context.

[1] Nicholas Carr, The Shallows, presents a view of cognitive behavior shifts under new circumstances of screen reading. See also his new book The Glass Cage concerning cognition shifts of phone connectivity and associated behaviors.

[2] Librarians previously worked with books that outlasted them. Now computer media and their delivery utilities can past away long before librarians.

[3] For a panoply of reader receptions cognitions see; Peter Mendelsund, What We See When We Read, Viking Books, 2014.

[4] Lori Emerson has projected the composite writer/reader agent. This handy construct will also include reflexive writer readings of their own productions. See; Lori Emerson, Reading Writing Interfaces, University of Minnesota, 2014.

[5] This is the position of cognitive archeologists who propose that lithic tools, for example, are states of mind dug from the ground. See; Ian Hodder, Entangled, 2012 and Lambros Malafouris, How Things Shape the Mind, 2013.

[6] It is a vivid demonstration of bionic adaptability that we can and do repurpose hominid neurology. Our lack of amazement over such transformation only confirms an immense potential and near disregard of changes.

[7] A foundation in cognitive science directs specialized studies of cognitive archeology and their field models of tools and tool use can be nicely adapted to study of resilience in book transmission.

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The Post Master has just informed us that all letters sent in by sun down will catch the mail

Joseph Culver Letter, October 13, 1864, Page 1

Head Qurs. Co. “A” 129th Ills.
Chattahoochie River, Ga.
Octr. 13th 1864
My Dear Wife

The Post Master has just informed us that all letters sent in by sun down will catch the mail, &, as the sun is a few minutes high, I haste to inform you that through God’s blessing, I am still enjoying excellent health. No word from home yet. Oh, how wearily the days pass round. “We are waiting, weary waiting” for good news from home.

We recd. by signal from Allatoona Mountains the confirmation of the rumor of the capture of Richmond.1 God grant that it may be a permanent victory. Our Army is in motion, but we are still left.2 We expect mail to-morrow, & then we will have news.

May God bless you and our babe. Give my Love to Mother & Sister Maggie. May Holy Angels guard thee. Kiss baby for me. Good Bye.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. The message reporting the capture of Richmond was false. On the 13th General Ben Butler had made a forced reconnaissance of Confederate defenses on the Darbytown road, 8 miles southeast of Richmond, and found them formidable and covered by an extensive abatis. Humphreys, The Virginia Campaign of ’64 and ’65, pp. 293-94; Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, p. 111.
  2. General Sherman on the 10th, learning that Hood’s army was crossing the Coosa 12 miles west of Rome, ordered his columns to converge on Rome. General Thomas was to mass his forces at Stevenson, Ala., to oppose a possible crossing of the Tennessee by the Confederates. At Kingston on the 11th, Sherman temporarily lost track of Hood. The Confederates had pushed to the northeast, their line of march hidden by Johns Mountain, and on the 12th appeared before Resaca and called on the garrison to surrender. The Federals refused. Leaving one corps before Resaca, Hood marched Stewart’s to Tilton and Dalton, capturing both towns and their garrisons. Sherman on the 13th put his “army group” in motion for Resaca, where he arrived the next day. Hood, having failed in his efforts to seriously damage the Western & Atlantic, retreated westward to Villanow. So far all he had accomplished was to draw Sherman 100 miles from Atlanta, but Slocum’s XX Corps continued to occupy that place. Cox, Atlanta, pp. 235-37.
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