Search for biomedical and pharmaceutical information using Embase – free workshop Tuesday, July 7, 10-11am

EMBASE is a biomedical and pharmaceutical database containing bibliographic records with abstracts. Although there is overlap with records from PubMed, there are also many unique records. This hands-on session will show you how to conduct basic searches using EMBASE’s quick search box, how to conduct searches using EMTREE subject headings, and how to use subheadings for drug and disease topics.

Our next session:

If you can’t attend this workshop, you can sign up for a personal session.


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Math Journals Moving Location in Main Library

To improve findability for the journals held in the Main Library, the math collection journals are being moved from the 2nd floor to the 3rd floor and will be located adjacent to the other journals. Bookstacks staff are beginning to move these materials upstairs and in a few months you will be able to find the math collection journals in the northeast corner of the third floor. In the meantime, if you have problems locating a title, please contact the Service Desk staff on the 1st floor.

4th of July Holiday hours @Hardin

Thursday, July 2 7:30am-6pm
Friday, July 3 Closed for holiday
Saturday, July 4 Closed for holiday
Sunday, July 5 12pm-9pm
regular hours resume

24-hour study will be open when the library is closed.
24-hour study requires an access card.

photo  by liz west @Flickr

photo by liz west @Flickr

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Lucy Hartmann

After working in Special Collections for a while, we meet many people who leave a lasting impression on us—collectors, donors of papers, students, and researchers, among others, who devote countless hours to their work in these collections. In the midst of comings and goings, some individuals stand out, and one of them deserves special recognition.

It is with heavy hearts, but also fond memories, that we remember the time we spent with Lucy Hartmann, who passed away on June 22. We got to know Lucy during the time she spent working in Special Collections through the UI REACH program. Lucy was dedicated to her tasks in Special Collections, helping us with filing, sorting, cleaning books, and other duties that helped us to tackle some things that we may not have otherwise been able to resolve. Her contributions to our activities were real and meaningful, and the focus she applied to her work impressed us all. We were able to share some of our favorite items in the collections with her, and were delighted to be able to throw a party for her to commemorate her graduation from UI REACH.

Lucy Hartmann at work in Special Collections.

Lucy Hartmann at work in Special Collections.

I speak on behalf of the entire staff of Special Collections when I say that she will be missed, that her time with us will not be forgotten, and that her efforts are truly appreciated as we continue to go about our daily business. Her time in our department may have been relatively brief, but the impression she made on us is something that will endure with us for a long time to come.

Over the years that we have been involved with UI REACH, thanks to the efforts of our Department Manager Kathy Hodson, we have been fortunate to be able to work with, and learn from, people such as Lucy and former students Alex and Jeff. We look forward to continuing this relationship, and to remembering Lucy by extending opportunities to more students in the future.

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Lighting Being Upgraded in the Information Commons

The Information Commons East is closed through Friday, July 10 for the installation of new lighting, as well as heating and cooling work.   The East Commons will reopen from Saturday, July 11 through Sunday, August 9, but will close again August 10-August 14.  The West Commons remains open during construction in the East Commons.

The West Commons will receive similar upgrades this summer and will be closed from July 13-July 31. The East Commons will be open during this time.

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Lighting Being Upgraded in the Information Commons

The Information Commons East is closed through Friday, July 10 for the installation of new lighting, as well as heating and cooling work.   The East Commons will reopen from Saturday, July 11 through Sunday, August 9, but will close again August 10-August 14.  The West Commons remains open during construction in the East Commons.

The West Commons will receive similar upgrades this summer and will be closed from July 13-July 31. The East Commons will be open during this time.

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June Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room @Hardin Library

wood block cut from Margarita phiilosophica by ReischGREGOR REISCH (ca. 1467-1525). Margarita philosophica. 2nd ed. [Freiburg?: Johannes Schottus, 1504].

Reisch was a Carthusian prior at Freiburg and confessor to Emperor Maximilian I, as well as assistant to Erasmus.  Margarita philosophica, might be called the first modern encyclopedia. Its twelve divisions cover the trivium, the quadrivium, and the natural and moral sciences.

The illustrations are fine examples of wood-block cutting, and include music, a large folding map of the Eurasian continent and parts of Africa, and astronomical, astrological, and zoological figures.  The book so popular sixteen editions were made in the 17th century.  This edition, the second edition, was preceded by the first edition of 1503.

wood block prints from Margarita philosophica

wood block prints from Margarita philosophica by Reich

You may view this work 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.



New Resource : Pharmaceutical Substances

The library now has a subscription to Pharmaceutical Substances, a reference resource with more than 2,600 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) of interest to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. It is updated biannually.

The default search box allows keyword searching. After clicking on the Advanced Search button, users can draw a structure or reaction on the right side of screen and search by structure or reaction. To return to keyword searching from the advance search page, simply type in the keyword in the search box before the search button on the right top of the screen.

Pharmaceutical Substances is listed on the Health Sciences Resources A-Z page. We’re very interested in hearing how you like this new database. Email us at or call (319) 335-9151. Don’t forget you can also find SciFinder on the A-Z page, which is a more comprehensive database of literature, substances and reactions in chemistry and related sciences.thieme

Happy Women in Engineering Day!!

National Women in Engineering Day June 23, 2015

National Women in Engineering Day
June 23, 2015

Last year the National Women in Engineering Society (WES) ) set up Women in Engineering Day to celebrate its 95th anniversary! WES started after World War I in 1919, when the many women who worked in engineering and technical roles during the war campaigned to save their jobs when the war ended and the jobs they held during the war went to returning soldiers.

Women have long played an important part in the areas of science and engineering, but the majority of women are nearly unknown. Sarah Guppy, 1770-1852, invented a method of making safe pilings for bridges; Icie Macy Hoobler, 1892-1984, was a biochemist doing research into nutrition, specifically mothers and children; Emma Perry Carr, 1880-1972), Chair of the Mount Holyoke College chemistry department in 1913, championed collaboration between faculty, graduate and undergraduate students; and Irene Joliot-Curie, 1897-1956, much less well-known than her mother, Marie Curie, she won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. She also made many contributions in the study of radioactivity.

Girls Coming to Tech. Engn Lib TA157,5 B59 2013

Girls Coming to Tech.
Engn Lib TA157,5 B59 2013

In Girls coming to tech! a history of American engineering education for women, Amy Sue Bix explores the “gendered history” that has prevented women in the United States from finding their places in the predominately male technical world. Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) admitted women from its opening in 1869, believing that men were being prepared to become intelligent, successful farmers and mechanics, therefore it was essential that women be educated in a manner that would “qualify” them to understand and “discharge their duties as wives & farmers of mechanics.”

Women began working with computers as soon as they were developed. In her book Recoding gender: women’s changing participation in computing, Jane Abbate discusses the early contributions of women to the computing world – from Colossus in Bletchley Park (think Alan Turring) to the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) in America – and how both used teams of women to operate them. For a fascinating look at how women with mathematical training moved into being “human computers” see the DVD Top Secret Rosies. It is the history of women recruited to be the “Rosie the Riverters” of mathematics for the U.S. Army. They used differential equations to figure trajectories for bombs and ammunitions, were a vital part of the war effort and were the earliest computer programmers.  Their contributions were mostly overlooked by those in charge, including not being invited to a celebratory dinner. Abbate also explores how computers and programming became more “masculine” during the 1960s and the number of women in computing has declined since the mid-1980s.

Recoding_genderIn Gender and computers: understanding the digital divide it is suggested that some of the features that have been added to current computer programs in order to “make learning fun,” may, in fact, be a reason that girls are more reluctant to go into computer science. Those features seem to be more in line with the way boys learn and process than they are with how girls often learn and process. Studies have found that, in general, when using computers to learn, boys prefer to learn with action games, flashing lights, loud noises and competition. Generally, girls prefer to use computers as a “learning tool” with direct and frequent feedback and with words, not noise and exploding icons. An example of a learning game directed more at males is Demolition Division.

There are, however, a number of women in the world of computer gaming. In 1979 Roberta Williams, the co-creator of Graphical Adventure Games and her husband, Ken, formed the company On-Line Systems (now called Sierra). Dona Bailey is the first woman to design an arcade game while she worked at Atari. Soon after the release of the arcade hit, Centipede, she disappeared from the gaming world, later admitting that it was the pressure and criticism from her male counterparts that drove her from the business. Amy Briggs is the creator of the first adventure games for girls. The first female – and the world’s oldest competitive gamer – is Doris Self. She entered the competitive gaming world in 1983 when she was 58.

We here at the University of Iowa are fortunate to have a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) student organization on campus. WISE Ambassadors are undergraduate and graduate women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors. They organize K-12 and community outreach activities, plan professional development opportunities, and provide service to local organizations. Each year the WISE Ambassadors have organize a Science and Engineering Extravaganza for third through sixth grade girls, help with local science fairs. In 2014 the UI WISE organization donated a wide variety of resources to the Lichtenberger Engineering Library.  The donation includes books and DVDs. DVDs include NOVA and Frontline programming, the television series design|e2, and many others.

There is also an active Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter in the UI College of Engineering. They attend and network at conferences, and also have outreach events to help kids learn about engineering.



Top Secret Rosi

Top Secret Rosies. Engineering Circ Desk Video Rcord 31971 DVD

Rayner-Canham, Marelene F. 2001. Women in chemistry: their changing roles from alchemical times to the mid-twentieth centuryPhiladelphia, PA : Chemical Heritage Foundation.

WIPO Patentscope. Pocketbook. Publication Number: 2358983. Application Date: 10.08.1942

Bix, Amy Sue. 2013. Girls coming to tech! : a history of American engineering education for women. Cambridge, Massachusetts : London, England : The MIT Press.

Abbate, Janet. 2012. Recoding gender : women’s changing participation in computing. Cambridge, Massachusetts : MIT Press.

Top secret Rosies: the female computers of World War II. DVD. 2010. PBS.

Cooper, Joel. 2003. Gender and computers : understanding the digital divide. Mahwah, N.J Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Demolition Division. 2014. MathPlayground.

The most important women in the history of video games. 2015. about tech.



Halpern, Diane F. Sex differences in cognitive abilities.2012. New York. Psychology Press.

LinkSWE : magazine of the Society of Women EngineersJournal. New York, N.Y. The Society.

Women in history: mothers of invention – first women to file for American patents. 2015.  about money.

Women’s progress in science and engineering since 1973 (Infographic)June 11, 2015. livescience.

Why it’s crucial to get more women into science. November 8, 2014. National Geographic.

NASA girls and NASA boys: change the world through STEMJune 15, 2015. Women@NASA.

How many women inventors are there? 2015. about money.

National Women in Engineering Day. 2015.

This company proves you can hire more women in tech right now. No more excusesJune 18, 2015. Huff Post Tech

Mary Kies – Patenting Pioneer. 2015. Inventors.

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