Remote Delivery Service Available to Faculty

Will you be spending your summer doing research outside the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids metro area but still need access to library materials? Take advantage of our remote delivery service!  While searching the library catalog, place a delivery request for remote delivery and enter in the address where the book should be delivered.  We use UPS so delivery is fast and traceable.  For further information and a listing of cities excluded from this service, please visit:

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Free Coffee for Finals!

Stop by the Business Library 9 am–5 pm during finals week for a free cup of coffee.  Add some creamer and sugar—and study away!

Best of luck, students and staff.

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CNKI China Statistical Yearbooks Database – Trial ends 12 June 2015

The CNKI China Statistical Yearbooks Database (CSYD) is a unique digital repository of statistical and census data published officially by the mainland Chinese government. The database includes:

  • All-China Economic and Social Sectors Yearbooks (191 total titles)
  • Provincial and Regional Yearbooks (102 total titles)
  • City, Prefecture and County Yearbooks (162 total titles)

Chinese interface

English interface

Please send additional comments to Brett Cloyd.

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We start at 11 A.M. for Alexandria

Joseph Culver Letter, May 11, 1865, Page 1

Head Qurs., Co. “A”, 129th Ills.
Near Richmond, Va., May 11th 1865
My Dear Wife

We start at 11 A.M. for Alexandria. We recd. no mail here & will not until we get through. We were saved the trying ordeal of a Review yesterday by the timely arrival of our good friend Genl. Sherman. The men are much rejoiced as the route advertised by Genl. Halleck would have been most tedious.1

I was in Richmond yesterday. Saw Libby Prison & Castle Thunder & rode through the greater portion of the city.2 I have not time to give you a lengthy description this morning. The half of the business portion of the city is in ruins by fire. It has been quite a pretty place. I rode out to the camp of the 39th Ills. and took dinner with Lace, the Leader of the Band.3 All the boys were over here, & I did not see them until on my return home. I met Charlie McGregor, Addie Wilson, & Jones.4 They are all well; Charlie looks very well. I had not opportunity to talk with them, but we will see them to-day as we pass through the city.

We were cheered a few moments ago by the news that a mail had arrived, but it proved to be a very small one—only two letters for my Company & none for me. We must be content to wait until we reach Alexandria.

I have a negro [freedman] for Bro. Utley on trial. If he proves to be worth anything, I will try & take him through; if not, I will drop him at Alexandria.

All the boys are in good health. We will be about 7 or 8 days on the way. The papers speak of a Grand Review of all the Armies at Alexandria, the 20th inst. I must close & pack up. We hope to be at home early in June.

May Our Father in Heaven bless us with life & health. Kiss Howard for Papa. Remember me kindly to all. I shall look anxiously for late news at Alexandria as it will only require 4 or 5 days for mail to reach us there from home.

Good Bye, God bless you,
Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. On May 8 orders were issued by Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, commanding the Military Division of the James, that the Army of Georgia would pass through Richmond on the 10th. It was to cross the James on the upper pontoon bridge at the foot of 17th Street, and pass through the city by way of 17th, Cary, 21st, Main, 13th, Capitol, Grace, and Adams Streets, to Brook Avenue. The XIV Corps was to have the lead, and the troops would be reviewed by General Halleck from a stand at the courthouse near Capitol Square. General Sherman, who had left his “army group” at Raleigh on April 28, rejoined it near Manchester on the 9th. His first order on arrival was to cancel the review. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XLVII, pt. III, pp. 437-39, 446.
  2. Libby Prison and Castle Thunder were notorious prisons, where the Confederates held Union prisoners of war.
  3. The 39th Illinois was assigned to the 1st Brigade, First Division, XXIV Corps, Army of the James. Philip M. Lace of Pontiac on Oct. 11, 1861, was mustered in at Chicago as leader of the regimental band, 39th Illinois Infantry. He was mustered out on June 4, 1862, at Washington, D.C. Lace was reenlisted in the regiment on Jan. 12, 1864, at Joliet, Ill., as a private in Company H, in May he was detached as leader of the regimental band, and on Sept. 23 he was promoted to fife major. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  4. Charles A. McGregor, a 22-year-old clerk, was mustered into service at Chicago on Feb. 22, 1864, as a private in Company C, 39th Illinois Infantry, and on March 22 was detailed to the regimental band. James A. Wilson, an 18-year-old clerk, was mustered into service at Chicago on March 15, 1864, as a private in Company C, 39th Illinois Infantry. Private Wilson was detailed to the regimental band seven days later. Henry T. Jones of Cook County was mustered into service at Chicago on Oct. 11, 1861, as a fifer in Company C, 39th Illinois Infantry. On Nov. 1, 1861 he was appointed principal musician, and on June 13, 1862 he was discharged at Washington, D.C. Twenty months later, on February 29, 1864, Jones reenlisted in the regiment as a private in Company C and was detailed to the regimental band. Ibid.
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Database of the Week: Key Business Ratios

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

The database: D&B Key Business Ratios

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

From their website”Key Business Ratios on the Web (KBR) provides immediate online access to competitive benchmarking data. This powerful tool lets researchers examine industry benchmarks compiled from D&B®’s database of public and private companies, featuring 14 key business ratios (users choose a one-year or three-year set of ratios) for public and private companies in 800 lines of business.” KBR

Use it to find:

  • Industry ratios
  • Company information
  • Solvency Ratios
  • Efficiency Ratios
  • Profitability Ratios

Tips for searching:

  • To search for industry ratios – type an industry code (SIC or NAICs)
  • To display company information – click to company sub-tab of the reports section, sort by company name, SIC, line of Business, DUNS number, NAIC, MSA, City, Sate or Country.
  • You can also perform a comparative analysis
  • Use the Ratios tab to calculate key business ratios (solvency, efficiency and profitability)
  • Use the Help Guides – top right corner

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

Finals Week

Need a place to study? Stress getting to you? If you said yes to either of these two questions then you need to come to the Sciences Library. We will have KNex, Legos, color pages and stress bags to help you get ready for your finals! If you need something to keep you awake we will also  have coffee, tea, cookies and brownie bites. Come take a load off, relax and let us give  you a quiet place to study!

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I Hear the Train a Comin’

Hallidie U.S. Patent 110,971For more than two centuries, trains have traversed the American landscape altering how and where people live and work. This is why, in 2008, Amtrak created National Train Day to be celebrated on the Saturday closet to May 10th, the anniversary of the pounding of the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah which marked the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

The first locomotive was built in 1804 by a Cornish inventor named Richard Trevithick. It was powered by steam. A steam locomotive burns fuel, usually coal. The heat then passes though tubes inside a large water-filled boiler creating steam. The steam then passes through high-pressure tubes to cylinders which engage piston rods connected to the locomotive’s wheels, thus driving the train.1

The steam engine remained popular until the early 1900s when diesel and electric began replacing it. A German mechanical engineer, Rudolf Diesel, invented the diesel-powered locomotive. A diesel engine operates when a cylinder piston squeezes and heats air trapped inside; at the top of the stroke, the system injects oil; the air and oil mixture burns and drives the piston down which turns a crankshaft connected to a generator making eletricity for storage in large batteries. The wheels are powered by motors that draw from the batteries. 2

On January 17, 1871, Andrew Smith Hallidie, an American engineer and inventor, was granted a patent for an “improvement in endless wire ropeways” which became the basis for the first cable car system.3 Soon, however, electricity changed city transportation. In 1897, Boston opened an electric subway system. New York City soon followed in 1904. The all-electric locomotive requires either an overhead pickup or a third-rail carrying a high-voltage of electricity to power the engine. Electric trains are easier and cheaper to maintain and last longer than diesels.4

Now coming down the track are hybrid trains which use a battery to store energy temporarily for when the train is idling or stationary; “bullet trains” which run on steel rails at accelerated speeds; magnetic levitation trains which hover above rails suspended by powerful magnets; and the futuristic Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s vision for transporting people in high speed capsules through a series of tubes.

The world’s fastest passenger train, the Maglev, owned by the Central Japan Railway Company, made history last month by hitting a top speed of 366 mph surpassing its previous record of 361 mph set in 2003.

The Federal Railroad Administration was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. The U.S. agency regulates the manufacturing and safety of the train transportation industry. A few of the more widely known train manufacturers are National Railway Equipment Company (NREX) headquarted in Mt. Vernon, IL. This company is known for its N-ViroMotive engine which is used for light duty road switching in yards and urban areas where noise and exhaust emissions are to be reduced. GE Transportation Systems (GETS), a division of General Electric, is headquartered in Chicago while its main manufacturing plant is located in Erie, Pennsylvania. This company is the largest producer of diesel-electric locomotives. Its Dash9 series has an electronic fuel injector and a 4-stroke diesel engine.

GE Dash 9 Series. Source: Wikipedia

GE Dash 9 Series. Source: Wikipedia

Gomaco Trolley Company, located in Ida Grove, Iowa, manufactures trolley cars which look vintage but have state-of-the-art technology. Streetcars or cable cars are used in cities such as Portland, San Diego, San Francisco. Rapid transit commuter trains, known as the metro or subway, are a primary means of transportation in Atlanta, Washington D.C., and New York. U.S. Manufacture of Rail Vehicles for Intercity Passenger Rail and Urban Transit documents several companies which manufacture parts for high-speed, rapid transportation.







Train: riding the rails that created the modern world by Tom Zoellner.

Train: riding the rails that created the modern world by Tom Zoellner.

Sinclair, Angus. Locomotive Engine Running and Management, 21st edition. New York: J. Wiley & Sons, 1899, Engineering Library TJ607 .S6 1899

Wolmar, Christian. Blood, Iron & Gold: how the railroads transformed the world. New York: PublicAffairs, 2010. Engineering Library HE1021 .W78 2009

Zoellner, Tom. Train: riding the rails that created the modern world. New York: Viking, 2014. Engineering Library HE1021 .Z64 2014

Federal Railroad Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation

Facebook: National Train Day 2015

Brasor, Philip and Tsubuku, Masako. How the Shinkansen bullet train made Tokyo into the monster it is today. The Guardian, September 30, 2014

Vartabedian, Ralph. “Work starting on the bullet train; Construction begins Tuesday in Fresno on the first 29-mile segment of the $68-billion fast train..” Los Angeles Times. (January 5, 2015 Monday ): 1252 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2015/05/07.

Upbin, Bruce. Hyperloop is real: meet the startups selling supersonic travel. Forbes, March 2, 2015

Blood, Iron, & Gold by Chrisitan Wolmar

Blood, Iron, & Gold by Chrisitan Wolmar


1. Langone, John. The New How Things Work. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2004, p.84. Engineering Library FOLIO T47 .L2923 2004

2. Langone, John. The New How Things Work. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2004, pp.86-87. Engineering Library FOLIO T47 .L2923 2004

3. Hallidie, A.S. U.S. Patent 110,971. Improvement in Endless Wire Ropeways. Assigned January 17, 1871.

4. Langone, John. The New How Thinks Work. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Soceity, 2004, pp.88-91. Engineering Library FOLIO T47 .L2923 2004