Open Access Becomes California Law

On September 29th, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law the California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act. The law mandates that the public be given free access to the results of research conducted with funds provided by the California Department of Public Health. Inspiring news, and timely — the University of Iowa Libraries’ “Open Access and the Public Good” panel discussion last week largely focused on the question of who should be the beneficiaries of research conducted with taxpayer dollars.

The office of Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) issued a press release announcing the signing of the act into law. Also, have a look at the SPARC blog post about this, which does a good job of emphasizing the importance of this progress while noting that the law is “narrow in the scope of content it covers”: much work remains to be done but the framework for doing it is growing stronger.

Footprints of Our International Students: Why Should We Care?

University Libraries welcomes Dr. Camile Alire, past president of America Library Association for Ada Stoflet lecture

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 3:00 p.m., Old Capitol Senate Chamber

Alire_300pxWho are our international students? What are some of the challenges they face studying in the U.S.?  How can we best serve them?  Dr. Camila Alire responds to these questions; shares other thoughts about/experiences with international students; the footprints they leave; and why we should care.

The University of Iowa Libraries has invited Dr. Camila Alire to give the Ada Stoflet lecture on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. A reception in the rotunda immediately follows the presentation.

Dr. Camila Alire is the past-president of the American Library Association and Dean Emerita at the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University. Camila received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado and an MLS from the University of Denver.

The Ada M. Stoflet Lectureship is established in memory of Ada M. Stoflet, an exceptionally skilled and dedicated member of the University of Iowa Libraries staff for three decades. The lecture is presented on a topic of interest in the field of librarianship.

Dr. Alire maintains an outstanding record of professional service. She is also past-president the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL 2006), and as REFORMA past-president (1994).  Alire served on the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) board and chaired several committees. She speaks and consults internationally on leadership development, academic library trends, strategic planning as well as on the other topics.

Dr. Alire was honored with the following recognitions: the ALA/Lippincott Award for Distinguished Service; the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) Presidential Recognition Award, and the ALA Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award.  She was awarded the first ALA Elizabeth Futas’ Catalyst for Change award and National REFORMA’s Librarian of the Year award.  One year, she was named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the country.  Alire was recently appointed by U.S. President Barrack Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities.

Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room, October 2014 – Crooke’s Description of the Body of Man, 1615


HELKIAH CROOKE (1576-1635). Mikrokosmographia [Greek title transliterated]: A description of the body of man. London: Printed by William Jaggard, 1615.

Crooke received his medical degree from Cambridge and was prone to be a quarrelsome individual of sometimes dubious character, especially when financial matters were involved. He had several clashes with London’s College of Physicians over questions of ethical conduct.

The thirteen books of descriptive text were taken almost entirely from Bauhin’s Theatrum anatomicum.  Crooke made no secret of the fact that he took his text and illustrations from Bauhin and other material from Du Laurens. In his opening “Preface to the Chyrurgeons” he states: “My present worke is for the most part out of Bauhine for the History, Figures, and the seuerall Authors quoted in his Margents. The Controuersies are most what out of Laurentius. . . .”

The College of Physicians were disturbed because the book was to be in English and they felt the illustrations dealing with generation, conception, and reproduction were indecent, though many were taken from Vesalius. The College was unsuccessful in its attempts to have the book suppressed or altered before publication. The male and pregnant female on the title page may be an expression of Crooke’s defiance of their actions.

The book was the largest and most comprehensive English anatomy of its day, and was one of  the last English anatomies based on continental sources before the emergence of a truly English anatomical school.


Use of Older Theses

By far the most heavily used collection in Iowa Research Online are our theses and dissertations. Most of the items in the collection are from the last decade, either from graduates who voluntarily submitted their thesis electronically or dating from after December 1999 graduation when electronic submission required by the Graduate College for all non-M.F.A graduates. All of them are freely available worldwide (after an embargo period, if requested).

We have also digitized a small number of older theses. We digitize items when requested by an interested reader, with the copyright holder’s permission. We are also posting digitized out of copyright theses as time allows. As one would expect, these items do not receive nearly as much use as the newer theses. However, we are pleased to see that they are receiving steady use, far more than the print theses circulated.

In all, these 217 theses have been downloaded 20,966 times, used on average once every 5 days. In fact, six items have averaged more than 1.2 uses/day, including two that have been downloaded more than 1000 times!

Graduation Year Title Author Degree Use/Day Total Downloads
1914 Morphology of cannabis sativa L Reed, Joyce Master of Science 2.023 534
1921 The development of Milton’s prosody Hunter, Grace Eva Master of Arts 1.204 236
1931 The catenary Kacmarynski, J. P. Master of Science 1.521 1,217
1949 A formal analysis of Hawthorne’s The Blithedale romance Levang, Lewis Dwight Master of Arts 2.024 498
1961 The Production book of “The Diary of Anne Frank” Longacre, Allan Kurtz II Master of Arts 1.219 1,403
2008 Teacher-initiated talk and student oral discourse in a second language literature classroom : a sociocultural analysis Thoms, Joshua J Doctor of Philosophy 1.320 545

If you are interested in having your thesis digitized and added to our open access collection, please let us know by submitting this permission form (PDF).

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Streaming Media Makes Obtaining Content Harder for Libraries

An article in The Chronicle reveals the all-too-real frustrations of obtaining digital content for academic libraries, like the University of Iowa.

How Streaming Media Could Threaten the Mission of Libraries, by Steve Kolowich


In March 2011, the University of Washington’s library tried to get a copy of a new recording of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, playing Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique that the library could lend to students. But the recording was available only as a digital download, and Amazon and iTunes forbid renting out digital files.

So the librarians contacted the Philharmonic to see if there was some way they could get a copy of the album that they could lend out like a compact disc. The orchestra referred them to a distributor, which referred them to the publisher, the Universal Music Publishing Group. At first the corporation said it couldn’t license the recording to the university, according to the librarians. Later it offered to license 25 percent of the album for two years in exchange for a licensing fee plus a $250 processing fee.

No thanks, the librarians said.

Welcome to content licensing, a great source of anxiety for librarians in the digital era.

….The licensing of digital media, however, gives publishers far more power. Instead of selling an album outright, they can sell permission to access its contents for a fixed amount of time. (This is a boon for textbook publishers in particular. Under a digital regime, they may not have to worry about losing sales to students’ buying used copies.)

Continue reading>>

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We suppose that our communications are interrupted somewhere, and probably no letters go north

Joseph Culver Letter, September 30, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills. Vols.
Atlanta, Georgia September 30th 1864
My Dear Wife

As there is no mail, we suppose that our communications are interrupted somewhere, & probably no letters go north.1 Bro. John [Murphy] was here last night & is well. Sammy [Murphy] has not gone to Chattanooga yet, but the “Battery” is expected to leave every day.2 Lt. Burton is going home,3 and, as Bro. John has recd. a portion of his pay, I got him to send you $20 by him. It will be expressed from Chicago.

We have not been paid as our money has not yet arrived, and, if the rail-road is injured as badly as reported, it may be a month before we receive it.4

We are all well. I wish you would please send me a box of cotton half hose by Sutcliff.5 If [Lt.] Smith got through without interruption, you have all the news from us.6 We are busy on reports; Yetter is learning. We are all well. With much love, I remain, as ever,

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. To cope with Forrest’s cavalry and protect the Western & Atlantic Railroad, Sherman had rushed General Newton’s division to Chattanooga and Brig. Gen. John H. Corse’s to Rome, Ga. The force guarding the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad was also strengthened, while Gens. Lovell Rousseau and Robert S. Granger marched to intercept Forrest with 8,000 men. On the 26th Sherman learned from his scouts that Hood’s Army of Tennessee had broken camp and had marched west from Lovejoy’s Station, and was camped in and around Palmetto Station on the Atlanta & West Point Railroad. Upon receipt of news that Forrest’s column was closing in on Pulaski, 70 miles south of Nashville, General Sherman ordered General Thomas with Morgan’s XIV Corps to return to Tennessee. There he would push a column west through Stevenson to threaten Forrest’s rear. Forrest, after briefly occupying Pulaski on the 27th, had turned east toward the vital Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. Fayetteville was occupied on the 28th, and small parties sent to cut the telegraph and railroad north and south of Tullahoma. Next day Forrest advanced toward the railroad, but at Mulberry, on learning that Thomas had massed a strong force at Tullahoma, he called a halt. Forrest now divided his corps: Brig. Gen. Abraham Buford with 1,500 men headed south toward Alabama, with instructions to wreck the Memphis & Charleston Railroad from Huntsville to Decatur, while Forrest with the main column turned west to raise additional havoc on the Tennessee & Alabama Railroad. Damage to the railroad and telegraph, north and south of Tullahoma, caused by Forrest’s raid on the night of the 28th was repaired in less than 12 hours. General Thomas on the 30th from Chattanooga telegraphed Sherman that “this place” is “crowded with officers and soldiers on leave and furlough. No more should be allowed to leave until the [rail] road is reported clear to Nashville.” Sherman was agreeable, and he notified his army commanders to stop all furloughs. Although damage to the railroad and telegraph had been slight, all trains had been pre-empted to rush reinforcements north to cope with Forrest’s raid. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXIX, pt. I, pp. 546-47; pt. II, pp. 459-532.
  2. Although Company M was under orders to follow Newton’s IV Corps division to Chattanooga, another month was to pass before the artillerists were able to board a northbound train. Report of the Adjutant General of Illinois, Vol. VIII, p. 667.
  3. Thomas Burton of Chicago, a 20-year-old clerk, had been mustered into service on July 16, 1861, at Cairo, Ill., as a private in Company A, 1st Illinois Light Artillery. He was promoted to corporal on Dec. 1, 1861; was wounded at Shiloh on April 6, 1862; and promoted to sergeant on July 1, 1862. Sergeant Burton was discharged on Oct. 14, 1862, to accept a commission as 2d lieutenant in Company M, 1st Illinois Light Artillery. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on March 31, 1864, and was mustered out at Chicago on July 24, 1865. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  4. Damage inflicted by Forrest’s raiders on the railroads over which Sherman supplied his “army group” was insignificant. But with Hood’s army across the Chattahoochee and striking north, this situation was about to change.
  5. Pvt. William Sutcliff, having received a 20-day furlough, had accompanied Lieutenant Smith. Regimental Papers, 129th Illinois, NA.
  6. Lieutenant Smith, having received his discharge, had boarded a northbound train for Chattanooga on the 27th. Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, p. 106.
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