Learn to manage citations with EndNote @ Hardin Library August 5 or 6

Learn how to organize and format your citations with our free workshops.  EndNote logo
EndNote Desktop is a reference management tool that helps you to easily gather together your references in one place, organize them, and then insert them into papers and format them in a style of your choosing. This session will walk you through the basics of using EndNote to collect and format your citations. The class will be hands-on and there will be time for questions at the end.  EndNote Desktop is available for faculty, staff and graduate students at no charge.
EndNote Basic is a web-based citation management software that is freely available to all UI affiliates. It allows you to import, organize and format citations for papers, articles, etc. EndNote Basic is not the same as the desktop software, Endnote.

No time for class?  See our guide for help!

ClinicalKey, Other Elsevier Resources Undergoing Maintenance, Saturday, August 1

All Elsevier products will be undergoing maintenance on Saturday, August 1, beginning at 5:00 pm central time, until approximately 10:30 pm.

ClinicalKey will still be available, but individual log-ins, used to view PDFs and save content within ClinicalKey, will be unavailable.  HTML views of chapters and articles will still be available.

All other Elsevier resources, including journals and books accessed through the ScienceDirect platform and EMBASE, are expected to be unavailable.

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

marcello2MARCELLO MALPIGHI (1628-1694). De pulmonibus observationes anatomicae. In Thomas Bartholin’s De pulmonum substantia & motu diatribe, Copenhagen, 1663

Marcello Malpighi

Marcello Malpighi

Anatomist, embryologist, physiologist, and microscopist, Malpighi was instrumental in the development of embryology and histology and also a great microscopic anatomist.

Malpighi made many scientific contributions, but many  consider his discovery of the pulmonary circulation the most important.

De pulmonibus observationes anatomicae was initially written in the form of two letters to Borelli at Pisa.  Malpighi described his microscopic studies of the lung of a living frog. Malpighi showed that the lungs were vesicular in nature and described how the branches of the trachea terminate in the alveoli.

In the final letter, he presented his description of the capillaries which he observed linking the arterial and the venous circulation. In so doing, he provided the final proof of the validity of Harvey’s theories on the circulation of the blood.

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.





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Science Fiction Fans Raise $1,955 To Support Hevelin Collection Digitization

Every year at the ICON Science Fiction convention in Cedar Rapids collects fan created artwork, crafts, and donated memorabilia which are auctioned off for charity.  Last fall, the chosen charity was The University of Iowa Libraries’ initiative to digitize the James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Science Fiction collection, an especially meaningful choice to the community, resulting in an outpouring of donations and fast-paced bidding wars.

Rusty Hevelin was a science fiction fan, pulp collector, fanzine creator, huckster (a dealer at conventions), and voracious reader for most of his 89 years who was involved with the Iowa Science Fiction conventions ICON and Demicon from the time of their founding.  After his death in 2011, his collections came here to the University of Iowa Special Collections where a recent unprecedented initiative to digitize around 10,000 of the earliest fanzines from roughly 1930s-1950s has begun.

The University of Iowa Libraries’ Community is deeply grateful for the generosity of the science fiction community and for their support.

The next ICON science fiction and fantasy convention will be at the Cedar Rapids Doubletree on October 16-18, 2015.  Details here.

Special Collections staff with an oversized check


25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act!



On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. Iowa’s former senator, Tom Harkin, wrote the bill and Iowa City has held a celebration every year since then. The University of Iowa Council on Disability Awareness has planned a number of events to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the ADA into law. This year’s celebration is scheduled to take place on the Pedestrian Mall, Saturday, July 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Tara Fall, an Iowa native who now lives in California, is the keynote speaker and will speak at 1:30 p.m. She had a stroke while undergoing surgery for seizures when she was 27 years old. She now has prosopagnosia – “face-blindness.” She is the author of “Brainstorming: Functional Lessons from a Dysfunctional Brain.” Saturday’s festivities will also include music, dance, and booths.

Mobility disabilities often cause the person to look passive and dependent which reduces their opportunities for constructive engagement. ADA mobility requirements include ramps, accessible parking, and drinking fountains. But, it also has requirements for such varied public places as amusement parks, golf courses, children’s play areas, fishing piers and more. Assistive Technologies (AT) are continually being developed and refined for a wide-range of mobility needs and include wheelchairs, hearing aids, prosthesis and Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA). When using AT a person with mobility impairments is better able to interact with the environment and the people around them, thus making them less dependent on others.

Physical limitations often includes the need for computer adjustments. For those with difficulties managing a mouse there are joysticks and trackballs. Eye trackers can also take the place of a computer mouse, and keyboards can be enlarged or color-coded. Websites can be difficult to navigate for many differing disabilities. Text-to-Speech can help those with visual impairments. Those with auditory challenges are unable to listen to audio-only recordings, or audio-visual recordings with no closed captioning or transcript available. The Web Accessibility Initiative has resources for people with disabilities, and those making and implementing policies.


Universal Design (UD) is the process of making things safer, easier and more convenient for everyone. UD addresses the wide spectrum of human abilities and designs for that diversity, thus making things easier for everyone. For instance, installing the ramps on the corners of sidewalks for people in wheelchairs has also benefited people pushing strollers. For a fascinating look at how UD is making life easier, we have Universal design: solutions for a barrier-free living.

There is a wide-range of abilities and needs for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Video games using storytelling have been shown to help teach social skills to those with ASD. Video games have also been used in cognitive therapy for brain injury, physical therapy, and pain management. For more information on the use of video games with ASD check out Assistive technology research, practice, and theory, and for work with brain injuries refer to Assistive technologies and computer access for motor disabilities.

FingerReader, wearable interface for reading on-the-go. MMIT Media Lab.

FingerReader, wearable interface for reading on-the-go. MIT Media Lab.

Assistive Technologies are also used for reading text. The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity has information on which popular tablets are best for people with dyslexia. For those needing help accessing printed text there are devices such as the FingerReader.

For more information on human/computer interaction, inclusive design for communities, transportation and everyday objects, stop in and check out our many resources!



Subject Guide: ADA and Universal Design. July 13, 2015. University of Iowa Lichtenberger Engineering Library.

Woman suffering from face blindness can’t recognize her own reflection. Nov. 4, 2013. NYDailyNews.com

Assistive Technology research, practice, and theory. HV1569.5 .A85 2014

Assistive Technology research, practice, and theory. HV1569.5 .A85 2014

Rhoads, Marcela Abadi. The ADA companion guide : understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidlines (ADAAG). 2010. Hoboken, NF : John Wiley. Engineering Library KF5709.3 H35 R48 2010.

Assistive technologies and computer access for motor disabilities. 2014. Hershey, PA : Medical Information Science Reference. Engineering Library HV1569.5 .A87 2014.

Assistive technology research, practice, and theory. 2014.  Hershey, PA : Medical Information Science Reference. Engineering Library HV1569.5 .A85 2014.

How people with disabilities use the web: overview. Aug. 1, 2012. W3C, Web Accessibility Initiative.

Herwig, Oliver. Universal design : solutions for a barrier-free living. 2008. Basel ; Boston : Birkhäuser. Engineering Library NA2545 .A3 H47 2008

Assistive technology: a Q&A with Roy Shilkrot about the FingerReader. Sept. 3, 2014.  Belo Miguel Cipriani.

A dyslexic student”s perspective: which tablet features work best for dyslexics. 2015. The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity.

Other Resources:

Stephen Hawking: a brief history of Mine-TV review. Dec. 9, 2013. The Guardian.

Speech, image, and language processing for human computer interaction : multi-modal advancements  2012. Hershey, PA : Information Science Reference. Engineering Library QA76.9 H85 S654 2012

Disability informatics and web accessibility for motor limitations. 2014. Hershey, PA : Medical Information Science Reference. Engineering Library HV1569.5 .D53 2014

Designing web accessibility for a beautiful web. 2010. [Berkeley, CA] : New Riders. Engineering Library Circulation Desk Video Record 29966 DVD

ADA national network. U.S. Department of Education,  and National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Network. Date accessed: July 24, 2015

Celebrating access today: 25th anniversary year of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Jan. 30, 2015. The United States Department of Justice.

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The Science of Bicycles and the Joy of RAGBRAI!



This year the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) will stop in Coralville on July 24. RAGBRAI XLIII began in Sioux City on July 19 and will finish in Davenport on July 25. The city of Coralville has scheduled lots of activities – both for adults and kids. For a schedule of all the festivities, check out their website. There are 6 overnight stops along the RAGBRAI route and the longest day of riding is the first day – from Sioux City to Storm Lake, a distance of just over 74 miles.

The first RAGBRI was held in 1973, and started as a challenge between the Des Moines Register feature writer/copy editor John Karras and Donald Kaul, author of the Des Moines Register’s “Over the Coffee” column. They were both avid cyclists and were able to secure approval from the newspaper. The ride was then opened to a “few friends,” i.e. the public. Fortunately, the turnout was light, because no camping arrangements – or any other types of arrangements – had been made for the riders. The number of riders varied along the route, but 114 riders made the entire distance that first year.  One of the interesting people the ride attracted was Clarence Pickard of Indianola. The 83-year-old showed up for that first ride with a used ladies Schwinn. He rode all the way to Davenport, including the 110-mile trek from Des Moines to Williamsburg on a 100°+ day. For the ride he wore a long-sleeved shirt, trousers, woolen long underwear and a silver pith helmet.

Because there so much national and international media coverage, the number of riders increased quickly. In order to make the ride more manageable, it is now limited to 8,500 registered riders each year.  Since RAGBRAI began 326,650 riders have pedaled over 19,000 miles. 780 towns have been visited since its inception.

Whether you want to hit the road on RAGBRAI, or simply want to cruise around town for transportation and exercise, the type of bike you purchase makes a difference. Where you plan to ride, with whom will you be riding, your budget, and your previous experience all make a difference when choosing a bike.  Mountain bikes are great for off-road and single track trails, but they are heavier, have thicker tires and are generally slower and require more effort. Road bikes are for paved roads, paths and smooth unpaved paths. They are lighter and designed more for speed. There are also hybrid and comfort bikes, tandems, recumbents, commuters and cruisers. If you have questions about specific bikes, RAGBRAI has a forum where information is available from experienced riders.


Bicycle components

The bicycle is a simple machine, but has many components and it is always a good idea to learn what each component is called. There are 10 bicycle shops that now participate in RAGBRAI, but it doesn’t hurt to know basic maintenance for your own equipment. Learning to repair tire punctures yourself can keep you from being stranded by the side of the road whenever and wherever you ride. Bike Repair & Maintenance for Dummies has a section on what to look for in a pre-ride inspection, how to clean and take care of your bike after your ride, and items that should be included in an emergency tool kit – including duct tape!


Gladiator Chopper


Interested in building your own custom bike? Bike, scooter, and chopper projects for the evil genius has the information you need to create your own Gladiator Chopper, 3-wheel trikes for adults and kids, stunt bikes, and electric-powered bikes!


Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are becoming more popular. A modified or custom bike frame that has pedals but also and electric motor gives the rider the option to pedal or use the power of a battery and motor drive system. They are less expensive than gas-powered scooters and are safer than scooters and motorcycles. A 1 square foot solar panel is enough to power an eBike for 3,100 miles.

There are also luxury bikes – the Monanate Luxury Gold bike has 24 carat gold leaf and 11,000 Swarovski crystals. The fenders are steam-bent wood and there is python leather on the handlebars, seat and around the lock. There are only 10 Luxury Gold bikes in existence and cost about $33,000. There are many beautiful and practical ways to store your bicycle, too. The Pedal Pod by British Designer Tamasine Osher, is sold walnut and is the perfect place to store your bike and accessories.


Montante Luxury Gold


Pedal Pod, Tamasine Osher Design







Stop by all the Coralville RAGBRAI activities on Friday and if you find yourself intrigued by the world of cycling we have resources on everything from Effective cycling, The bicycle builder’s handbookto Bicycling science: ergonomics and mechanics.




Let’s Ride. 2015. City Bikes.

Drinkell, Peter. The bike owner’s handbook. 2012. London : Cicada Books. Engineering Library TL430 .D75 2012.


The bike book : lifestyle, passion, design. Engineering Library FOLIO TL410 .B54 2012

Bailey, Dennis. Bike repair & maintenance for dummies. 2009. Hoboken, N.J.  : John Wiley. Engineering Library TL430 .B35 2

What is an electric bike? 2015. Electric Bike Review.

The eBike book. 2013. Kempen, Germany : New York : teNeues Pub Group. Engineering Library TL437.5 .E44 E35 2013

Graham, Brad. 2008. Bike, scooter, and chopper gadgets for the evil genius. New York : McGraw-Hill. Engineering Library TL400 .G689 2008.

The bike book : lifestyle, passion, design. 2012. Kempen, Germany : teNeues. Engineering Library FOLIO TL410 .B54 2012.


Forester, John. 2012. Effective Cycling. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press. Engineering Library GV1041 .F67 2012.

Wiley, Jack. 1980. The bicycle builder’s bible. Blue Ridge Summit, PA : Tab Books. Engineering Library TL410 .W53

Whitt, Frank Rowland. Bicycling science : ergonomics and mechanics. 1974. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press. Engineering Library TL410 .W48

Downs, Todd. 2010. The bicycling guide to complete bicycle maintenance & repair : for road & mountain bikes. [Emmaus, PA] : Rodale, [New York] : Distributed by Macmillan. Engineering Library TL430 .D68 2010

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The Individuals in History

I cannot begin to tell you how I got started working with the Sterns Family Papers.  But I can tell you that before opening those three boxes, I had a below-average interest in the civil war.  Having gone through the American public school system, I learned about the civil war at least once every school year until about the 11th grade.  It was as if each teacher was afraid that somehow, that lesson had been skipped the previous year.  While there was certainly some more information added to the lesson each year (like that dark time when we learned it was really all about the economy), the lessons surrounding the civil war largely stayed the same.  North vs. South, freedom vs. slavery, brother vs. brother.

Enter, Thomas Rescum Sterns: a real, live, Civil War soldier who fought for the Union.  Sure, he’s no Abraham Lincoln, but he was a citizen of the United States with a farm, a family, and a job, teaching the third grade in Wisconsin.  Thomas wrote letters to his wife, Lavinia Sterns, during his time as a soldier, and these are being preserved in our civil war letter collection.  When I stumbled across these letters, I became absorbed by them.  I couldn’t stop reading.  Here were letters written by someone who was experiencing the events, firsthand, that I had only read about in textbooks.  It was like watching a movie, or reading a novel about the civil war, except it was real, interesting, heart wrenching, and hilarious.

“I take the pleasure of writing a few lines to you…” is how Thomas Rescum Sterns started his lengthy series of correspondence to his wife.  Thomas wrote about the sickness he observed, and later experienced, in the camp at which he was stationed.  He wrote about the progress of the war, and how, due to his location, Lavinia probably knew more about it than he did.  But most importantly, he wrote about hardtack: that stale bit of cracker they were all subsisting on, and Thomas took it in stride, but didn’t hesitate to crack a few jokes about the civil war staple.

rescum blog“Oh! yes a few words about our fare. As I told you in my other letter our bread is principally crackers. A day or two ago Dolph had been to dinner eating crackers of course. We found one that was marked 1801 and another the date being still earlier. It being made in Nazareth B.C. 36. You may judge whether they are old and hard or not. You need not be afraid of my getting killed by the enemy’s bullets for this reason. Just before I go into battle, if such may be the case, I shall fill myself as full as possible with these crackers which of course are hard and then I shall oil my belly and of course if the bullets strike me then glance as though they had struck an ironclad gunboat” (Nov. 12, 1862).


So why should we care what Thomas Rescum Sterns thinks?  Sure, his thoughts on hardtack may not be the most historically significant, but those few lines prove that Thomas Rescum Sterns wasn’t just another statistic.  He was a real person, with real thoughts, and a very real sense of humor.

And I suppose that’s how I fell in love with this collection.  Thomas Rescum Sterns reminded me that history is about the individual.  The ability to personalize history is such an incredible opportunity provided by our collections, and it has truly reignited my interest in our past.

So if you feel like you’re in a historical rut, check out this collection, and more on the Iowa Digital Library’s website.


A display in the reading room about the life of Thomas Rescum Sterns

And if you’d like to see more about Thomas Rescum Sterns, check out our Tumblr series, or this great article written by a former head of Special Collections and University Archives.


Do You Remember the Typewriter? New Exhibit Explores the History!

The majority of the younger generations may have seen typewriters, but few have actually used them. They weren’t lucky enough to experienc the “joy” of using a typewriter eraser or liquid paper to correct those inevitable mistakes. Our new exhibit explores the fascinating history of the typewriter.

In Inventor and inventions, we learn that in 1714, Englishman Henry Mill, patented the idea of “an artificial machine or method for the impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively on after another.” It was proposed to take the place of slow and often illegible handwriting. Most of the early attempts, however, were actually slower than handwriting and some were as large as a piano.

The Writing Ball of Malling-Hansen

The Writing Ball of Malling-Hansen

There are conflicting reports about the earliest working models of the typewriter. One report says that the earliest was made in Italy by Giuseppe Pellegrino Turri, not only a nobleman, but also a skilled mechanic. He invented carbon paper to provide ink to the typewriter. Not much is known about this early typewriter, but 16 letters that were written on it are preserved in a museum in Reggio Emilia. The legend is that in the early nineteenth century he built it for his love, Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono, who had gone blind. However, another version of the legend is that the earliest typewriter was invented in 1802 by Agostino Fantoni from Fivizzano, to help his blind sister. That legend says that Turri simply improved on the machine and then invented carbon paper. We do know that in 1865 the first commercially produced typewriter was developed, and in 1870 it was patented and put into production by Rasmus Mallin-Hansen, a Danish pastor.

In 1868, Christopher Sholes and his associate Carlos Glidden secured a patent for the first commercially successful typewriter. Sholes and Glidden sold their patent to Densmore and Yost, who made an agreement with E. Remington and Sons (famous for sewing machines at that time). In 1873, Remington began production of its first typewriter. It had a QWERTY keyboard – the keyboard still in use today. The typewriter came with a foot pedal (like sewing machines) which controled the carriage returns. The QWERTY keyboard was developed to slow typists down. The most often used letters were spaced far apart and the slower speed helped correct the problem of jamming. The Remington No. 2 typewriter was introduced in 1878 and it came with the option of upper and lower case letters.



A Stenotype Keyboard

A stenotype was patented in 1895 and is a special shorthand machine that is used not only in court reporting, but also in closed captioning. The trained stenographer must be able to type at speeds up to 225 words per minute with a high degree of accuracy.


A patent for an electric typewriter was filed by Thomas Edison in 1872, but the first workable model didn’t come out until the 1920s. Typewriters continued to improve and develop, moving from the early electric typewriters to the more modern “IBM Selectric” typewriter which used a ball rather than the earlier type bars. There was also the “daisy wheel” – a disk with the letters and numbers stamped on the outer edges. From there the typewriter evolved into the electronic typewriter which had a memory where text could be stored.

Scytale. Oldest known military ciphering method.

Scytale. Oldest known military ciphering method.

The earliest known military ciphering tool, the Scytale, was used more than 2500 years ago. A messenger wore a belt – a stretch of leather- which had characters written on it. They were seemingly random and could only be deciphered when the leather was wrapped around the correct size piece of wood. There is a replica of a Scytale in our exhibit – stop by and see if you can decipher the message!


Photo of a genuine Marine 4-rotor Enigma encoding/decoding machine, from Bletchley Park, England

Photo of a Marine 4-rotor Enigma encoding/decoding machine, Bletchley Park, England


Cryptography and ciphering have gone through many transformations since the Scytale. At the end of World War I, German engineer Arthur Scherbius invented Enigma – an electro-mechanical rotor cipher machine. It was adopted by the military of several countries, most notably Nazi Germany. When it was first developed, the cipher was changed every few months which meant the codes were often cracked. However, when World War II broke out, the code was changed on a daily basis, making it nearly impossible to break. In 1940, codebreakers at Bletchley Park broke the code. They had created machines, called ‘bombes,’ which cracked the ‘Green Key’ – the administrative key for the German Army, and then they managed to crack the ‘Red Key,’ – used by Luftwaffe liaison officers coordinating air support for army units. It is said that breaking these codes shortened the war by at least 2 years. The Colossus, created by Alan Turing, was built to break another German encryption machine called the Lorenz cipher. The Colossus is the precursor to the modern computer.

There are three typewriters in our exhibit – dating from the early 1900s to the 1960s.  We have both an Underwood #5 and a Remington Noiseless from the 30s and a Smith Corona Coronet from the 50s-60s. The Smith Corona is interesting because it is electric, but still has a manual carriage return.  There are several photographs from the 1950s showing women in Jessup Hall using typewriters. Come see the typing pool and what were probably state-of-the-art typewriters.  Thank you to the Department of Special Collections and University Archives for providing copies of  these photographs. The photos are part of the F.W. Kent Collection of Photographs. Thanks also, goes to Lindsay Vella for graciously lending her typewriters for this exhibit!

Fun Facts:

Just for fun!

The Typewriter. Composed by Leroy Anderson, October 9, 1950.  Performed June 12, 2011 by Voces para la Paz; soloist: Alfredo Anaya.

  • Fastest Typist in the World is Barbara Blackburn. Her top speed was recorded at 212 words per minute. She appeared on the David Letterman Show in 1985.
  • Mohammed Khurshid Hussain set the World’s Record for Fastest Nose Typing.
  • A QWERTY keyboard takes 15 keystrokes to type “court reporting.” A court reporter using the Stenograph keyboard takes 3 keystrokes.
  • Earliest known cryptography is found in the non-standard hieroglyphs carved into monuments in ancient Egypt – as far back as 1900 BC.
  • Court reporters do not listen or type words or listen for context – they only use phonetics.
  • George K. Anderson of Memphis, TN, patented the typewriter ribbon on 9/14/1886.
  • Every typewriter has its own individual pattern of type – like a fingerprint. Special forensic agents were used in police departments to identify typewriters used in blackmail and other criminal activities.
  • Mark Twain was the first author to submit a typewritten manuscript to his publisher.
  • Keyboard fashion fun!
Kate Spade All Typed Up Clyde Satchel

Kate Spade All Typed Up Clyde Satchel

Typewriter Key Bracelet

Typewriter Key Bracelet



Typewriter Necklace

Typewriter Necklace



Inventors and inventions. 2009. London : Black Dog Publishing.

Computer keyboard. 2015. History of Computers.

Langone, John. The new how things work: everyday technology explained. 2004. Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society.

Scytale. 2014. Cryptool-Online.

Breaking Enigma. 2015. Bletchley Park.

Was the first computer a ‘Bombe’? Computer Science for Fun. Queen Mary, University of London. Date accessed: July 1, 2015.

Other Resources:

History of Smith Corona. 2015. Smith Corona Corporation.

A brief history of typewriters. The Classic Typewriter Page. Dated accessed: July 6, 2015.

History of the computer keyboard. 2015. About Money. About.com

Typewriters. 2015. About Money. About.com

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