About Author: Wendy Robertson

Posts by Wendy Robertson


Henry A Wallace Collection

Wallace digital collectionThe University of Iowa Libraries has thousands of the personal papers of Iowa native Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965). Wallace, the 33rd vice president of the United States, died 50 years ago today (18 November 1965). Wallace also served as the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Commerce and was the nominee for the Progressive Party in the 1948 presidential election. His papers include information on the economic and agricultural consequences of the Great Depression, the role of the vice president during World War II, and the subsequent development of alternative political party structures as the nation and the world recovered from the conflict and new power dynamics were formed.

Henry Wallace at Magadan, Siberia, 1944Along with papers in the Library of Congress and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, our Wallace papers were microfilmed many years ago. Our collection was later digitized and it is freely available online to any researcher. Our digital collection has approximately 67,000 page images in it, making it a rich source of material for a historian or a history class. The collection also includes four reels of correspondence from Wallace’s father, Henry Wallace (1836-1916), the founder of Wallaces’ Farmer.

The collection also includes more than 350 photographs. Many of the images are from Siberia and China in 1944.

The UI Libraries prepared a joint index to the three microfilm collections. This index is now a searchable database, with entries for items in Iowa’s collection linking directly to the digitized version. When users start typing in the correspondent search box, names will appear, showing the number of results for each name, based on sender or recipient. Select the name you want and press search.

Henry Wallace with Chrysler workers, Detroit, Mich., 1950sThe resulting list includes everything to or from the individual selected. The film numbers for the Iowa microfilm link directly to the digitized version. The results display in date order. Columns can re-sort by sender, recipient or film number. You can also search by year or by multiple years.
If interested in a specific date, try the general search box, formatting the date with the year first, e.g. 1945-04-12. This top search box also allows you to search by first name or by a last name to get correspondence for everyone with that last name.

For more information, see the Guide to the Henry A. Wallace Papers and the Guide to the Henry Wallace Papers. The Henry C. Wallace Papers are not included in this digital collection, but the Guide provides details on this print collection.


Update to Use of Digitized Theses

Last year, we looked at use of our digitized theses. We decided that a bit more than a year had passed so it was time to look at these items again.

The collection has grown modestly to 258 theses and dissertations. These PDFs have been downloaded almost 55,000 times total (an average of 213.2 times each), from 12 November 2009 (when we first posted a digitized thesis) to 31 October 2015. On average, each digitized thesis is downloaded once every four days, an increase from last year. Our digitized theses date from 1886–2008, with the vast majority dating from 1912–1921.

5,820 Downloads since August 01, 2011Each thesis or dissertation that has been downloaded at least ten times shows a count of downloads on the individual page in Iowa Research Online (IRO). This download count appears in all our collections in IRO.

The following items, from a variety of disciplines, have been downloaded more than 1000 times each. These high use items are by graduates from as early as 1913 and to as recently as 2008.

Graduation Year Title Author Degree Use/Day Total Downloads
 1961 The Production book of “The Diary of Anne Frank” Allan Kurtz Longacre II Master of Arts, Speech and Dramatic Arts 3.73 5,794
2008 Teacher-initiated talk and student oral discourse in a second language literature classroom : a sociocultural analysis Joshua J. Thoms Doctor of Philosophy, Second Language Acquisition 5.39 4,387
1949 A formal analysis of Hawthorne’s The Blithedale romance Lewis Dwight Levang Master of Arts, English 3.24 2,099
1931 The catenary J. P. Kacmarynski Master of Science, Mathematics 1.72 2,068
1999 Development of a method for the simultaneous detection of mycotoxins in corn using supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and electrospray-atmospheric pressure ionization/mass spectrometry (ES-API/MS) for extraction, separation, and identification Jenelle Daria Brown Master of Science, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health 1.44 1,791
1956 Athanasius Kircher, Musurgia Universalis (Rome, 1650) : the section on musical instruments Frederick Baron Crane Master of Arts, Music 3.14 1,628
1914 Morphology of Cannabis sativa L Joyce Reed Master of Science 1.81 1,203
1955 Construction and application of a mechanical differential analyzer Joseph Emil Kasper Master of Science, Physics 1.08 1,190
1913 Ore deposits produced by magmatic segregation, with special reference to the nickel ores of the Sudbury district, Ontario Stuart St.Clair Master of Science, Geology 1.24 1,113
1937 A study of the origin and development of the educational excursion and field trip Harriet A. Woods Master of Arts, Education 1.58 1,113

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).


Whitman, Iowa Review and Dada in Romania

Walt Whitman Quarterly ReviewOne of the things we do in the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio is support locally published journals. The journals which we publish/host are part of Iowa Research Online. During Open Access Week in October, there were several noteworthy additions/changes.

Walt Whitman Quarterly Review became fully open access. We have published the journal in partnership with the Department of English since 2009. Until now, the current year was restricted to print subscribers. Effective with v.33 (2015), the journal is published online only and is freely accessible to everyone. The issue begins with a statement from the editor:

With this inaugural number in our new format, we take an exciting step toward realizing Whitman’s dream of creating a truly democratic literature. For democratic literature to function effectively, he knew, all citizens needed access. Now the contents of every issue of WWQR are available to everyone worldwide who has access to the Web. As access to the Web continues to grow, access to WWQR grows with it. Paid subscriptions to WWQR are now a thing of the past: everyone who wants to read what we publish is a subscriber, and your subscription is free.

Ed Folsom also wrote eloquently about the change in a recent blog post. We are so happy to have supported the journal through this transition of a print+online subscription journal to a fully open access title.

The Iowa Review

We are also very happy to have added back content of the Iowa Review. Adding this title to Iowa Research Online demonstrates our commitment to support creative works as well as research outputs of the university. The journal’s announcement follows:

The Iowa Review announces the launch of its free digital archive, ir.uiowa.edu/iowareview, containing full text of virtually all the writing published in the magazine from its founding in 1970 through 2011. The archive comprises 130 issues of the magazine and 5,752 individual poems, essays, and stories, searchable by volume, author name, and title. The site also includes links to the most frequently downloaded pieces, as well as a world map displaying real-time readership.

Issues from the most recent three years continue to remain accessible only to subscribers, bookstore patrons, and those who order copies through the Iowa Review’s website, iowareview.org. Excerpts of work from recent issues also appear at iowareview.org.

The Iowa Review partnered with the University of Iowa Libraries’ Iowa Research Online service, which preserves and provides open access to the UI’s scholarly and creative work, and the digital library JSTOR, which creates a digital archive of the magazine’s back issues. UI digital scholarship librarian Wendy Robertson developed the site’s data infrastructure and user interface.

The Iowa Review is based in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Iowa. It publishes three print issues per year featuring poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and photography. Work from its pages is consistently selected to appear in such anthologies as Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories.

More information about The Iowa Review, including how to subscribe, purchase individual issues, or find the current issue in a bookstore, can be found at iowareview.org. The archive can be accessed directly at ir.uiowa.edu/iowareview.

We are thrilled that everyone in the world will be able to read the fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and translations included in this well respected literary journal.


Finally, we also published a new issue of the journal Dada/Surrealism, with the theme “From Dada to Infra-noir: Dada, Surrealism, and Romania.” As the articles are being published incrementally, a few articles are not yet posted, making this a soft release. The issue is so large that there are almost two dozen articles already posted!  Dada/Surrealism was a print title from 1971–1990. In 2013, publication began again as an online only title. The journal is edited by Timothy Shipe, the Curator of the International Dada Archive.


IRO featured in Open Access Week guest blog posts

The University of Iowa Libraries celebrated Open Access Week Month in a variety of ways, including several guest blog posts from faculty on why they support open access. Of particularly note to us is that all the authors include Iowa Research Online as an important component of their open access. We are happy that our repository supports our faculty member’s publication and allows more people to benefit from their research.

Open Access is the way that new knowledge is made…easier by Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, 7 Oct. 2015

The Janus Faces of Open Access Publishing by Frederick Domann, 12 Oct. 2015

On generous scholarship by Meenakshi Gigi Durham, 15 Oct. 2015

Walt Whitman Quarterly Review Goes Open Access by Ed Folsom, 21 Oct. 2015

Expectations Exceeded – My Experience with the Open Access Fund by Matthew Uhlman, 23 Oct. 2015

Interview – Kembrew McLeod on Open Access by Kembrew McLeod, 28 Oct. 2015

Open Access Publication Just Makes Sense by Kelly Cole, 30 Oct. 2015

  • Cole’s publications in IRO

To include your content in Iowa Research Online, you can either click the “Submit Research” link in the sidebar or contact your subject specialist. Anything that is appropriate for your CV may be included in IRO.


Worldwide Use of IRO

The publications in Iowa Research Online (IRO) are very widely used. From July 2014–June 2015, the items were downloaded more than 1.5 million times!

This map shows the downloads of content from IRO during the last fiscal year. Adjust the map in the window below to see more countries. Move your cursor over the map to see the counts from each country.  You can also see a large version of the map.

If you want to include your scholarship in IRO to increase its global reach, contact you subject specialist at the University Libraries.


5 million downloads

We are very excited to have had 5 million downloads in Iowa Research Online! We had 4 million downloads in November, so this last million happened in only about 6 months. Some of this growth is attributable to the fantastic content added recently (such as the State Historical Society journal Annals of Iowa, back to 1863).

IRO map showing 5 million downloads

While we don’t know exactly what download made us cross the 5 million mark, these items all received higher use around the time we made it to 5 million.


Open Access Fund Articles in IRO

Two years ago, the University Libraries and the Provost’s Office launched an Open Access Fund to pay the processing fees related to open access publishing.

The fund is meant to encourage the University community to publish their research in open access platforms. The open access publishing model allows free, immediate access to research and allows authors to retain intellectual property rights to their research. To recoup publishing costs, some open access journals charge article processing fees to make the work freely available online. More information about the fund can be found here.

To date, 73 funded items have been funded, published and added to our institutional repository, with 10 published in 2015, 40 2014, and 23 in 2013. An additional 17 items have been approved and are awaiting publication. The author publishing charges for these 73 articles total $101,605.03, for an average cost of $1,391.85.

The articles come from a wide variety of colleges, with majority of articles having authors in the Carver College of Medicine and in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

University of Iowa Open Access fund article counts by College, 23 April 2015Open access journals which charge author fees are more common in the sciences. Our collection of articles is similarly heavy in the sciences.

University of Iowa Open Access fund article counts by Department/School/Program, 23 April 2015

Most of the articles are in journals that are completely open access. A few are in hybrid journals. (If you have an item in a hybrid journal, you can may be able to post a version of the article in IRO without paying an additional fee. Contact your subject specialist for more information.) One article is available freely on the publisher’s site, but we cannot add it to our collection, in part because the publisher required that the authors give away their copyright of the article to the publisher as a condition of publication.

We are very happy to have been able to support open scholarship at the University of Iowa with this fund.


IRO Highlights for Black History Month

Here are some highlights from our digital collections for black history month.

These three books are available as free PDFs online. They were published in the University of Iowa Press Singular Lives series.

Fly in the Buttermilk - coverFly in the Buttermilk: The Life Story of Cecil Reed
Cecil Reed
Priscilla Donovan

Born in 1913 in Collinsville, Illinois, Cecil Reed has lived all his life in the Midwest as a black man among whites. This self-styled fly in the buttermilk worked among whites with such skill and grace that they were barely aware of his existence—unless he wanted to get a bank loan or move into their neighborhood. Now, in his lively and optimistic autobiography, he speaks of his resilience throughout a life spent working peacefully but passionately for equality.

The Making of a Black Scholar: From Georgia to the Ivy League - cover
The Making of a Black Scholar: From Georgia to the Ivy League
Horace A. Porter

This captivating and illuminating book is a memoir of a young black man moving from rural Georgia to life as a student and teacher in the Ivy League as well as a history of the changes in American education that developed in response to the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and affirmative action. Born in 1950, Horace Porter starts out in rural Georgia in a house that has neither electricity nor running water. In 1968, he leaves his home in Columbus, Georgia—thanks to an academic scholarship to Amherst College—and lands in an upper-class, mainly white world. Focusing on such experiences in his American education, Porter’s story is both unique and representative of his time.

The Making of a Black Scholar is structured around schools. Porter attends Georgia’s segregated black schools until he enters the privileged world of Amherst College. He graduates (spending one semester at Morehouse College) and moves on to graduate study at Yale. He starts his teaching career at Detroit’s Wayne State University and spends the 1980s at Dartmouth College and the 1990s at Stanford University.

Porter writes about working to establish the first black studies program at Amherst, the challenges of graduate study at Yale, the infamous Dartmouth Review, and his meetings with such writers and scholars as Ralph Ellison, Tillie Olsen, James Baldwin, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He ends by reflecting on an unforeseen move to the University of Iowa, which he ties into a return to the values of his childhood on a Georgia farm. In his success and the fulfillment of his academic aspirations, Porter represents an era, a generation, of possibility and achievement.

My Iowa Journey - coverMy Iowa Journey: The Life Story of the University of Iowa’s First African American Professor
Philip G. Hubbard

Philip Hubbard’s life story begins in 1921 in Macon, a county seat in the Bible Belt of north central Missouri, whose history as a former slave state permeated the culture of his childhood. When he was four his mother moved her family 140 miles north to Des Moines in search of the greater educational opportunity that Iowa offered African American students. In this recounting of the effects of that journey on the rest of his life, Phil Hubbard merges his private and public life and career into an affectionate, powerful, and important story. Hubbard graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in electrical engineering in 1946; by 1954 he had received his Ph.D. in hydraulics. The College of Engineering extended a warm academic welcome, but nonacademic matters were totally different: Hubbard was ineligible for the housing and other amenities offered to white students. Intelligent, patient, keenly aware of discrimination yet willing to work from within the university system, he advanced from student to teacher to administrator, retiring in 1991 after decades of leadership in the classroom and the conference room. Hubbard’s major accomplishments included policies that focused on human rights; these policies transformed the makeup of students, faculty, and staff by seeking to eliminate discrimination based on race, religion, or other nonacademic factors and by substituting affirmative action for the traditional old-boy methods of selecting faculty and administrators. At the same time that he was advancing the cause of human rights and cultural diversity in education, his family was growing and thriving, and his descriptions of home life reveal one source of his strength and inspiration. The decades that Hubbard covers were vital in the evolution of the nation and its educational institutions. His dedication to the agenda of public higher education has always been matched by his sensitivity to the negative effects of discrimination and his gentle perseverance toward his goals of inclusion, acceptance, and fairness. His vivid personal and institutional story will prove valuable at this critical juncture in America’s racial history.


IRO January 2015 usage

Content in Iowa Research Online was downloaded 131,084 times in January, a 19% increase over January 2015. The items receiving the most use were all theses:

The items with the greatest percentage increase in use compared with the previous month were

These include theses as well as an article in Medieval Feminist Forum and a book review podcast.

If you are interested in all of our usage data for all series, we have links to the data on our website.


1.5 Million downloads from IRO in 2014!

Iowa Research Online had an impressive 1,506,333 items downloaded in 2014. When all supplemental content is included, this number increases to 1,558,358! IRO currently has 16,209 full text items, 1,521 supplements and 118 streaming items (not included in download numbers).

While most use came from the United States, 15% of the use came from other places, including the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Germany and Australia, and 187 other countries.

Our theses and dissertations are downloaded more than anything else in IRO. All together, they total close to 60% of the total downloads!

Almost one third of the total downloads come from our books, journals and magazines. Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and Medieval Feminist Forum receive the most use.

Our highest use items are

Congratulations to all the authors and journal editors!