Events Category


Innovation in history

The Libraries is currently preparing to play host to area junior high and high school student researchers participating in National History Day, a program that teaches critical thinking, research, and presentation skills through a nationwide contest.

Below are a few images from Iowa Digital Library related to this year’s theme, Innovation in History: Impact and Change.

 Diesel locomotive from the Rock Island Railroad, drawing, ca. 1937

James Van Allen in his laboratory, The University of Iowa, 1953

Evelyn Birkby driving a tractor, Shenandoah, Iowa, 1950s

Surgical instruments, engraving, 1655

Men driving automobile, Iowa City, Iowa, 1920s

“Preparing sweet corn for freezing…” by A.M. Wettach, ca. 1948

Carl Menzer broadcasting, The University of Iowa, ca. 1930

“The laugh is on  you,” postcard, 1917


Get your spook on

Fear and dread are no strangers to the Libraries, especially during finals week, as students fight the demons of procrastination, sleep deprivation, and over-caffeination. But this October, DLS is kicking it up a notch from fear to terror with our Halloween digital collection, compiling the scariest bits of data lurking in the dark recesses of the Iowa Digital Library.

Read — if you dare! — a supernatural tale about giving a foot massage to a ghost in Elizabeth Harris’s award-winning short fiction collection from the UI Press. View the monstruous misdeeds of early 20th century politicians in Ding Darling’s late-October editorial cartoons. Thrill to the true account of Helen Grundman’s 4-H Halloween party from her 1928 scrapbook entry, detailing such depraved acts as dressing up in costume, fortune-telling, and eating doughnuts.

Still not afraid? Then drop by Main Library on Halloween for our “Ghosts From the Stacks” event, where library staff will draw from Special Collections, Iowa Women’s Archives and the John Martin Rare Book Room to presents artifacts related to grave-robbing, local hauntings, and demon conjuring. Also we will serve cookies.

Ghosts From the Stacks
Main Library, room 2032
Wednesday, Oct. 31, noon – 1:00 pm

Halloween digital collection

For more information, please see our University of Iowa News Release.

— Jen Wolfe
Metadata Librarian


Love in the stacks

Beneath the calm façade of the Main Library’s exterior, among the dusty book stacks and studious scholars, lies the secret side of the Libraries’ holdings: a seething bed of love, lust, and early 20th-century greeting cards. In our dedication to exposing these hidden collections, Digital Library Services brings you a romantic “Best of” from the stacks — a digital mix tape of artifacts chiefly drawn from the Libraries’ research collections and selected to put you in the mood for Valentine’s Day.

But perhaps you think Valentine’s Day is an ersatz holiday that persecutes the single? As part of the Libraries’ commitment to inclusiveness, we made sure to represent both points of view. Pro-Valentine’s patrons can enjoy images of tennis-playing cherubs and the comically foreign-accented, and accounts of holiday celebrations by Iowa women in the 1940s and 1950s. Those against can peruse the UI Press collection’s tales of discount chocolates and abused cashiers, or the post-WWI (yet sadly relevant today) Valentine’s Day cartoons from political satirist Ding Darling.

Browse the collection here

…and join us for a Valentine’s Day show & tell session, featuring additional artifacts from the Libraries’ research collections, behind-the-scenes info from its curators and archivists, and heart-shaped treats. Feb. 14 at noon, Main Library, room 2032 (second floor, near the south entrance).

–Jen Wolfe
Metadata Librarian