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Wishing you an animated holiday

Featuring images from Helen Grundman 4-H scrapbook, 1928-1932

Animated gif featuring Helen Grundman 4-H scrapbook, 1928-1932 | Iowa Women’s Archives

LULAC Christmas party, Davenport, Iowa, early 1960s

Animated gif featuring LULAC Christmas party photo, Davenport, Iowa, early 1960s | Iowa Women’s Archives

LULAC Christmas party, Davenport, Iowa, early 1960s

Animated gif featuring LULAC Christmas party photo, Davenport, Iowa, early 1960s | Iowa Women’s Archives

The big story at the Libraries this year has been our Special Collections department’s ascendancy to social media superstardom. Here in Digital Research & Publishing, we’re happy to hook our wagon to that stardom for promoting the Libraries’ digital initiatives to the 18,000 (and counting!) followers at the UISpecColl Tumblr, and to loan our multimedia expertise to film and edit their YouTube video series. Here’s to even more public engagement success in 2014!

Digital projects featured on Tumblr:

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Exploring pioneer lives: UI Libraries and Rhetoric students partner on new digital collection and crowdsourcing project

DIY History: Pioneer Lives

This November, as Thanksgiving brings thoughts of pilgrims, the University of Iowa Libraries is exploring a later period of American history with a new digital collection, crowdsourcing initiative, and curriculum project based on pioneer-era documents.

Featuring more than 2,500 pages of letters, diaries, and photographs dating from the mid-to-late 19th century, the Pioneer Lives collection is available for browsing at the Iowa Digital Library: digital.lib.uiowa.edu/pioneers

The documents have also been added to DIY History — diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu– the Libraries’ crowdsourcing site, where the public can help with historical research by providing transcriptions for handwritten texts. Earlier this fall, the collection got a test run from rhetoric students participating in a curriculum pilot project developed by IDEAL (Iowa Digital Engagement & Learning) to incorporate digital humanities in the undergraduate classroom.

Documenting Iowa’s early settlers, the Pioneer Lives collection lends immediacy to this historic period through the first-hand accounts of ordinary citizens. This is particularly true of the correspondence, with its descriptions of new lives written for loved ones left behind:

“Dear Father, I am in a place which at my coming here was very strange, but I have got acquainted and very contented, much more than I expected. I will give you a short sketch of what life I live here…” – Henry Eno letter, 1813

“My Dear Cousin, I thought I would write to you as it is my birthday. I am 11 years old… I go to school now… We have three boarders. I am going to learn to scate [sic] this winter…” – Emma Ward letter, 1866

“Dear Brother McCormick, Yours received, some time since, asking a sketch of my career as an M.D. during the past year, which… I must admit has far exceeded my hopes…” – Dr. Mila Sharp letter, 1885

Students in honors Rhetoric taught by Tom Keegan, faculty member and co-director of IDEAL, explored the collection during a four-week assignment that involved transcribing historic correspondence, conducting background research with primary source materials, performing rhetorical analyses of the documents, and presenting findings via screencast videos uploaded to YouTube.

In addition to learning new skills and information, many of the students enjoyed themselves along the way.

“I had a fun time analyzing my document which is rare because homework is almost never fun for me,” wrote one student in a class blog post. “I thought this was one of the first projects that I actually felt like I was making a legitimate discovery and that was a really unique experience.”

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Remembering the Gettysburg Address

Today is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The Iowa Digital Library includes over 1000 items digitized from the archives of Lincolniana collector James Wills Bollinger.

View additional items from the Bollinger-Lincoln digital collection.

This is Abraham Lincoln, Page 14

This is Abraham Lincoln, 1941, Page 14 | The James W. Bollinger Digital Collection

This is Abraham Lincoln, Page 15

This is Abraham Lincoln, 1941, Page 15 | The James W. Bollinger Digital Collection

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Lincoln, a story in poster stamps, 1939 | The James W. Bollinger Digital Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wall-gettysburg

The Gettysburg Speech, Bernard Wall etching, 1924 | The James W. Bollinger Digital Collection.

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Historic photos: JFK at the UI, 1959

As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death, we’re celebrating the 54th anniversary of his 1959 visit to the University of Iowa campus. Not yet an official presidential candidate (coverage of his trip only made page 6 of The Daily Iowan, which instead led with some student workers’ two-day strike for a food allowance raise), Kennedy still drew a healthy audience of 1,500 to a reception at the Iowa Memorial Union. He rounded out the visit watching a home football game the following day, where he “cheered for Iowa, but prayed for Notre Dame.”

View additional Kennedy photographs from the Michael W. Lemberger Collection

View the Nov. 24th 1959 edition of The Daily Iowan

Senator John F. Kennedy visits the Iowa Memorial Union, University of Iowa, Nov. 21, 1959. Photo (c) Michael W. Lemberger | Michael W. Lemberger Photographs

Senator John F. Kennedy visits the Iowa Memorial Union, University of Iowa, Nov. 21, 1959. Photo (c) Michael W. Lemberger | Michael W. Lemberger Photographs

Senator John F. Kennedy talks to supporters, University of Iowa, Nov. 21, 1959. Photo (c) Michael W. Lemberger  |  Michael W. Lemberger Photographs

Senator John F. Kennedy talks to supporters, University of Iowa, Nov. 21, 1959. Photo (c) Michael W. Lemberger | Michael W. Lemberger Photographs 

Pressbox quarterbacks, The Daily Iowan, Nov. 24, 1959  |  The Daily Iowan Digital Collection

Pressbox quarterbacks, The Daily Iowan, Nov. 24, 1959 | The Daily Iowan Digital Collection

Next president?, The Daily Iowan, Nov. 24, 1959  |  The Daily Iowan Digital Collection

Next president?, The Daily Iowan, Nov. 24, 1959 | The Daily Iowan Digital Collection

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Great mustaches of the Iowa Digital Library

The libraries and archives that feature historic mustache images — from NYPL to the Smithsonian to our own Special Collections — are kicking into high gear in honor of Movember, so we thought we’d join in. Stealing from In tribute to the Library of Congress’ collection, we present some of the great mustaches of the Iowa Digital Library. Special thanks go to Wendy Robertson for her mustache-searching expertise.

UI President Charles A. Schaeffer, 1893  |  University of Iowa Yearbooks

UI President Charles A. Schaeffer, 1893 | University of Iowa Yearbooks

College of Dentistry Dean W.S. Hosford, 1908  |  Dentistry College Class Photographs

W.S. Hosford, 1908 | Dentistry College Class Photographs

Unidentified man, circa 1879  |  Pioneer Lives

Unidentified man, circa 1879 | Pioneer Lives

J.L. Small, 1885  |  Dentistry College Class Photographs

J.L. Small, 1885 | Dentistry College Class Photographs

General James B. Weaver, 1907  |  Traveling Culture - Circuit Chautauqua in the 20th C.

General James B. Weaver, 1907 | Traveling Culture – Circuit Chautauqua in the 20th C.

Billy Brooks, 1930s  |  Mujeres Latinas

Billy Brooks, 1930s | Mujeres Latinas

Personal favorite:

L.K. Fullerton, 1885  |  Dentistry College Class Photographs

L.K. Fullerton, 1885 | Dentistry College Class Photographs

Mustache manuscript:

Leigh Hunt letter to Charles Ollier, 1854  |  Leigh Hunt Letters

Leigh Hunt letter to Charles Ollier, 1854 | Leigh Hunt Letters

“I have not been idle, nor has my beard been growing for nothing. Had it not vented its energies this way, it would assuredly have struck towards the table, with the intention of growing through it, like the dead Emperor’s that was found sitting in the mausoleum. Seriously, it is a curious & hopeful coincidence, at any rate, that my cough has continued to grow better & better, though my beard is but of a month’s existence. I cannot afford to confine myself to the moustache &c., as you do; for I have, or have had, a regular cough, which you have not. Moustaches may do well enough for occasional coughs; but the cough proper demands the whole hairy investment.”

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Crowdsourcing continues!

Pioneer Lives transcription collection-in-progress

Pioneer Lives transcription collection-in-progress

Special Collections staff survey World War II letters and diaries

Special Collections staff survey World War II letters and diaries

A letter for transcription about transcription!

A letter for transcription about transcription!

Things might seem a little quiet at DIY History, the Libraries’ transcription crowdsourcing site, but behind the scenes we’ve been working on several new initiatives that should be launching over the next few months.

First up is a long-overdue redesign of the DIYH home pages that we hope will make for a less cluttered and easier to navigate user experience. That will be rolling out next month along with the debut of a new collection up for transcription: Pioneer Lives, featuring hundreds of letters and diaries from Midwest settlers during the mid- to late 1800s. While conservation and preservation staff continue the pioneers treatment and digitization work that’s taken up much of their summer, our curators have already begun compiling lists of handwritten materials for the next initiative, which will focus on the Libraries’ small but growing collection of World War II diaries and letters. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of transcribing left to be done on cookbooks, women’s lives, and railroads at DIY History, so please stop by and help improve access to these historic documents.

Along with a new look and new content, we’re also working on a new collaboration; this fall, the Libraries is teaming up with the IDEAL (Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning) initiative on a pilot project to teach DIY History in Rhetoric classes for incoming freshman. Currently wrapping up the four-week assignment module, students have transcribed a document, conducted research on its writer’s life and times, performed a rhetorical analysis of its contents, and created brief video screencasts to present their findings on YouTube. We hope to showcase some of these videos here, so check back soon.

Alas not all of our new developments are good ones. The past few weeks have been challenging as we figure our way around the project without the support of superstar library assistant Christine Tade, who recently retired after 27 years with the Libraries. From overseeing workflows, to training student assistants, to fielding user comments and questions, she was instrumental in keeping the project running smoothly. We’re very grateful to Christine for all her dedication and hard work that helped make DIY History a success.

Christine Tade, circa 1970

Christine Tade, circa 1970

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Dada/Surrealism re-launched

dadasur-logo

We are very excited that after a hiatus of over twenty years, the journal Dada/Surrealism has been relaunched. It is a peer-reviewed, open-access electronic journal sponsored by the Association for the Study of Dada and Surrealism and published by the International Dada Archive, University of Iowa Libraries, with managing editor Tim Shipe.

The newest issue focuses on Surrealism and Egypt.  Issues in process will focus on Dada, Surrealism, and Romania and on Dada and Surrealist Exhibitions.

The University of Iowa Libraries hosts the journal in our institutional repository, Iowa Research Online. The software provides peer review software for the editors as well as a good display for each issue. Each article is available as a PDF and also in html.

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Bon Voyage, Christine!

We in Digital Research & Publishing sadly bid fond farewell to Christine Tade. Christine’s involvement in DRP extends back almost to the beginning of the department, to a 2006 professional development internship, where Christine learned the ins-and-outs of applying descriptive metadata to Iowa Digital Library materials. Afterward, Christine was the point person for digital collection metadata in the Cataloging department, training and supervising staff there, finding ways to bend the software to her will and making more archival collections usable online.

"A thoroughbred" 1907

Christine officially joined Digital Research & Publishing in 2012, six months after the launch of DIYHistory, the Libraries crowdsourcing transcriptions project. While continuing her digital collection work, Christine transitioned into the role of chief correspondent with transcribing participants, answering questions and also transcribing and reviewing many manuscripts herself. In July, DIYHistory reached a major milestone, 35,000 pages transcribed.


Automobile crossing a bridge on a dirt road, Iowa, 1922

Christine has contributed greatly to the success of many projects and collection initiatives. We wish her the very best in her retirement!

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35,000 transcriptions

DIY History milestone

DIY History milestone

The diligent and talented contributors to DIY History have now transcribed more than 35,000 pages of manuscript diaries, letters, recipes and telegrams! And this number does not reflect the thousands of pages of proofreading our crowdsourcers have also accomplished, bringing these documents to life and to the eyes of researchers. The transcribed pages tell the stories of Civil War soldiers and their families, of Iowa women making lives for themselves and their communities, of the glories of the kitchen from the 1600s to the twentieth century, of the machinations of railroad  barons, and the high ideals of a football hero. Thanks to all of you for the gift of your time and talents.

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Move over, fried twinkies: Iowa State Fair historic recipe contest

To make almond cheese cakes, Ann Kenwrick cookbook, 1770 | Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts

To make almond cheese cakes, Ann Kenwrick cookbook, 1770 | Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts

This August, traditional Fair fare such as deep-fried Twinkies, Snickers, and sticks of butter will be making room for even more old-school treats featured in the UI-sponsored Szathmary Historic Recipes cooking contest. Up for recreating 18th- and 19th-century desserts like Almond Cheese Cakes, Summer Mince Pies, and Mrs. Matson’s Marlborough Pies? Unintimidated by units of measurements such as “about the bigness of an Egg” and ingredients like “Orange Flower water”? Then see contest details on page 53 of the Iowa State Fair food booklet.

And to get in a historic mood, please visit our Iowa Digital Library Pinterest site to view a selection of digitized State Fair cartoons and clippings, ca. 1894-2004.

Iowa State Fair @ IDL Pinterest

Iowa State Fair @ IDL Pinterest