Collection Connection Category

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‘The man who brought the literary world to Iowa.’

Frederick W. Kent Collection, University of Iowa Archives

In 2000, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack declared Oct. 12 to be “Paul Engle Day,” in honor of the Iowa-born poet who served as head of the Writer’s Workshop from 1942 to 1977, helping to develop it from an obscure experimental program to an internationally renowned literary center. Featured here is an audio recording from the first annual Paul Engle Literary Festival, which includes tributes to Engle from International Writing Program Director Christopher Merrill and from novelist Arnost Lustig.

Audio recording: First Annual Paul Engle Literary Festival, The University of Iowa, 2000

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The Big Belch at Yellowstone

Garrison Keillor has written an entertaining piece (search Access World News—U.S. Newspapers for “Keillor” and “Yellowstone”) about the more than 250 earthquakes that have occurred in Yellowstone National Park during the past several days recommending that, if this is the Big One, the view would be safer from a distance—say, Paris.  Although Yellowstone is an active volcano with minor tremors a common occurrence, the recent cluster of larger earthquakes is uncommon. If the Big Belch occurs, something like a nuclear winter could impact a good portion of the U.S. including Iowa.

Anyway, the Government Publications collection is a good resource for information about Yellowstone including the wolf reintroduction program;  the bison-cattle war; forest recovery from wildfires and fire ecology (Gov. Pubs. I 29.2:Y 3/16); the history of Yellowstone (Gov. Pubs. I 29.9/5:150); river rafter’s guides (Gov. Pubs. I 53.7/2:Y 3/6); maps (many!);  and, of course, geosciences studies of the world’s greatest boiling-hot geyser collection.

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“All we are saying … is give peace a chance”.

peace.jpgThe lyrics of “Give Peace a Chance” express former Beatle, John Lennon’s (1940-1980) antiwar philosophy.  In commemoration of his birthday on October 9th, the Libraries’ is highlighting resources that provide a documentary history of governments’ attempts to establish peace though negotiations, armistice agreements, and treaties.  Supplementary documents related to peace talks, declassified diplomatic correspondence provide further accounts of diplomatic successes and failures.

The text of treaties from the earliest formation of the U.S. government to contemporary times are available in print or in digital format within the Government Publications Collection including Indian Treaties, treaties with foreign governments from the Revolutionary War, both World Wars, and the Korean and Viet Nam Wars eras. In addition, the United Nations Treaty Collection subscription resource includes multilateral treaties, many of which seek to promote peaceful relationships among countries.

Background information critical for better understanding of issues involved in negotiations, includes foreign policy statements, reprints of speeches, congressional testimony, position papers, and country geopolitical profiles. 

The destruction resulting from World War II brought nations together to work on peace and security issues through the United Nations. The United Nations has worked on these issues since it was founded in 1945.  As a collector of United Nations publications, the University of Iowa Libraries has an extensive collection of materials that describe and detail international efforts to maintain and promote peace in the world.  A research guide for the United Nations collection is available online at http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/govpubs/intl/un.html.

Researchers may begin their search in InfoHawk Catalog or contact Marianne Mason for help with U.S. government information and Brett Cloyd for assistance with the United Nations and international government information.

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Collection Connection – Congressional Medal of Honor

norman_borlaug.jpgNorman Borlaug, Iowa native, Nobel Prize winner, founder of the World Food Prize, and recent recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, is credited with saving billions of lives worldwide through his agricultural research as a microbiologist. His early career with the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the foundation for further study of plant pathology and improved food production. His research led to the development of disease resistant varieties of wheat which are adaptable in various growing conditions, and provide exceptionally high yield potential. His achievement revolutionized agriculture and earned his reputation as the “Father of the Green Revolution.”

The government publications collection at The University of Iowa Libraries contains a rich variety of materials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for both researchers and consumers. The collection spans more that 100 years of research and documents the enormous change in methods of land and plant stewardship and animal husbandry. Food and nutrition, natural resources and environment, animal-borne diseases, climate and trade are a few of the topics included in the collection.

To locate recent titles go to InfoHawk. To search for books and journal articles go to Agricola, the National Agriculture Library database. Not all of the government publications in the UI collection are searchable in InfoHawk, but may be found by using specialized indexes such as the Cumulative subject index to the Monthly catalog of United States Government publications, 1900-1971 (shelved in Main Reference Collection FOLIO Z1223 .A181). Ask a librarian if you would like assistance.

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Want to know more about… the World Bank?

images761331_paul_wolfowitz.jpgWith Paul Wolfowitz’s resignation as President of the World Bank, the Bank has lately received widespread media attention. It is a good time to note that The University of Iowa Libraries has collected World Bank publications for many years, and also subscribes to a number of databases from the World Bank Group. Among those titles widely used by researchers are the World Development Indicators (a collection of statistical data sets measuring economic and social  activity in countries around the globe) and the World Bank E-Library (a collection of electronic books, reports and studies).

The Libraries’ World Bank Research Guide provides an overview of the World Bank and its information sources. Requests for assistance can be directed to Brett Cloyd (brett-cloyd@uiowa.edu) – Reference and Government Information Librarian.

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Japanese Film Collection

Eight Below, The Magnificent Seven and Shall We Dance?. What do these titles have in common?

They are all films were first developed by Japanese filmmakers and later remade for American audiences.

Eight BelowAntarcticaIn the 1983 movie, Nankyoku Monogatari or Antarctica, two Japanese scientists, Ushioda and Ochi, develop a bond with their sled dogs while on an expedition in Antarctica. Ushioda and Ochi eventually leave Antarctica, only to return to search for the dogs inadvertently marooned there. In 2006, Walt Disney Pictures released Eight Below. Both films were loosely based on a 1958 Japanese expedition to the South Pole.

The Magnificent Seven

7 SamuraiShichinin no samurai or Seven Samurai is a 1954 film about a village of farmers that hire seven samurai warriors to combat bandits who return after the harvest to steal their crops. The Magnificent Seven is a 1960 Western with many of the same scenes and even some of the same dialogue.

Shall We Dansu? was released in Japan in 1996. It is the story of an unhappy accountant who secretly begins taking ballroom dance lessons. The film was very popular and won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Picture. The American remake Shall We Dance? did not receive as much critical acclaim.

Interested in other films that were originally created in East Asia and remade into motion pictures in the United States, check out this selected bibliography. You can also learn more about the Japanese Collections in the UI Libraries and contact the Japanese Collections Librarian.

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center (APACC) is hosting a number of events including a screening of the film entitled “Better Luck Tomorrow” on Thursday night in the Adler Building at 7 p.m. For more information about the events contact APACC President, Ben Mai.

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Happy Birthday William York Tindall

According to The Writer’s Almanac, today is the birthday of literary critic and James Joyce scholar William York Tindall, born in Williamstown, Vermont (1903). He was a literature student when he discovered James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922) while traveling in Paris. He became obsessed with Joyce, and read all of his works.

When he returned to the U.S., Tindall started teaching a course in modern literature at New York University, and he was one of the first professors in the United States to assign Ulysses to his students. The book was still banned in the U.S. at the time, so his students had to read a bootlegged copy that was chained to a desk in the library.

He may be interested to see the current exhibit in the Main Library, “Making No Compromise with the Public Taste,” which centers around the obscenity trials of Ulysses and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. The title of the exhibit comes from a tagline used by Margaret Anderson on her literary magazine The Little Review. Ulysses was serialized in The Little Review until difficulties with obscenity distribution issues forced it to cease publishing.

Tindall later taught English at Columbia University in New York City where his papers are now archived. He died in 1981.

Find more of William York Tindall’s work on James Joyce.