Iowa Digital Library Category

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Iowa Research Online: Where Your Work Lasts Forever

By Michael S. Lewis-Beck, F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Political Science

As emeritus faculty, I’ve spent my career researching and writing about politics. I published my first academic paper in 1974. Then as it is today, having your academic work cited is critical. But now the methods of scholarly publishing are very different. Academic publishers and academic libraries alike are faced with financial challenges of changing technologies and greater demand for information.

Over the course of my career I’ve authored or co-authored more than 200 articles and books in comparative elections, election forecasting, political economy and quantitative methodology. I can’t hazard a guess as to how many students, researchers and others have read my ideas in the past 40 years.

Then three years ago, 24 of my articles and book chapters were uploaded into Iowa Research Online (http://ir.uiowa.edu). Now each month, I receive notification of how many times an article has been downloaded. It’s exciting to see those numbers grow. But what might be even more exhilarating is the fact that my work will be available to students and researchers in perpetuity.

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Open Access Week 2012

The University of Iowa Libraries joins thousands of other academic research libraries worldwide in celebration of International Open Access Week. To draw attention to this important issue facing faculty, students and librarians, we’re turning our website orange in recognition of open access.

“Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.

OA Week creates an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of open access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

To participate in OA week, do one or more of the following:

  • Visit the University of Iowa’s Open Access web page and learn more about what OA is and how you can participate in making scholarship more freely available.
  • Look at a list of open access articles authored by UI faculty and staff.
  • Follow the Library News this week to hear what UI faculty and others think about OA and how they are becoming part of the solution.
  • Join us on Monday, October 29 at 3pm to hear Don Share, Senior Editor of Poetry Magazine talk about how one of the leading poetry magazines in the country went Open Access.
  • Take a few minutes to learn more about copyright and the importance of retaining rights to your published work.  What does the last publication agreement you signed allow you to do with your work?
  • Deposit pre-prints, post-prints and associated data files in Iowa’s institutional repository: Iowa Research Online (ir.uiowa.edu).

 

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A Nancy Drew birthday

Nancy Drew author Mildred Wirt Benson among her books, Toledo, 1949 | Mildred Wirt Benson Collection

Nancy Drew author Mildred Wirt Benson among her books, Toledo, 1949 | Mildred Wirt Benson Collection

University of Iowa alumna Mildred Wirt Benson — journalist, pilot, amateur archaeologist, ghost writer, and the original author of the Nancy Drew mystery series — was born on this day in 1905. To mark the anniversary, we’re featuring a gallery of her book covers, from the iconic to the unintentionally terrifying, on our Iowa Digital Library Pinterest account. View even more digitized artifacts at the Mildred Wirt Benson Digital Collection.

Pinterst - IDL: Mildred Wirt Benson cover gallery

Pinterst - IDL: Mildred Wirt Benson cover gallery

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Civil War letters back in Iowa and ready for transcription

Wilkerson letters, 1863-1865 | Civil War Diaries and Letters

Wilkerson letters, 1863-1865 | Civil War Diaries and Letters

With almost 13,000 pages completed, our crowdsourcing volunteers are wrapping up their efforts to transcribe the UI’s collection of Civil War diaries and letters in order to make them easier to search and browse. But it turns out that that finish line is a moving target, since publicity from the project has attracted new Civil War donations to the Libraries. This week we added a handful of these recent acquisitions — totaling over 1,000 newly digitized pages ready for transcription — to the digital collection: Turner S. Bailey diaries, 1861-1863; Philip H. Conard diary, 1864-1865; and Wilkerson letters, 1863-1865.

In a Cedar Rapids Gazette article last fall, donor Pamela Lee attributed the choice to house her family papers at the UI to the crowdsourcing effort, describing it as “my Christmas list of everything that I thought should be done with the letters.” Read more, or just jump in and start transcribing, at the links below.

Hands-on experience with Civil War history: The University of Iowa is seeking public help with transcribing Civil War history

Letter after letter, week after week, Sarahett Wilkerson pleaded with her husband.

“I wish you could come home,” she wrote to Jesse Wilkerson, who was drafted in November 1864 to serve with the 13th Iowa Infantry in the Civil War.

After five months alone on the couple’s farm in Hamburg and three months caring for a new baby, Sarahett Wilkerson on April 2, 1865, penned another desperate behest of her husband.

“The baby is three months old day before yesturday,” she wrote, her spelling off on some words. “I want you to send her a name.”

In the letter, among 29 that Wilkerson’s descendants recently donated to the University of Iowa Libraries cataloging Jesse Skinner Wilkerson’s Civil War experience, his wife updates the 33-year-old soldier on their children and how much they miss him…

Pamela Lee, 60, of Pullman, Wash., is the great-great-great granddaughter of Jesse Wilkerson and said her family gave the documents to the UI as a way of preserving the material and making it relevant…

“We are so happy that the letters are back in Iowa,” Lee said. “It’s exactly where they should be.”

View the full article at thegazette.com

Help transcribe the UI’s Civil War diaries and letters

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Surf’s up

Join Nixon, Brownie Scouts, and the Women’s Army Corps at the Iowa Digital Library beach party, happening over at our Pinterest account:

Pinterest: Iowa Digital Library beach party

Pinterest: Iowa Digital Library beach party

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Happy finals week

Exam, The University of Iowa, 1910s | Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes

Exam, The University of Iowa, 1910s | Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes

Exam, The University of Iowa, 1920s | Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes

Exam, The University of Iowa, 1920s | Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes

Exam, The University of Iowa, 1930s | Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes

Exam, The University of Iowa, 1930s | Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes

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Grant Wood scrapbooks now online

Grant Wood portrait with brush and dental instrument used for painting, 1940s | Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection

Grant Wood portrait with brush and dental instrument used for painting, 1940s | Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection

The Figge Art Museum and the University of Iowa Libraries are pleased to announce the release of the Grant Wood Digital Collection, http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/grantwood, in conjunction with the Grant Wood Biennial Symposium 2012, April 13-14, 2012.

This unique digital collection includes more than 12 scrapbooks and albums of news clippings, photographs, postcards, letters, and related ephemera assembled by Grant Wood’s sister, Nan Wood Graham, chronicling her brother’s professional life.

For the first time, scholars, students and the general public will have unprecedented virtual access to the scrapbook materials.  Due to their fragility, access to the actual scrapbooks is simply impossible.

“Nan Wood Graham is one of the most famous faces in the history of art, immortalized in Wood’s iconic painting American Gothic. The materials Graham compiled provide wonderful insight into Wood’s life in Iowa and his development as one of the most famous American artists of the 20th century,” says Figge Art Museum registrar Andrew Wallace.  “It is gratifying to know that, through this digital collection, people around world are able to learn about the life and times of Grant Wood through the words of close friends, family, and fellow artists.”

This digital collection project would not have been possible without the generous assistance of the Henry Luce Foundation American Art Renewal Fund and through additional funding for imaging equipment provided by an anonymous donor.

These materials, along with several hundred artifacts, including the artist’s wire-rimmed glasses, palettes, paint box, and easel, are part of the Figge Art Museum’s Grant Wood Archive. The Archive has provided primary source material for numerous articles, catalogs, and monographs for over 40 years, most recently by R. Tripp Evans for his award-winning 2010 biography Grant Wood: A Life.

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Digital spring awakening

It’s the Spring equinox, and the flowers are bringing us back to life, perennially a cause for celebration as the Iowa Digital Library illustrates.

Bird on hand by Tilly Woodward, 2006 | The Daily Palette Digital Collection

Bird on hand by Tilly Woodward, 2006 | The Daily Palette Digital Collection

UI dancers, 1910s | Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes

UI dancers, 1910s | Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes

Flower baskets, Lost Nation, Iowa, 1915 | Noble Photographs

Flower baskets, Lost Nation, Iowa, 1915 | Noble Photographs

Floral postcard, 1910s | Noble Photographs

Floral postcard, 1910s | Noble Photographs

Scrapbook cover, 1997 | Evelyn Birkby Collection

Scrapbook cover, 1997 | Evelyn Birkby Collection

Equinox by David Whannel, 2008 | The Daily Palette Digital Collection

Equinox by David Whannel, 2008 | The Daily Palette Digital Collection

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Reach for your rights

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re featuring a few of the thousands of artifacts in our Iowa Women’s Archives Digital Collections:

Holy City residents, Bettendorf, Iowa, 1920s | Mujeres Latinas

Holy City residents, Bettendorf, Iowa, 1920s | Mujeres Latinas

Basketball practice, 1938 | University of Iowa Physical Education for Women

Basketball practice, 1938 | University of Iowa Physical Education for Women

Betty Ford at the National Republican Convention, Kansas City, 1976 | Iowa Women's Archives Founders

Betty Ford at the National Republican Convention, Kansas City, 1976 | Iowa Women's Archives Founders

Girls' dance troupe, Roland, Iowa, 1910s | Noble Photographs

Girls' dance troupe, Roland, Iowa, 1910s | Noble Photographs

Fence climbing, The University of Iowa, 1920s | African American Women in Iowa

Fence climbing, The University of Iowa, 1920s | African American Women in Iowa

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Taking the leap in Iowa Digital Library

"...But you know it's a leap year," editorial cartoon, June 21, 1904 | Editorial Cartoons of J.N. Ding Darling

"...But you know it's a leap year," editorial cartoon, June 21, 1904 | Editorial Cartoons of J.N. Ding Darling

"Yes, Virginia, this is a leap year," newspaper column, Feb. 29, 1968 | The Daily Iowan Historic Newspapers

"Yes, Virginia, this is a leap year," newspaper column, Feb. 29, 1968 | The Daily Iowan Historic Newspapers

"Leap year," mixed media by Jill Erickson, 1987 | School of Art & Art History Graduate Archive

"Leap year," mixed media by Jill Erickson, 1987 | School of Art & Art History Graduate Archive