About Author: Colleen Theisen

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http://www.twitter.com/libralthinking
Description
Outreach and Instruction Librarian. Lover of coffee, as well as 19th century photography, painting, tourism and print.

Posts by Colleen Theisen

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Sign Up Now to Attend “Documenting Conscience: Preserving the Stories of Iowa Civil Rights Workers”

Meridian, Mississippi; 1964. From Papers of Patti Miller, Drake University Archives.

Meridian, Mississippi; 1964. From Papers of Patti Miller, Drake University Archives.

In 1964, a significant turning point in the U.S. Civil Rights movement occurred in what became known as the Freedom Summer. With the 50th anniversary of that momentous time approaching, the UI Alumni Association (UIAA) has organized a public discussion about those events and current work to safeguard the memory of Iowans who participated in the historic effort to challenge discrimination.

David McCartney, University of Iowa archivist and member of the Historical Iowa Civil Rights Network, will host “Documenting Conscience: Preserving the Stories of Iowa Civil Rights Workers.” He’ll explain how hundreds of volunteers from across the country traveled to Mississippi to help register African-Americans to vote, and how violence, including four murders and daily beatings, haunted them as they attempted to deliver voter registration materials, hold informational meetings, and mobilize support.

Part of the UIAA’s ongoing Lifelong Learning series, the event takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at Melrose Meadows, 350 Dublin Drive, Iowa City. This event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. To register by the Oct. 16 deadline or to learn more, visit the Lifelong Learning website.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this reading, contact Whit France-Kelly in advance at 319-335-2311 or whit-france-kelly@uiowa.edu. The event is co-sponsored by Melrose Meadows.

Register by Wednesday, October 16th!

 

View the original post from Iowa Now.

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New from the International Dada Archives

Three major new acquisitions from Dada’s transitional period of 1919-1920 document that movement’s spread beyond its World War I origins in neutral Switzerland to the key cultural centers of Europe during the early postwar era.

391_no09_001-1

Francis Picabia was one of the chief agents for the propagation of the Dada movement, and his  periodical 391  was a key vehicle for spreading Dada beyond its origins in Zurich. Picabia published the first four numbers in Barcelona, then took 391 with him to New York, Zurich, and finally Paris. Special Collections owns ten of the nineteen issues, representing all four cities. Our latest  acquisition  is Number 9 (November 1919), the first issue to be published in Paris (following the single Zurich number), just as Tristan Tzara, Dada’s self-proclaimed leader, was preparing to move to the French capital. With a cover featuring one of Picabia’s famous machine drawings, and with texts by Tzara, Picabia, and future Parisian Dadaist Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, this issue anticipates the founding of the Paris Dada movement.

Published shortly after the author DS_IMG_1725 had established himself in Paris, Cinéma calendrier du coeur abstrait; Maisons (1920) completes our collection of Tzara’s three books of poetry in the series “Collection Dada.” The first two were published in Zurich, and this third collection marks the full fruition of Dada in Paris. Illustrated with nineteen original woodcuts by Jean Arp, this masterpiece of Dada book art is signed by the author and the artist.

DieSchammade_003.tif

Die Schammade (also known as Dadameter) is the seminal publication of the short-lived branch of the Dada movement in Cologne, Germany. Edited in early 1920 by Max Ernst and Johannes Baargeld and printed on multicolored paper with magnificent woodcuts and drawings by Ernst, Arp, and others, Die Schammade typifies the international nature Dada, and includes texts in German and French, including some of the most important Dada writings of Arp, Ernst, and Baargeld.

tumblr_mt2o0qHRoS1rqo4zeo1_500In addition, we recently acquired the one issue of the Dada publication 291 not previously in the collection, making a complete set.

All four items will be scanned for the Digital Library of Dada.

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Identifying our 4mm Miniature Book

tiny book perched on a fingertip

Microminiature Bible

The University of Iowa Special Collections and University Archives is home to the Charlotte Smith Collection of miniature books with more than 4,000 tiny tomes.  Most perplexing has been this microscopic Bible that remained unidentified, likely because we lacked the tools to adequately magnify the page with the publisher’s information.  Highlighting this tiny book yesterday on our social media pages brought it to the attention of our conservator, Giselle Simon, who suggested that we try the microscope that recently arrived in the conservation lab.

Handling it safely proved to be no easy task!  With some extra sets of hands we were able to read the name of the publisher – Toppan Printing Co.  (You can see the damage on this page from earlier attempts to read it).

Following the trail we were able to identify the item as being a set of two books sold at the 1965 World’s Fair in New York.  In fact, the larger miniature book in the set was already in the collection, unassociated with the ultra microminiature that could not be read.

Now the two have been reunited and they will be cataloged together.

Citation as included in Anne C. Bromer’s excellent reference book, Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures from 2007.

Holy Bible, Tokyo: Toppan Printing Company, 1964.  4x4mm.  Published to coincide with the New York World’s Fair in 1965, this Bible was printed by a new process called “microprinting.”

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Book /Archival Collections and Light Exposure

purple

Can you tell that the red book used to be next to the purple one? That the tall books between are newer? And the spine used to be purple but has the most exposure so there is no color left.

Exposing an object to light, whether it is a book or flat item, causes damage that is cumulative over the lifetime of the object. The damage done by light cannot be restored and the item is permanently altered. By keeping the light levels as low as possible while still allowing for adequate viewing of the item, the rate degradation is reduced. This includes color fading and the physical breaking down of the item. Minimizing the amount of time something is exposed to light, even if the levels are low, will also control damage. So we must control the quantity and quality of light exposure to minimize the cumulative damaging effects of light on objects.

Another point to remember is that not only visible light does damage, but also light outside the visible range, such as ultraviolet and infrared.  All light will cause permanent chemical changes in the item, so it is important to monitor light, especially in an exhibit setting, and choose the most appropriate light level for each item.

 light damaged leather has no more colorSome objects are more light-sensitive than others, and require lower light levels. Within archival collections this may include photographic materials, textiles, and color media (printed color, watercolor, tempera, etc.). In an exhibit you may see that these types of materials have lower lights levels than perhaps oil paintings or metal objects.

Here we see a book and its protective box. The spine label is made of the same material as the book cover and was once the same color. The book retains its original color, but the spine label on the box reveals ambient light damage.

-Giselle Simón, Conservator

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Looking Back on a Semester of New Acquisitions

Patrick Olson inspecting packages

Patrick Olson inspecting packages

Patrick Olson joined us at the beginning of last semester as a new Special Collections Librarian in charge of collections analysis and acquisitions.  Patrick was most recently a rare book cataloger at M.I.T and came to Special Collections librarianship via the rare book trade.  Stop by and ask him about rare books or climbing mountains!

With Patrick in place, Special Collections has seen a flurry of activity this semester with boxes arriving almost daily with new donations and purchases.  The items are in various stages of being catalogued and processed so what follows here is an overview of new arrivals, with more announcements to follow soon.

 

Books:

 

Most recently we announced an extremely important purchase of twelve incunables (books from ~1450-1501).  Read our blog post and stay tuned, we’ll have updates as they are cataloged and ready for research.

William Morris initial

W.Morris proof (left)

Morris, William, Poems by the Way [corrected proof pages], 1891, X – PR5078.P4 1891a  Infohawk record  Blog post

Huxley, Aldous,  After Many a Summer [inscribed to H.G. Wells], 1939, X – PR6015.U9 A68 1939, Infohawk record

Asturias, Miguel Angel,  Leyendas de Guatemala, 1930.  Infohawk record

Hunt, Leigh, A Day by the Fire [Luther Brewer’s copy], 1870.

Baskerville title page

Baskerville title page

Von Siebold, Philipp Franz, Manners and Customs of the Japanese, 1841.  X – DS809.M28 1841 Infohawk record

Byron, Lord, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers [extra-illustrated], 1818.

Virgil, Bucolica, Georgica, et Aneis [Baskerville Virgil], 1757. X Folio – AC4.E28 1757. Infohawk record

West, Wallace, Alice in Wonderland [novelization of the 1933 film], 1934. X – PR4611.A73 W47 1934 Infohawk record

Alice in Wonderland, 1934Gifford, Thomas, Praetorian, 1993. Iowa Authors Collection. Infohawk record

Rogers, Bruce (OUP), [Prospectus for the 1935 Oxford Lectern Bible], 1935.  Infohawk record

Wilcox, Daniel, Ernie the Cave King, 1975. X – PZ5.W698 1975 Infohawk record

 

Miniature books:

Carroll, Lewis, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [miniature book with Rackham illustrations], 2011.  Smith – PR4611.A73 2011  Infohawk record

Pit and the Pendulum image

Pit and the Pendulum

Poe, Edgar Allan, [J. & J. Sobota Press] The Pit and the Pendulum [miniature book], 2005. Mab – PS2618.P5 2005a Infohawk record (Tumblr post)

Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia [miniature book], 1878. (Blog post)

Sweet, Pat, The Dragon Gallery [miniature book], 2010, Smith – GR830.D7 S944 2010, Infohawk record (Tumblr post)

Amato, Christina,  Tale of Herville [miniature book], 2010.  Smith – PS3551.M183 T354 2010 Infohawk record

The Dragon Gallery

The Dragon Gallery

Amato, Christina, Swells & Spines, or, The Man Who Bound at Sea [miniature book], 2011.  Smith – PS3551.M183 S94 2011 Infohawk record

 

Artist’s books:

 

Sara Langworthy book and broadsides:

New Patterns Primer [artist’s book], 2013.  Infohawk record

Solid Phases, [artist’s book], 2013. Infohawk record

Solid Fragments, [artist’s book], 2013. Infohawk record

Atlantis, [broadside], 2009.

Reading a book with a blacklight

2013. Invisible Ink

Healong, [broadside].

In the Trance , [broadside], 2009.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost, [broadside], 2010.

Practice, [broadside], 2009.

Small Study [broadside], 2009.

392905_547006075322681_1959319254_n

Pi

Szymborska, Wislawa and Susan Angebranndt of GreenChairPress, Pi, 2003.  [artist’s book] X – PG7178.Z9 A222 2003 Infohawk record (Facebook post)

Reed, Justin James, 2013 [invisible ink], 2012.  [artist’s book] X Folio – N7433.4.R424 T8 2012 Infohawk record  This text can only be viewed using a black light [included].

Hanmer, Karen, Letter Home, 2004. [artist’s book] X – N7433.4.H35 L48 2004 Infohawk record

Hanmer, Karen, Nevermore, Again, 2010, [artist’s book] Mab – PS2633.K372 2010 Infohawk record

 

Szathmary Collection:

 

Rowley Cook Book and Sunshine Cook Book [early 20th century community cookbooks]

64 community cookbooks

64 community cookbooks

64 community cookbooks [mostly Iowa] (Facebook post)

Hayward, A., The Art of Dining [railroad edition], 1852.  Infohawk record

Locke, John and Henry, Commercial Cookery Archive (English Catering Company), [Mid 1800s bulk dates], Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts, Collection Guide

Chicago Sun Times, Three original photos of Chef Louis Szathmary, 1970s (Facebook post)

Obama, Michelle, American Grown, 2012.   Infohawk record

 

Manuscripts and Archives:

 

Burger Notebook

Arthur Asa Berger notebooks

Arthur Asa Berger Papers  [University of Iowa alum and professor emeritus of Broadcast and Electronic
Communication Arts at San Francisco State University, where he taught between 1965 and 2003 and author of more than 60 books.].  More than 90 journals with a mix of drawings, photographs, personal life, and plans for books.

Mike Appelstein Collection, [Zine maker and writer who worked for VH1].  1990s zines, particularly music zines. This will especially complement the Sarah and Jen Wolfe Collection of Riot Grrrl and Underground Music Zines.

Joshua Glenn's zines

Joshua Glenn’s zines

Joshua Glenn Collection, 1980s-1990s music fanzines, letters from zine publishers, and zine ephemera. (Joshua Glenn’s Blog). (Tumblr).

Peter Thomas collection of papermaking and paper sample books.

Continuing fanzine acquisitions from the Organization for Transformative Works from many donors including a large donation of early Star Trek fanzines.

Morgan Dawn Collection addendum. [Zines for many TV shows and movies – Dr. Who, Harry Patter, Lord of the Rings, The Professionals, Quantum Leap, Star Trek & more].

George Ludwig papers. [Graduate Student under James Van Allen] (Two blog posts here and here)

George Ludwig Papers

George Ludwig Papers

Dave Morice Collection [1970s Actualist movement.  Poet, illustrator, and performance artist.]  Large addendum including personal papers and lesser known comic books such as Cosmic Boy
and Power of the Atom.  Spanish language comic books, including Condorito.

Iowa Library Association, 20 feet of records.

Hancher Auditorium, 1970s posters. (Blog post)

Gary Frost, administrative and teaching files.

Hancher event poster

Hancher Auditorium Posters

Janine Canan papers [Publications, CDs and DVDs of the feminist poet].

Cloe Mayes Yocum, [Hollywood scripts].

Marquis Childs [Iowa Author]. Manuscript for Cabin.

Sam Becker, [Emeritus faculty], we received a copy of a Saroyan lay Western Awakening.  This was Sam’s copy from a production at the University of Wyoming and is signed by Saroyan.

Adam Boyce.  Collections relating to Charles Taggart, a Chautauqua performer, for our Redpath Chautauqua collection.

Beatrice Abrahamson’s WWII diary

Letter from Marion, Iowa [Regarding settling in to a new life in 19th c Iowa]

Glowgramme, [1933 glow in the dark theater program] X – FOLIO PN2093 .G59 1933  Infohawk record

Stein Collection

Stein Collection

2 photo albums:

Trip to India c. 1900 [professional souvenir in lacquered Japanese binding]

Trip to Fiji & area c. 1920s [amateur photos]

Stein Collection, Muscatine Business owner’s diverse “gentleman’s library.”  This collection will be kept together.

Brian Harvey Collection of 2000+ 19th and early 20th century dog books.

dog books

Dog books

Records of the Progressive Party, and we got an addendum of Pennsylvania Progressive Party papers.  [Papers and press releases].

 

 

Other:

 

Reading room overhead scanner.Reading room scanner

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New Evidence Confirms 1973 Movement to Rename the Field House for the Allman Brothers Band

New at the UI Archives: 1970s-era posters for events at Hancher Auditorium, the Iowa Memorial Union and the UI Fieldhouse. For a brief but intense time in 1973 and ’74 there was a move afoot to rename the Field House for the Allman Brothers Band, which had a memorable gig there on Nov. 9, 1973. The posters are evidence of this unofficial, ill-fated, but totally sincere effort. CUE, the Commission for University Entertainment, was a student organization that encouraged the campaign. Many thanks to Tim Meier of the Hancher Auditorium office for arranging for transfer of these materials to the Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.

 

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Earliest Known Simon Estes Recording – Now Streaming!

Following up from our earlier announcement about the donation and digitization of the earliest known Simon Estes recording, the clip is now streaming!

Read about the original donation and the March 17th concert where Simon Estes was presented with a copy of the recording.

Dec1997_IowaAlumniQuarterly_0030Soloist: Simon Estes , Corrine Semler

Performance by the Old Gold Singers

Hi-Tran Recording Co., Cedar Rapids, IA in 1959 or 1960

I Got Plenty o’Nuttin’ from the musical Porgy and Bess. Music by George Gershwin, lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin.

 

via I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’.  <– Click this link to hear the recording!

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1878 Dante: Smallest Movable Type

Miniature book resting on the palm of a handThis is the first of a long string of announcements of new acquisitions that we will be announcing, so follow our blog to hear all the latest!

Tiny is the only word to describe this 58mm volume La divina commedia di Dante.  This is the second smallest edition of Dante ever printed and is notable for using the smallest movable type ever cast.  It was printed in Milan in 1878 by Ulrico Hoepli.

If you want to test your eyesight, stop by to give this one a try.

Miniature2

 

 

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One Week Only! Introduction to Book History Class Exhibition

The Introduction to Book History course taught by Gregory Prickman, Head of Special Collections & University Archives, curated this exhibition as a group to showcase their research. This week only it will remain on display outside Special Collections & University Archives’ reading room on the 3rd floor of the Main Libary.  Stop by to see a remarkable selection of books, highlighting interesting research from students from a range of departments including the Center for the Book, the School of Library and Information Science, Art, English and more.

 

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Earliest Known Simon Estes Recording Restored

Dec1997_IowaAlumniQuarterly_0030

Simon Estes and the Old Gold Singers – Courtesy UI Alumni Association

 

This story starts in 1959 when a UI undergraduate student from Centerville, IA, named Simon Estes auditioned for, and joined, the Old Gold Singers, a university chorus made up of non-music majors. The Old Gold Singers was a new organization, formed just two years before. It quickly established itself as a highly-talented goodwill ambassador of the University, thanks in no small part to Simon Estes’ rich baritone voice.

 

 The University Archives had no recordings of the singers from those early seasons until only recently. In 2010, UI alumnus James Crook, a professor emeritus of journalism at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, donated to the archives a set of phonograph disks featuring the troupe. Mr. Crook was a founding member of the Old Gold Singers and participated in its first three seasons. Mr. Estes, a classmate of Crook’s, went on to an acclaimed operatic and solo vocal career, after completing his UI degree and studies at the Julliard School. He has performed with the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and throughout Europe in a career spanning over 50 years.

 

CDAmong the phonograph records that Mr. Crook donated is one featuring Mr. Estes as a soloist during his first season with the Old Gold Singers, while a sophomore. The rare recording was made in a Cedar Rapids recording studio in 1959 or 1960, and playing it on a turntable more than 50 years later yielded a lot of scratches and pops with the music. Still, it was a valuable addition to the archives, believed to be the earliest-known recording of a young singer at the dawn of a remarkable and distinguished career.

 

 

The UI Libraries’ Preservation Department cleaned the record thoroughly and shipped it to the Media Preserve, a Pittsburgh firm specializing in recovery of audiovisual recordings. There, staff produced a digitally-reformatted version of the recording, one that sounds as good as new. The University Archives now has a digital copy of this rare recording, along with the original phonograph disk.

 

EstesBut the story doesn’t end there. On Sunday, March 17, Mr. Estes performed in Osage, Iowa, at a special dedication program recognizing that community’s new Krapek Family Fine Arts Center. The program was also part of his Roots and Wings tour in which he hopes to eventually perform in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. High school choruses from Osage and nearby Riceville and St. Ansgar also performed with Mr. Estes that afternoon.

 

Following the performance, UI Archivist David McCartney, representing the UI Libraries, presented Mr. Estes with a CD copy of the recording, housed in a case made for the occasion by staff in the Conservation Lab. The audience of over 600 also heard a one-minute excerpt, featuring a 21-year-old Mr. Estes singing a selection from “Porgy and Bess,” a number he coincidentally sang earlier in the afternoon as part of the program.

 

 The UI Libraries’ Department of Special Collections and University Archives is pleased to honor Mr. Estes and to preserve an early and important part of his outstanding career.