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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” Incunables Arrive in Special Collections

If you have been following any of our social media feeds over the past few days, you may have noticed photos popping up of newly-acquired incunables. So, what’s going on here? First, some background:

Patrick Olson opening a packageIncunables are books printed in Europe during the fifteenth century, between 1450 and 1501, examples of the earliest printed books. The incunabula period is the focus of a great deal of study—the development of printing, and how it affected the design, distribution, and reception of books, remains central to our understanding of book history.

Here at Iowa, we have long held a respectable collection of incunabula, and these books are frequently called for in classes and exhibitions. In recent years, these books have been examined extensively by Tim Barrett for his study of early papermaking, and Iowa is also home to the Atlas of Early Printing, an interactive overview of the spread and development of printing in Europe. The UI Center for the Book continues to pass along the art and craft of letterpress printmaking that first flourished in the incunabula period.

Our recent acquisitions are an attempt to add examples of books and subjects in the incunabula period that we have not had previously. This collection development has been made possible due to the support of the University Libraries acquisitions fund and the Libraries’ Collection Management Committee.

Five 15th century books on a tableSpecial Collections Librarian Pat Olson took charge of this opportunity and identified an outstanding mix of possibilities that enhance our collection in many ways. Among these dozen new titles is the first illustrated edition of Dante printed in Venice. Until now, our incunables largely represented just a single language: Latin. The occasional ancient Greek was the only exception. Our new Dante, however, is in Italian, and so it’s one of our first incunables printed in a vernacular language. The other, also just acquired, is Monte dell’orazione, a private devotional text intended specifically for women. The copy we just acquired is particularly notable for retaining the very rare illustrated wrapper—or to risk oversimplification, the original illustrated paperback binding.

We filled one of our more significant gaps withzodiac the acquisition of our first 15th-century Bible, and in an early pigskin binding to boot. Another first for us is our first Spanish incunable, a book of music printed in red and black at Seville in 1494. We purchased our first 15th-century edition of Ovid, too, here in its original leather-covered wooden boards and retaining its original brass furniture. Early science has been another sparsely covered subject for us, so we acquired a lavishly illustrated astrological text. (NB: What passed for science in the 1400s may not pass for science today.) We also acquired a rather crude dialogue intended for children and the less sophisticated—a rare survival, insofar as such texts were less commonly printed and more commonly read to pieces.

In all cases, we sought books in early (if not original) bindings. Given the serious interest in earlymusic incunable papermaking here at Iowa, we made it a point to pursue books with untrimmed leaves, which serve as uncommon witnesses to original paper sizes. We searched for books with valuable marginalia, interesting provenance, and varying degrees of decoration by hand. Most of these books do have early marginalia, an invaluable resource to support the growing scholarship on the history of reading. Perhaps the most remarkable in terms of provenance is a sammelband (multiple books bound together) printed by the famous scholar-printer Johann Amerbach. Our copy is not just a well preserved example of a 15th-century sammelband, but it contains an inscription noting its donation to a local monastery by the printer himself. As far as textual decoration is concerned, these new acquisitions run the gamut from crude DIY initials to professionally executed penwork and illumination.

There really is something for everyone, and we can’t wait to share them. Once they have been catalogued and properly housed, these books may be viewed by request in our reading room during regular hours. And keep an eye out for an announcement coming at a later date of an opportunity to view these new acquisitions in person, while learning about how incunables are being studied today.

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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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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.

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In Memory of George Ludwig

The U.S. launched its first satellite, Explorer I, on this day 55 years ago, on January 31, 1958. Under the direction of Prof. James A. Van Allen of the University of Iowa’s Department of Physics, the satellite carried a payload of data-gathering equipment which eventually revealed the presence of radiation belts encircling the earth.

Our observation of this anniversary is bittersweet this year, as one of the Explorer I team’s most dedicated developers, George Ludwig, died at his Winchester, Virginia, home on Jan. 22 at the age of 85.

George Ludwig was a doctoral candidate working on the project with Prof. Van Allen at the time, and he kept a journal chronicling the events. In his entry made at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, 1958, he declared:

“Success!! The first U.S. satellite is in orbit. It looks like a good one. … At about 12:41 (Eastern Standard Time) west coast stations started reporting signals. So it was around the earth once! … And so to sleep – the end of a beautiful day.”

Mr. Ludwig, a Johnson County, Iowa native who completed his doctoral dissertation in 1960, went on to a distinguished career with the Goddard Space Flight Center, and later helped lead the effort to establish the National Earth Satellite Service during the 1970s. In 1981 he became director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Environmental Research Laboratories, a position he held for two years before returning to NASA. He retired in 1984.

His papers are now housed in the University Archives. In addition, the original data he gathered and analyzed from Explorer I, the first scientific data ever transmitted from space, is being digitized and will be made available online in its original raw form. Mr. Ludwig was part of a small, select group of space exploration pioneers whose research laid the foundation for today’s understanding of our planet, our solar system, and beyond.

 

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Van Allen Explorer I Data Tapes: Preservation and Digitization

Image of James Van Allen with data tapes

The UI Libraries has been awarded $200,000 from the Carver Trust to digitize the data tapes from the Explorer I satellite mission that led to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts. These tapes were recovered from the basement of Maclean Hall through the outstanding efforts of our Preservation Dept. in 2010-2011. During that time, tapes containing the original data from Explorer I, III, IV, and a few subsequent satellites, were cleaned and transferred to the Van Allen collection here in the University Archives. We will be using the funds from the Carver Trust to digitize the data from the Explorer I tapes and make it freely accessible online in its original raw format, to allow researchers or any interested parties to download the full data set. This resource will be complemented by an immersive online site containing material from the Van Allen archive that provides historical context and interpretation for the interested general public. This material includes scans of memos, planning documents, diagrams, correspondence, and diary entries, along with photographs, video, and audio items. The site will tell the story of James Van Allen’s work and the Explorer I mission in an interactive manner, and will also provide curriculum that will harness these unique historical and scientific resources to engage a new generation of students with the possibilities of scientific discovery.
 

For more information on NASA’s recent announcements relating to renaming efforts honoring James Van Allen see the November 12th article in “Iowa Now”  and the announcement from NASA.

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Historic Foodies, Talk of Iowa, and Marlborough Pudding/Pie

Thank you to all who attended last week’s first meeting of the Historic Foodies!  For those of you who missed the meeting, Kathrine’s Moermond from the Old Capitol Museum told tales of tracking down the variations of Marlborough Pudding.  I’ve included her account here and hear her tell some of the tale on this week’s episode of Talk of Iowa 

Marlborough Pudding or Pie

I happened across the recipe as I was looking through Alice Electa Pickard’s recipe book that dates back to 1868 (page 49).  I love to look for new dessert recipes and this one intrigued me because of its unusual name and simple ingredients.  Sure enough, the pie I found to be a traditional Thanksgiving dessert and its praise was beaming on the Old Village Sturbridge Village website where if you’re looking for traditional New England Turkey Day recipes, this would be place to find them.  But, I was intrigued.  Marlborough Pie is very English, calling for nutmeg, lemon, and apple.   And, were some of the Pilgrims yearning for the mother land when preparing and serving this pie?  The recipe listed on the website called for a slightly different preparation and a few different ingredients.  So, I just had to make both. 

Handwritten recipe

 

Marlborough Pie, Alice Electa Pickard, 1868

My first attempt at making Alice’s recipe was exuberant and exciting and I think I took things a little too fast.  I had consulted another recipe online though that recommended grating the apples directly into the batter as to prevent browning, so that’s what I did.  I also had the hunch to melt the butter first before blending.  I prepared the all butter crust first though with a recipe from Sarah Josepha Hale’s book, Early American Cookery, 1841.  I then prepped the ingredients, using a cheap chardonnay for the wine and large brown organic eggs.  Since she said “spice to taste”, I took the liberty of using freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger as well.   I then grated the apple into the mix, stirred, and then placed it in the “undercrust” and then into the oven.  Since she does not reference a temperature, I went for a reliable 350 Fahrenheit and checked it at 35 minutes. And, it turned out just right.  Or, so I thought.  Soon after cutting into it I realized the egg had separated from the apple and there were two distinct layers.  The taste was great, but I thought that this might not be the end goal. 

First Attempt - image of pie 

1st attempt at Alice’s recipe

The following evening I attempted to make Alice’s version again and the Old Sturbridge Village version.   The Old Sturbridge Village version is a modern adaptation of Amelia Simmons’ version from 1796 and includes stewed apples, lemon, cream, sherry, and two teaspoons of grated nutmeg.  Spicy!  In hopes to save time, I stewed the apples for the new recipe first and prepared the filling for Alice’s recipe.  I then made the crusts for each and then put the new recipe together.  I baked the new one first and Alice’s second.  In my timely preparation for both pies, I did not realize that this actually was the key to Alice’s recipe, let the filling do some blending in the bowl before you bake it. 

second attempt - image of two pies 

Old Sturbridge Village pie (left) and Alice’s pie (right).

As I sliced into the second attempt at Alice’s pie I let out a sigh of relief, it wasn’t in two layers!  I realized then that all that time it sat waiting to place in the oven probably helped to make the ingredients blend happily with one another.  Then, I cut open the second and I noticed the texture was much different, almost more of a cooked applesauce custard.  In the Old Sturbridge Village recipe I had only used one teaspoon of grated nutmeg.  However, it was still very alive with nutmeg, and with sherry.  Both turned out to be very tasty, but I have to give my props to Alice’s recipe.  It didn’t call for lemon, probably too expensive at the time to include, and it was very basic with great results.  The texture of the pie hints to apple, but along with the eggs and butter, comes together to make a lovely and delicate dish. 

I like Alice’s recipe so much that I’m sharing it with boyfriend’s family for their Thanksgiving!

 

Next meeting: Tuesday, December 11 at 6PM. Our theme for next month is holiday recipes and cookies so find a recipe from DIY History or the Szathmary printed cookbooks in Special Collections and bring a story of your success or failure, and photos of your dish as well as a sample to share! We’ll start the meeting with hands-on time to explore the handwritten manuscripts from the Szathmary Culinary Collection and tours of the collection.

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Want to Make Historic Recipes?

handwritten recipe page from a very old book

Photo by Tom Jorgenson

Want to make historic recipes?  Or how about reading handwriting, converting measurements, recreating historic cooking implements, food photography, or writing and blogging?

300+ years of handwritten cookbooks with thousands of recipes from Chef Louis Szathmary’s culinary collection from Special Collections & University Archives are now online in DIY History, the newest transcription project from the University of Iowa Libraries.  Helpful people around the world are trying to puzzle out what the handwriting says.  But is that where it ends?  Unlike letters, diaries, or even menus, recipes are not done even what you can read what it says.  They are instructions just calling out to be tested to bring a slice of history back to life one piece of hardtack at a time.

Sound interesting?  Come to the first meeting and have a voice in determining what the group should be.

If  you can’t make the meeting but want to be in the loop, e-mail colleen-theisen @  uiowa dot edu to be added to the e-mail list.

Event poster

 

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

6:30-8PM

PS-Z, 120 N. Dubuque St.

(3 blocks north of PS1, on the lower level of the Wesley Center)

 

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Unboxing the Hevelin Science Fiction Collection on Tumblr

The time has come! The James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Collection of Pulps, Fanzines, and Science Fiction Books is being unboxed and processed. 
 
Special Collections & University Archives is pleased to welcome long-time student worker and avid researcher Peter Balestrieri who is joining our staff as a Processing Librarian and taking on the task of making the collection ready for researchers. 
 
Rusty Hevelin was a science fiction fan, pulp collector, huckster (a dealer at conventions), and voracious reader.  In addition, he was one of the founders of Iowa’s two ongoing science fiction conventions, Icon in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area, and DemiCon in Des Moines.   
 
Friends and fans now have the opportunity to follow Peter as he explores and unboxes the collection, on our new Tumblr page where he will post photos and updates, box by box, as the mysteries within are revealed.
 
Please follow along and enjoy the snapshots into the history of science fiction and fantasy literature and fandom in the United States  http://hevelincollection.tumblr.com
 
For more on Rusty Hevelin and his collections please see our April 11th blog post.
 
 
 
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150 Years Later a Civil War Story Unfolds

In celebration of the U.S. Civil War Sesquicentennial, The University of Iowa Libraries is bringing to life the compelling story of Civil War soldier Joseph F. Culver and his wife, Mary, featuring letters held in Special Collections in the J.F Culver Papers. Letter by letter their story will unfold over the next three years published on a new blog exactly 150 years to the exact date each letter was written.  The blog was launched today with the first letter written 8/14/1862. 

Joseph Franklin Culver (1834-1899) was engaged in banking, insurance, and the practice of law in Pontiac, Illinois, before the war.  An honorable and religious man he was inspired to leave his pregnant wife of less than a year behind to “walk in the path of duty” as a volunteer to serve with the Illinois 129th Infantry Regiment, Company A (August 1862-June 1865), first as a lieutenant and later as captain. Culver so desired to keep in contact with his new wife that he wrote detailed letters multiple times each week sharing his day, news items, and the stories of the men in his company, also men from Pontiac and Livingston County, IL, for the duration of the three years of his service.  

Extensive annotations added by scholar Edwin C. Bearss in the 1970s as J.F. Culver’s letters were turned into a book, Your Affectionate Husband, J.F. Culver, are included to make it possible to follow the dates, names, relationships, and references in the letters. Newly discovered letters and letters from his wife, Mary, will be included in the blog project to make the most complete version of their story to date.

Mary Culver Portrait

A review of the book from 1979 highly recommended Culver’s letters.  “This is a valuable series of letters by an observant and highly literate soldier. In addition, the collection has been edited in impeccably scholarly fashion. The book is thus a revealing as well as useful chronicle of Sherman’s campaigns…The chief value of Culver’s letters is the wide variety of subject matter. Comrades, marches, campaigns, rumors, prices, religion, and general commentaries abound. So do observations on all facets of army life–discipline, conscription, elections, camp life, baggage, shelters, pay, and rations. Added to this are personal opinions on a number of Union leaders.” James I. Robertson, Jr. The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 45, no.4 (Nov. 1979), pp. 612-613. 

Though primarily a story of an Illinois man, Iowa readers should note that Joseph and Mary Culver are great-grandparents to John Culver, former Iowa representative to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senator from Iowa, and great-great-grandparents to Chet Culver, former governor of Iowa.

View the Joseph F. Culver Civil War Blog.

The book is available from Amazon.com.