cheryl jacobsen Archive


News from Special Collections 9/18/2015

New Staff:

Image of Alonso Avila

Alonso Avila is a new librarian and will begin his residency at the University of Iowa Libraries by spending a year working in Special Collections & University Archives. In May 2015, he received his Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prior to UIUC, Alonso worked as a special education tutor at a charter high school in Chicago, and also served two years in Peace Corps Jordan. Alonso’s research interests include the intersection of youth culture and social justice, as well as the interrelationship between librarianship and hip hop’s 5th element, knowledge AKA information literacy. While at The University of Iowa Libraries, he plans on building and gaining a new set of skills that will help him become a successful academic librarian whether in Chicago or any other institution around the world.


From the Web and Social Media:

1. Iowa Public Radio Interview

Image of Peter Balestrieri holding zines


Librarians Peter Balestrieri and Laura Hampton were interviewed on Iowa Public Radio this week about digitizing 1930s-1950s science fiction fanzines. You can hear the four minute interview or read the transcript here.





2. Cheryl Jacobsen Calligraphy Video

Image of Calligraphy

Cheryl Jacobsen, professional calligrapher and Lettering Arts instructor for the University of Iowa Center for the Book spoke about historic black letter hands from Medieval manuscripts at the Iowa Bibliophiles meeting last week. While there, she did a calligraphy demonstration and Colleen Theisen put together this short video of her work.



New Acquisitions:

1. Emblem book

Paradin. Devises Heroïques. Lyon 1551.

This is the first edition of the first illustrated book of devices, or emblem book. Iowa has a growing collection of emblem books, which are frequently used for class sessions, but none are quite like this. Paradin’s devices went without explanation until  the second edition was printed in 1557 with more text. This first edition, with its complete lack of explanation, is oddly appealing in its vagueness.

2. Facsimiles of Historic Bindings

Two wonderful new facsimiles have arrived that are extremely high quality reproductions of early types of medieval manuscripts and their bindings.

The first is Historia Langobardorum by Paul the Deacon which is a 9th century text that is fundamental to understand the relationship between the Lombards, the Franks, the Byzantine Empire and the Papacy.  The bare boards binding allows students to view how the quires are assembled and sewn in the text.

The second is Liber Precum, a facsimile of a 16th century book with a girdle style binding.  The manuscript combines two Latin texts, each written and decorated separately and apparently unique in the forms found in this book: the first portion of the manuscript is a series of prayers on the life and Passion of Christ, and the second is a set of sermons and prayers in prose and verse, many attributed to distinguished spiritual authors, among them Saints Anselm, Gregory, Bernard, Jerome, and Thomas, as well as Jean Gerson and others.  It includes 41 full page miniatures.


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New Artist’s Books from UI Center for the Book Faculty

OVideo of Romeo and Juliet movingur two newest book arts acquisitions both come from instructors from the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Romeo and Juliet (Naughty Dog Press) is a new book from Emily Martin, who teaches bookbinding and book arts classes here at the Center for the Book. Romeo and Juliet includes one line of dialogue to represent the story being told in each of the five acts, emphasizing the timelessness of the play through repetition of the chorus, and insertion of modern equivalents for Verona.  This carousel book uses a format that Emily Martin devised to allow for scenes and separate text panels. The spine tabbing, also of her devising, functions both to hold the book together and to balance the thickness at the fore-edge. The text lines were letterpress printed onto Mohawk Superfine 100 lb Text paper. The images were made with an ink transfer monoprinting technique. The covers are printed on a handmade flax, abaca and linen paper from papermaker Mary Hark. Edition of 9 with one artist’s proof.  (Adapted from the artist’s colophon).

Small parchment book with leater girdle book bindingNest of Patience is a new acquisition from Kristin Alana Baum (Blue Oak Bindery) and Cheryl Jacobsen, calligraphy instructor at the Center for the Book. A collaboration based on a medieval girdle book, Nest of Patience is a contemporary Book of Hours contemplating the concept of patience by way of words, poetry, fortunes, and nature. The book begins with a spiritual calendar of days and proceeds with eight sections, each headed with a totem animal. Full vellum text block includes hand-stitched indigo-dyed slunk panels, hand-lettered texts, illuminations, and sewn-in found objects relating to patience. Wooden board binding, sewn on hemp cords and laced into beech boards.

Nest of Patience is currently on the New Acquisitions shelf in the Reading Room and Romeo and Juliet will be joining the shelf just after Christmas.  Stop by to enjoy these two new works from U of I faculty!