event Archive


Sunday! Shakespeare Family Festival – Book Arts, Crafts, Fencing, and Celebrating Shakespeare

shakespearean actor in fencing stanceSHAKESPEAREAN FAMILY FESTIVAL

Hands-on demonstrations of book arts, acting, fencing

18 September 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Main Library, North Plaza

Rain location: Just inside the Main Library’s north entrance

Free of charge, open to the public



All are welcome to attend this event filled with activities for all ages. Come celebrate the art of book making and other Shakespearean delights, featuring a lively cast of actors, artists, scholars, book makers, and fencers. Roll up your sleeves for book art fun with paper making, book binding, and more.In Shakespeare’s time, all books were made by hand.  But that didn’t mean book craftspeople were slow.  A team of 3 papermakers could make 2000 or more sheets in a day!  Individuals and families are encouraged to come join us, have a chance to try various aspects of bookmaking, and take home a piece of paper, a printed sheet or a bound small book that you make yourself!

Papermaking—Form your own sheet of paper from wet pulp, press it, and take it with you to dry at home. Handouts will be provided for more information about papermaking history and how to make it at home.

Printing—Print a small keepsake on a hand press similar to the presses that were used in Shakespeare’s time.  The printed impression will be a piece of Shakespeare’s writing, with a bit of background on the Bard.

Bookbinding—Bind a simple pamphlet structure, using xerox copied Shakespeare text, and a handmade paper cover. Requires basic sewing with a (dull!) darning needle.

Visitors are welcome to take part in one, two, or all three activities!

Hands Making Paper



Felicia Rice and Guillermo Gómez-Peña Artwork Doc/Undoc on Display

Last week Special Collections the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professors Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Felicia Rice stopped by Special Collections for a performance and their collaborative work Doc/Undoc is now on display.

Rice performed “DOC/UNDOC: Collaboration and Metamorphosis,” followed by a conversation with Guillermo Gómez-Peña on March 31st.

Gómez-Peña is a performance artist whose live art, video, radio, photography, and writing have earned acclaim — and many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship — over the past thirty years. He is the artistic director of the transnational performance collective La Pocha Nostra.

Rice’s design, printing, and publication work for her Moving Parts Press (Santa Cruz, CA) has been exhibited at major book fairs in New York and Frankfurt, and collected by the Whitney Museum, the Bodleian Library, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, among others. Rice is also an educator who teaches courses in letterpress printing, typography, printmaking, typography, and bookmaking at institutions ranging from UC-Santa Cruz to the Santa Cruz YWCA.

Together with their collaborators, Gómez-Peña and Rice have published artists’ books including DOC/UNDOC: Documentado/Undocumented, Ars Shamánica Performática (2014), a copy of which is held by UI’s Special Collections.

Doc/Undoc as well as selections of work from the Moving Parts Press on loan from Felicia Rice are on display in the third floor hallway gallery cases outside of Special Collections until May 20th, 2016.

Event 3/31:


Doc/Undoc Exhibition:

Display created by Ellen Wrede.


DOC/UNDOC : Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática / texts Guillermo Gómez-Peña, images & bookwork Felicia Rice, video Guillermo Gómez-Peña & Gustavo Vazquez, critical commentary Jennifer González, sound art Zachary Watkins.  Santa Cruz, CA : Moving Parts Press, 2014.

Special Collections x-Collection N7433.4.G644 D63 2014 


Thanks to the UI Deparment of English, The Department of Theater Arts, The University of Iowa Center for the Book, The Obermann Center, Jennifer Buckley, Tim Barrett, Ellen Wrede, Giselle Simón, Candida Pagan, Heidi Bartlett and everyone from Special Collections who worked to make the event and exhibition possible.


March 30: Felicia Rice “Doc/Undoc” performance followed by a public conversation with Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Felicia Rice at Moving Parts Press

Felicia Rice at Moving Parts Press

Two artists, Felicia Rica and Guillermo Gómez-Peña will be on campus next week as Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professors, working with students and appearing in several public performances. As part of this event series, Rice will perform on March 30th at 5pm in the Special Collections Reading Room, performing with Doc/Undoc, an incredible multi-media artwork housed in Special Collections. The performance will be followed by a conversation with Guillermo Gómez-Peña, who collaborated on the work. This is a unique opportunity to hear from the artists as they interact with the work. Following the performance, Doc/Undoc will remain on display in Special Collections through the month of April along with other Moving Parts Press work on loan from Felicia Rice.



“The book invites us to consider an ongoing tension as we navigate a world of politics

and appearance, racism and immigration, self and other.” —Jennifer A. González


Wednesday, 3/30: Felicia Rice, “Doc/Undoc” (lecture performance), followed by a public conversation with Gómez-Peña (5 p.m., Special Collections Reading Room, 3rd Floor Main Library).

DOC/UNDOC Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática is a limited edition artists’ book. The outcome of a seven-year collaboration, this edition of 65 books features Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s performance texts and Felicia Rice’s relief prints and typography, accompanied by Jennifer González’s critical commentary. Of these, a deluxe edition of 15 is housed in a hi-tech aluminum case containing a video by Gustavo Vazquez, an altar, and a cabinet of curiosities. Opening the case triggers light and Zachary Watkins’ interactive sound art.

docThis series of short monologues traces Rice’s metamorphosis from book artist/printer to artist/performer. The performance begins with the publication of DOC/UNDOC and wends its way through a series of experiences and epiphanies that reach back to her early years. DOC/UNDOC’s subtitle, Documentado/Undocumented, points to a painful dichotomy: “documentado” in Spanish implies having access to cultural traditions and rituals that flourish in Mexico, whereas the term “undocumented” in the United States implies a lack of citizenship, power, rights and knowledge. The second subtitle, Ars

Shamánica Performática, speaks of the very personal, transformative experience offered by the book and case, an invitation to “Choose an object, find a poetic way of using it. Reimagine yourself, tell a new story.” In some way every immigrant must reinvent his or her self, just as every artist must cross into the unknown and return to tell the tale.



More information on the event series: http://book.grad.uiowa.edu/events/march-2016/gomez-pena-and-rice


News From Special Collections 9/19 – 9/25/2015

From the Web and Social Media:

Slate logo

Slate featured the Hevelin Collection Fanzine Digitization Project this week.  You can read their coverage of the UI Libraries’ work digitizing 1930s-1950s science fiction fanzines here.




New Acquisitions:

Agricola. Trattenimenti sulle vernici. Ravenna 1789.

This book bridges several of our collection areas, covering a very broad array of topics; overall, it could be considered an early “how to” guide. Painting, printmaking, sculpting, cartography, conservation, cooking, gardening, rat extermination, and stain removal are all addressed, and are accompanied by an extensive bibliography.


Staff Publications:

Image of Amy Chen

Amy Chen led a group of current and former Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) postdoctoral fellows to write a piece for a CLIR report that is now available online here.

Changing and Expanding Libraries: Exhibitions, Institutional Repositories, and the Future of Academia, by Amy Chen, Sarah Pickle, and Heather Waldroup appears in The Process of Discovery: The CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the Future of the Academy, edited by John C. Maclachlan, Elizabeth A. Waraksa, and Christa Williford.



University Archivist David McCartney assisted in the production of this documentary.

11423656_875087552576529_3006066007393295911_nMonday September 28, 2015, 5:00 pm at FilmScene in Iowa City –  “Iowans Return to Freedom Summer” (Iowa PBS, 2014, 48 mins).  In the summer of 1964, hundreds of predominantly white college students answered the call from Civil Rights leaders to volunteer for Freedom Summer. They joined with voter registration efforts, taught in freedom schools and worked in community centers in towns throughout racially segregated Mississippi. This documentary features five native Iowans sharing why they felt compelled to volunteer. Following the screening there will be a discussion with producer Patti Miller and historian Shel Stromquist, both of whom were among the volunteers.  


Event Recap:

NVRDStaff from Special Collections including the Iowa Women’s Archives participated in an event for National Voter Registration Day in the Learning Commons on Tuesday, providing a display of historic voting and suffrage related materials.  In partnership with the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Johnson County, we registered 82 voters here in the Library, and a total of 171 overall at the four host locations (ICPL, Coralville PL, and Kirkwood).   #CelebrateN​VRD​



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Looking for Love in the Library

Have you been searching for a good book with which to spend Valentine’s Day?  Want to use your card game skills to attract a mate?  Looking for a rare book to discuss over dinner with that special someone?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should stop by the UI Main Library this week to check out some of our Valentine’s Day events!

Pants 4 U "My heart pants 4 U," August 1, 1907

Pants 4 U
“My heart pants 4 U,” August 1, 1907

Play with Hearts–Tuesday, February 10th


Come to Group Area D (across from Food for Thought Café) to learn how to play the game, Hearts.  You can also enjoy some vintage baked goods made from recipes from special collections’ historic recipe collection.  There will even be recipes available for you to plan your own Valentine’s meal!

Blind Date with a Book–Wednesday, February 11th


Stop by Group Area D to check out a book.  But this time, there will be no judging by the cover.  We’ll set you up with a blind date that you get to take home with you for some Valentine’s reading.  A Spinster’s Tale or Love in the Time of Cholera: Which one will you take home tonight?

Love in the Stacks—Thursday, February 12th


Drop into Group Area D and we’ll help you out with some Valentine’s gifts!  View items from the University of Iowa Special Collections and University Archives while you make buttons from prints of our more romantic books, or send an e-card  to your loved ones.


You never know where love will find you, but you do know where to find us.  We’ll see you in Group Area D!



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.


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


PS-Z, 120 N. Dubuque St.

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