exhibition Archive


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.


Main Library Exhibition Gallery is Now OPEN : First Exhibition “Explorer’s Legacy”

Explorer’s Legacy:

James Van Allen and the Discovery of the Radiation Belts

February 1 – April 8



After months of being closed for renovations the new state of the art gallery in the University of Iowa Main Library is now open. Stop by and take a look at the exhibition, including the story of the discovery of the radiation belts, and the tale of how the earliest data recorded from space was recovered, digitized, and made available for scientists and scholars.

Gallery hours:

Monday-Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Read More about this exhibition.


Special Collections Weekly Update 1/15/2016

Instruction: Spring Semester Sign Up

Update from Instruction Librarian Amy Chen

Students looking at a bookSpecial Collections librarians can support any aspect of class planning for teaching with rare books and primary source materials.

We had a record-breaking 2015, so sign up early or else our rooms and librarians may already be booked for popular times. Find our class request form here.


New Acquisitions

Update from Acquisitions & Collections Management Librarian Margaret Gamm

Pick Yourself Up From off the Ground by CubaPick Yourself Up From off the Ground by CubaPick Yourself Up From off the Ground by Cuba. One of a kind artist’s book with acrylic graffiti paintings, 2014.




From the University Archives

Update from University Archivist David McCartney

A video paging through a 100+ year old scrapbook from a woman from the class of 1915 who attended the very first Homecoming football game.

Staff Awards

Portrait image of Amy ChenSpecial Collections Instruction Librarian Amy Chen was selected to be featured as a “Bright Young Librarian” by Fine Books & Collections Magazine. Read the feature here.




From the Web and Social Media

In Case You Missed It: A Compilation of Recent Links & Posts 

  1. Blog post reporting on a research trip to Special Collections: Marbled Paper Connections by Emily Pazar.  See it here.
  2. Article about the Brinton early film collection: 100 Years Later, New Audiences Discover Legendary Outsider.  See it here.
  3. Center for the Book/Special Collections commercial that we filmed last August is finished and will air on the Big Ten Network.  Article: here  Video below:


“The Humanity in History”

January 8th-March 1st, 2016

Kelly Grogg, graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science and Special Collections senior Olson Graduate Assistant, has completed her capstone exhibition. It is on display now in the cases outside Special Collections on the 3rd floor.

“Every person featured in this exhibit has contributed to make the world a better place.  They may not have ever reached the level of recognition they deserved, but despite their humble beginnings and oncoming obstacles, they contributed to the world in a way that cannot be measured in a ‘neatly packaged, sanitized parable’.  These are the people who create history.”  – Kelly Grogg  

Read more.


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New Exhibition – Reconstructing ‘The American Reader’

The American Reader Title PageSpecial Collections & University Archives is pleased to announce our newest exhibition Reconstructing ‘The American Reader’ from English Department graduate student Miriam Janechek which highlights a new type of research now possible with access to searchable digitized copies of books online.  The American Reader is a textbook printed in 1808 which, like other readers, combines hundreds of excerpts from different types of published works but includes no citations.  By searching the massive numbers of books now searchable in the Google Books Project, in combination with the wealth of 18th century books in Special Collections, it becomes possible to trace the origins of the passages to find the original publications, collect them together and display them to reveal a snapshot of the types of works that made up The American Reader and more broadly that comprised education in 1808, just as the United States was abandoning European educational models and developing a sense of national identity through education. 

The exhibition can be viewed just outside Special Collections & University Archives on the third floor of the Main Library anytime the library is open and continues until January 3, 2013.


“Iowa Now” Feature on 1812 Exhibition


The War of 1812 in Iowa, then and now

Old Capitol exhibit opens Oct. 11 with free reception, lecture

By:  Rebecca Pope | 2012.10.04 | 10:47 AM
 The University of Iowa Old Capitol Museum will mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 with a special exhibition of historical documents, maps and artifacts from various Iowa archaeological sites.

Conflict on the Iowa Frontier: Perspectives on the War of 1812 opens Thursday, Oct. 11, with a free public reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the museum. Guest lecturer Eugene Watkins will speak in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum from 6 to 6:45 p.m. and lead a discussion about the history of Fort Madison. Watkins is Fort Madison’s site manager for Old Fort Madison. He holds a doctorate of U.S. history from the University of Toledo.

A photograph of a book with a drawing of a man on the left page and words on the right page
Black Hawk’s autobiography. Photo courtesy of UI Pentacrest Museums, book from Special Collections

Artifacts featured in the exhibit include Black Hawk’s autobiography, giving insight into the war from the perspective of Native Americans, and an Orderly Book for infantry men of the period, in which general and regimental orders were recorded. These objects tell the story of the war’s Mississippi River campaign and how it affected the future of the state.

Also on Oct. 11, archaeologist Jodi Magness, distinguished professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will give the UI Department of Religious Studies Adler Lecture and the UI Pentacrest Museums Directors’ Lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum.

In anticipation of National Archaeology Day, her topic is “Ossuaries and the Burial of Jesus and James.” The presentation is free and open to the public. Magness specializes in the archaeology of ancient Palestine in the Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. For more information on the UI Pentacrest Museums and Old Capitol Museum, visit www.uiowa.edu/oldcap/or call 319-335-0548. The UI Department of Religious Studies is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Books and documents from Special Collections are featured in this exhibition, including the Black Hawk autobiography seen in the photo. Original article can be viewed here: http://now.uiowa.edu/2012/10/war-1812-iowa-then-and-now