Service Spotlight: reserve group study rooms online for up to 4 hours

Need a guaranteed study spot?  Reserve group study rooms online!

About Hardin Library Group Study Rooms:

  • Hardin Library has 8 group study rooms.
  • Rooms vary in size and can accommodate from 2-12 people.
  • Group study rooms are generally available when Hardin Library is open (except for rooms 207C, 209, and 210).
  • If a group study is not reserved, it is available for walk-in group use.
  • Make your reservation at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Select up to 4 hours per day, up to 5 days in advance.

picture of study area


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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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DIY History: 30,000th submission, new collections for UI Libraries’ crowdsourcing project

30,000th transcribed page: “Remedy for a woman with child taken harm by fall or fright or any mischance,” Francis Smith medical recipe book, 1704

30,000th transcribed page: “Remedy for a woman with child taken harm by fall or fright or any mischance,” Francis Smith medical recipe book, 1704

Thanks to the public’s voracious appetite for historic cookbooks, the University of Iowa Libraries has recently reached a new milestonetemp for its DIY History crowdsourcing site: 30,000 pages transcribed. An English medical recipe book from 1704 contains the project’s 30,000th page, detailing a “remedy for a woman with child taken harm by fall or fright or any mischance.” This document, along with hundreds of other historic manuscripts, is now fully searchable due to the efforts of volunteer transcribers from around the world.

In addition to cookbooks, DIY History users have also completed an earlier initiative to transcribe more than 15,000 pages of Civil War diaries and correspondence. To complement those materials, the following collections have been added to the site to help provide researchers with a fuller picture of American life in the mid- to late 19th century:

DIY History: Building the Transcontinental Railroad
Business correspondence and financial papers belonging to railroad baron Thomas Durant, documenting the construction of the transcontinental line that transformed the nation. A colorful and unscrupulous figure best known for the Crédit Mobilier financial scandal of 1872, Durant holds a place in current pop culture as a character in the AMC television series “Hell on Wheels.” Typical of his high-pressure style is this note to chief engineer Peter Dey (former owner of University of Iowa’s Dey House), who eventually quit the railroad when asked to pad his estimates for work:

“Want preliminary survey at once to make location of starting point. Delay is ruinous. Everything waits for you.” — Thomas Durant letter, 1863

DIY History: Iowa Women’s Lives
Diaries, letters, and other documents of Iowa women. Currently featured are the papers of Ellen Mowrer Miller (1848-1922), wife of a Civil War veteran and farmer, who recorded her thoughts on a variety of topics including women’s suffrage:

“[A neighbor] is very hard against woman voting, ‘because, because’ was the only argument he could put forth. Was a little tickled at him in the evening, when it was a raining he said, ‘Well, Miss Mowrer, now how would you like to be out in the rain at a woman’s rights convention.’ ‘O,’ I said, ‘the rain is pure, it comes down from heaven you know, refreshes and serves all things.’” — Ellen Mowrer diary entry, 1869

DIY History is the latest public engagement initiative from the University of Iowa Libraries, a staunch supporter of new forms of scholarly publishing, digital humanities, data curation, and open/linked data.

DIY History

I seat myself by the stand at 7 o’clock this evening to have a good long chat with you

Joseph Culver Letter, January 31, 1863, Page 1Pontiac Ill. Jan. 31st 1863

Dearest Husband

I seat myself by the stand at 7 o’clock this evening to have a good long chat with you If I knew that you were well I would set about it in better spirits but I hope for the best of it were not for hope “Blessed boon to mortals” how could we live Our baby is about as usual he coughs as usual but does not mind it much none of our family have had any letter from Jonnie yet though there have several come to town I feel quite certain he has written to some of us I have very little faith in the regularity of the mails & make all due allowance for miscarriages It is a long time since I have heard from any of our Carlisle friends. Do you hear frequently?

Mrs. Scott (Mrs. Johnston sister) has just returned from Nashvill where she has been with a son who was wounded at Murfreesboro He is Lieut. Colonel of “the glorious nineteenth” which won somany laurels in that battle He is now the youngest Col. in the U.S. army 24 yrs. of age The youngest was killed at Murfreesboro I believe was but 20 yrs old Do not wish to “share the glories” dear Frank They are bought at a fearful price We have had a beautiful day almost warm enough to do away with fires I presume the frost is nearly all out of the ground again this will make the third time this winter Every thing is right over to the house Sammy attended to the [lathe?] & says the kitchen is secure Mr. Foote put in the window glass before I moved The sweet potatoes did not amount to much there were a good many of the hills which had three or four potatoes in them Through kindness of Mr. Remick I have obtained the amount of taxes due on those lots you mentioned The amount due on the NW 1/4 of Block 74 is $7.18 your personal tax $1.66 Charles Zugs $10.78 You wished a list of the tracts assigned to Charles Zug. I will copy what you have in your memorandum book assigned to Charles W Zug. 80 S 1/4 SE 27-28-5 $5.85 The town collector is James. G. Albe, & the Legislature has not changed the time of the payment of taxes I believe because they take Government notes in payment I have not seen Mr. Harrington yet to make any inquiries relative to those receipts of W Hickman but have looked nearly through my letter of yours in my possession there was nothing of the kind in your copying press if you referred to one nearly new in your letter drawer of the bookcase I have looked over all your receipts & have not found anything of the kind among them In one of your bundle of letters I found one which was signed by him but there was no acknowledgement of anthing you had done for him or receipt either. I will however take it to Herrington the first opportunity & if it does not answer continue my search though I am nearly through now I hope you will have no trouble about it I suppose Mrs. Smith & husband are very happy by this time I feel very anxious to hear from some of you Is she the only woman in Camp at Mitchellsville Please write & tell me how she is situated & all about it Loomis has circulated the report here that you will come home in the Spring or at least little Henry told me he thought you would come because you were “home sick” I have not heard it from any one else perhaps he only told Henry or maybe he dreampt it Sammy has just come in with a letter from Jonnie to himself he is still at Louisville but rather thinks they will go to Vicksburg They expect warm work there soon He says he sent your boots with Mrs. Smith You dont know how our baby begins to notice Emma Mae, come over the other night & he was so much afraid of her would cry whenever he would look at her He was afraid of Sis too today I cant complain now of his gravity for he laughs a great deal Your picture hangs on the East side of the room & he notices it a great deal & seems delighted when he can get close to it to look at it I think he would not be afraid of strangers if he saw any more than he does there has been noone but our folks here for so long that he does not know what to make of a new face Sis seems to like going to school very much & I guess gets along well Mrs Boyles is teaching until Miss Alden comes in the spring Abbie & Lida are going to a boarding school when the Spring term commences They dont know where, yet, they have in view Aurora Evanston & Bloomington

Mr. Maples youngest child has the varioloid If there are any in the regiment who have not been vaccinated would it not be well to have it done immediately I feel glad that you have had it Charley Strevell has had the diptheria but is getting better fast Allie Babcock still lingers although very low Have I answered all your questions if not jog my memory the next time you write Leander has got back from Chicago he saw Beattie & says he could have got that money if he had had the note I thought you gave him the note I did not see him but a minute Beattie has another son they are living in fine style in Michigan Avenue keep 3 servants &c Flemming has purchased his residance on the bank of the river I hear I must close now I have other writing to do tonight How long must I write thus? May God bless you dear Frank Hoping to see you eventually I remain

Yours as ever
M. M. Culver

PS How many letters have you had from me since you enlisted I counted 89 of yours tonight

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Xiaomei Gu appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor in College of Pharmacy

picture of Xiaomei GuXiaomei Gu, Clinical Education Librarian at Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, College of Pharmacy.

Professor Gu teaches drug information search and medical literature as part of required Pharmacy Practice Laboratories for PharmD students.  These help students develop pharmacy practice skills.  She also works with graduate students, training them to search and then organize literature.  Xiaomei is an active member of the Medical Library Association and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

She maintains two LibGuides for use by PharmD students, faculty, and researchers:


Some of her publications and presentations are available in Iowa Research Online.

Workshop: Library 101

Do you need a brief overview of the resources and services available at the Sciences Library? Do you have a question about the library or it’s resources that you’ve never had the chance to ask? Then join us for the first Lunch @ the Sciences Library workshop of the semester! Tomorrow (1/30) at 11:30am – 12:20pm in the Sciences Library classroom (102SL).

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • How to view your library account to renew materials or see what you have checked out;
  • How to search for books, videos, journals and articles using the library catalog and popular databases;
  • How to get materials from other libraries (interlibrary loan);
  • How to get library materials delivered to your office or favorite branch library;
  • How to get help when you need it.

There’s no need to register, just show up if you’re interested. Bring your lunch if you wish. Free coffee will be provided. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Sara Scheib at (319) 335-3024 or

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Passport – Trial ends 15 February 2013

Passport is a global business intelligence database that covers consumer markets in more than 80 countries. It allows users to identify a market, see all of the companies and brands in that market, and understand the relevant consumer dynamics of that market. Over 85% of Fortune 500 companies used Passport data to make strategic marketing decisions in 2012.

Please send additional comments to Kimberly Bloedel.

-Reposted from Lisa Martincik, January 17, 2013

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