Happy 130th Birthday to the Statue of Liberty!!


Happy 130th Birthday, Lady Liberty!!


“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet “New Colossus”

Those widely recognized words come from the sonnet New Colossus by Emma Lazarus. She wrote it for a fundraising auction raising money for the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty now sits. The sonnet is not, as many assume, on the tablet that is held in her hand. The tablet is inscribed with JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776), which is the day the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence. A plaque with the entire New Colossus poem is inscribed and mounted inside the pedestal of the statue.

The Statue of Liberty stands on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay and the entrance to New York. She has been welcoming visitors and immigrants to New York City since 1886! She was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, and built by Gustave Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel!), and dedicated on October 28, 1886. She was originally known as Liberty Enlightening the World.

It is said that the idea of the monument came about in an after-dinner conversation between Bartholdi and Edouard René de Laboulaye (an abolitionist and supporter of the Union during the Civil War). Others claim this is just legend, but legend or not, Laboulaye wanted to honor the Union victory and proposed a gift be built for the United States on the behalf of France. The Statue of Liberty represents the Roman goddess, Libertas. She holds a torch, a ‘tabula ansata’ (a tablet evoking the law), and a broken chain lies at her feet. The broken chain is said to be a symbol of the movement away from slavery.

sof_under_constructionThe Statue of Liberty was the tallest metal statue in the world at that time. It was constructed of copper sheets and used Bartholdi’s 9-ft model. It was shipped – in 350 carefully marked pieces and packed in 214 crates – to New York City in 1885, reassembled, and dedicated in 1886. The Statue was reassembled on the pedestal in 4 months.

She originally served as a lighthouse, but in 1901 the operation was transferred from the United States Lighthouse Board to the War Department. The monument’s original boundaries were within Fort Wood, but were enlarged to encompass all of Bledsoe’s Island in 1937. In 1956 the name was changed to Liberty Island and in 1965 Ellis Island became part of the National Park Service (NPS). The base of the statue is an 11-pointed star, part of old Fort Wood and the 154-ft pedestal, built through American funding, is made of concrete faced with granite.

Renovation, which was completed in October 2012 (in time for 126th anniversary), added three new elevators and upgraded the stairs from the top of the pedestal to the crown and were among the $30 million “Life and Safety Upgrades.” Visitors in wheelchairs and other accessibility issues are now able to reach one of the observation decks at the top of the pedestal for the first time. A NPS official estimated that the renovations will allow 26,000 more people to visit the interior of the monument annually. In order to reach the crown from the top of the pedestal, visitors without accessibility issues must climb 393 steps.

Another renovation is a sophisticated rescue elevator which is used for emergency and maintenance activities and is the only elevator installed within the statue. It reaches from the pedestal to the crown and replaces an elevator that was over 30 years old. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch has been closed since 1916 for safety reasons.

Fun Facts:

  • There are replicas of the Statue in more than 20 countries, the most notable of which are found in Paris, France and on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • Andy Warhol’s painting of the “Statue of Liberty” from his Pop Art series is estimated to be worth more than $35 million.
  • When winds are strong (around 50 miles-per-hour), Lady Liberty can sway up to 3 inches with her torch swaying up to 5 inches.
  • With a size 879 shoe, the Statue of Liberty might just have the largest feet on earth.
  • Lady Liberty has many film credits including – but certainly not limited to – The Saboteur, Titanic, Planet of the Apes, Independence Day, and The Day After Tomorrow.
  • It is believed that Lady Liberty is struck by lightning around 600 times each year.
  • The Statue of Liberty’s nose is 4 ft. 6 in.
  • The crown has seven points, representing the seven seas and seven continents. Each individual ray of the crown weighs about 150 pounds, and measures up to 9 ft.



Motion Control: Statue of Liberty rescue elevator. April 1, 2013. Control Engineering. April 2013. Volume 60, Issue 4, pages 20-21.

Kelpin, Sarah. June 17, 2015 #The10: 10 Fun Facts About the Statue of Liberty on Its 130th birthday. Travel About Media Group Ltd.

Topic Page: Statue of Liberty. The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2016. Credo Reference.

Statue of Liberty. wikipedia.com Date Accessed Oct. 26, 2016

How Tall is the Statue of Liberty? Howtallisthestatueofliberty.org Date Accessed Oct. 26, 2016

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus. Poetry Foundation, 2016.

The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island, Foundation, Inc. The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. Date Accessed October 27, 2016


Other Resources:

Statue of Liberty Under Construction. Arvind Pariti. Arvind’s. Date Accessed Oct. 26, 2016

Liberty Island Chronology. Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service! National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Date Accessed October 27, 2016.

Blakemore, Erin. Nov. 24, 2015. The Statue of Liberty Was Originally a Muslim Woman. Smithsonian.com


Guest Post: Walt Whitman Quarterly Review – an OA Journal

Open Access logo

During the month of Open Access week (October 24-30, 2016) we will be highlighting a number of guest posts from University of Iowa Faculty and Staff who have personal experience making work Open Access.  We appreciate their contributions. folsom

The fourth guest post is by Ed Folsom, the Roy J. Carver Professor of English at The University of Iowa. He is the editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, co-director of the Whitman Archive , and editor of the Whitman Series at The University of Iowa Press. He is the author or editor of numerous books and essays on Whitman and other American writers.

The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review (WWQR) is now in its second year as an online open-access journal, and we could not be more pleased with our new format and open distribution. We are reaching a wider audience than ever before, since scholars, students, and the general public can now freely access the entire thirty-three-year run of the journal. Our third online-only issue, published last fall, was a testament to (and a test of) our new open-access platform. We published the complete book-length text of Whitman’s newly discovered Manly Health and Training along with an introduction by Zachary Turpin, who made the find. The discovery received front-page coverage in the New York Times and was the subject of feature articles in The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The Observer, and over a hundred other newspapers and websites around the country and around the world. Interviews about the discovery were broadcast on NPR, BBC, and CBC. Most outlets that reported on the find linked to the WWQR website, where readers and listeners could (and still can!) freely access the complete text of Whitman’s journalistic series. There were over 20,000 downloads of Manly Health during the first weekend following the Friday New York Times story. This meant we had thousands of first-time visitors to WWQR, and we hope many of those folks will return often to check out the latest work on Whitman. The journal is always free and open, and we welcome our new readers from every continent. Our website offers a daily map of downloads from WWQR, which demonstrates that our readers do indeed come from around the world.


While not every issue of WWQR contains a new book by Whitman, every issue contains important new discoveries and readings. The online open-access format of the journal has now allowed us to enhance articles by including high-quality scans of Whitman manuscripts. We are working now to add an HTML version of each new issue along with the PDF format. Our ability to publish longer works, like Manly Health, is a tremendous advantage, and WWQR has another major surprise in store for our forthcoming winter/spring 2017 issue—a discovery that will again generate international media coverage. The details are a secret for now, but everyone should be watching for another dose of big Whitman news this coming February.


One more interesting development resulting from last fall’s publication of Manly Health is worth mentioning. While WWQR offered PDF, Kindle, and eBook versions of the complete text of Whitman’s newly discovered journalistic series, print publishers sensed that there was still a market for a commercial edition of the find—in fact, our 20+ thousand downloads indicated that there were probably many readers who would welcome a print edition of Manly Health for their personal libraries. Regan Arts, a New York publisher, approached WWQR about publishing Manly Health as a book, enhanced with illustrations from nineteenth-century newspapers and periodicals. Stefan Schoeberlein, WWQR’s managing editor, and Stephanie Blalock, Digital Humanities Librarian and Associate Editor of the Walt Whitman Archive, joined Zachary Turpin and me in selecting illustrations. The book will be published in December, and WWQR will receive a modest royalty from the publisher, which will help support the journal, now that we no longer have paying subscribers. The evolving interactions between the new online open-access WWQR and the world of print publishing are fascinating and unpredictable. It’s an exciting new era we have entered into, and we remain optimistic about next thirty years of the journal.

Want Those Special Effects for Your Halloween Party?


Happy Halloween: Vol. 6


Want to make that Halloween party extra scary? We have the resources to help you do just that with some DIY special effects!

How about a hologram of a ghoul? We have Holography Projects for the Evil GeniusIt is a DIY resource which includes step-by-step instructions, helpful illustrations, a list of required, easy-to-find components (and a list of sources!). It not only helps you create – and customize – your own hologram, you’ll also master the latest tools and techniques!

Pepper’s Ghost is a special effects technique for creating transparent and ghostly images! It was popularized in the 1800s by John Pepper. This effect has been used in theaters and haunted house since then! The photo below was created with mostly scrap materials in the Engineering Electronics Shop on the Universal laser. Stop by the Engineering Library and check it out. The images in our Pepper’s Ghost move and it rotates through several images.  Makezine has complete instructions on how to make a spooky ghost for your party! While the Pepper’s Ghost below is using a laptop, a computer or special equipment isn’t needed! If you are interested in a more elaborate hologram, How It’s Made : Season 1 & 2 (disc 1) will explain how a hologram is created from the beginning to end.


Pepper’s Ghost created in the Engineering Electronics Shop with mostly scrap materials.


Animotronic Eyes. Make: 3D Printing Projects.

Animotronic Eyes. Make: 3D Printing Projects.

How about creating animatronic eyes? Make : 3D Printing Projects has step-by-step instructions with color illustrations and a parts list! What could be more fun than having a pair expressive, animatronic eyeballs at your party! (We have 3D scanners available in our Creative Space and the Engineering Machine Shop has 3D printers!)

Want to make both your own fog and fog machine? The fog “juice” is made with glycerin and water- which creates a dense vapor when  heated to the point of evaporation, which then becomes cloudy when it hits the room temperature air. (For more info on evaporation check our resources, including: Liquid-vapor phase-change phenomena : an introduction to the thermophysics of vaporization and condensation processes in heat transfer equipment.) The fog machine is quite simple also! All it takes is a large candle (with multiple wicks), a small aluminum pie plate, and the top of a 2-liter plastic soda bottle! You will want to be careful about where you place your fog machine – you definitely don’t want it to be tipped over!

Interested in learning about stage make-up? How It’s Made : Season 1 & 2 (disc 5)  has great information and shows the creation process. You’ll also be able to see the transformation of a young woman to an old woman. A full transformation mask can take a month or more to create and cost upwards of $10,000. Perhaps not the most cost effective for your Halloween party!



How it’s made, Seasons 1 and 2. Discs 1 & 5. 2010. Silver Spring, MD : Discovery Communications. Engineering Library Circulation Desk video (Video Record 37144 DVD)

Harper, Gavin D.J. 2010. Holography projects for the evil genius. New York : McGraw Hill. Engineering Library TA1542 .H37 2010

Drumm, Brook. 2015. Make : 3D printing projects. San Francisco, CA : Maker Media, Inc. Engineering Library TS171.95 .D78 2016

How to Make a DIY Fog Machine for a Spooky Halloween. 2016. Popular Mechanics.

More Resources:

Iannini, Robert E. More electronic gadgets for the evil genius. 2006. New York : McGraw-Hill. Engineering Library TK9965 .I253 2006

The Pepper’s Ghost Illusion. 2016. instructables.com

Carey, V.P. 2008. Liquid-vapor phase-change phenomena : an introduction to the thermophysics of vaporization and condensation processes in heat transfer equipment Engineering Library TJ263 .C37 2008

Trial: IMF DataPLUS

IMF DataPLUS is now available as trail service.  This resource provides easy access to an extensive repository of standardized and structured statistical information. The data set, Data Planet, harmonizes the database structures, making it easy to compare data from multiple sources. Users can combine exactly the series they need for models, analyses, and presentations.

The trail ends 24 November, 2016.

Please send additional comments to Kim Bloedel.

Special Collections News 10/21/2016

LGBT float in a paradeNewsfeed: ‘Invisible Hawkeyes’ Celebrates UI’s African American Alumni:  http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/education/university-of-iowa/2016/10/20/invisible-hawkeyes-celebrates-uis-african-american-alumni/92424070/ The UI Libraries is holding an Instagram Scavenger Hunt. Deadline is December 1st: http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/instagramcontest Google Scholar | Change settings to find full-text […]

Guest Post: Leonardo Marchini on Open Access

Open Access logo

During the month of Open Access week (October 24-30, 2016) we will be highlighting a number of guest posts from University of Iowa Faculty and Staff who have personal experience making their work Open Access.  We appreciate their contributions.marchini_leo_051716_200x300_0

The third guest post is by Leonardo Marchini, DDS, MSD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Preventative and Community Dentistry.

See his Iowa Research Online deposited publications here.

I consider open access publishing a better way to share research findings, since by removing the financial barrier to access it allows for a larger audience to read and use the findings worldwide. It also allows for authors to share their publications more widely, by promoting it in research oriented social media and e-mailing it to groups of researchers in the same field, allowing for even more exposure.

However, most journals in my research field are not open access. In a recent work with a broader focus, I searched for a journal capable of reaching a larger audience and then selected an open access Journal with a higher than average impact factor in my field. The submission process happened as usual, and the peer review was intense, but the manuscript was accepted after a couple review rounds.

However, the publication fees for this journal would be a problem if I was not supported by the UI Libraries Open Access Fund. My experience with the Open Access Fund was amazing! I applied and got funded really fast!

Since then the article has been published and received great attention from the scientific community in many countries, as we had a lot of comments and requests for additional information through channels that would not be available for non-open access articles, like researcher networks. I hope it will reflect in more citations in the near future.

DIY Costumes That Will Light Up The Night!


Happy Halloween: Vol. 5


Been thinking about that perfect Halloween costume? Sure, you could go to a store or online and order something, but what fun would that be? You want something special – uniquely yours, right? We’re here to help you make your very own Halloween costume and light up the night!

Not sure how to get started with creating wearable tech and your own costume? We have Lilypad in our Tool Library! Lilypad is a set of sewable electronic pieces which will help you build soft interactive textiles. There is a small programmable computer, conductive thread, LED lights, battery and battery holder, conductive fabric and more – all you need to get started working with wearable tech! Make : Wearable Electronics will help you learn the skills you need! Once you get the hang of it – you can make your own light-up dress like the one Lupita Nyong’o wore at a Star Wars©  promotional event!

Butterfly Dress designed by Alexander Reeder

Butterfly Dress designed by Alexander Reeder


Perhaps you are going dressed as a “social butterfly.” What could be better than a dress with butterflies that actually flap their wings? If you are interested in wearable tech that utilizes motors, both Make: Wearable Electronics and Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists can help you learn to do just that!

Maybe a light saber more your style? makezine.com has several DIY lightsabers (from Padawan to Jedi Master!). With MaKey MaKey (available in our Tool Library!), you can make the light saber sounds!

Mjolnir - Thor's Hammer

Mjolnir – Thor’s Hammer


Always dreamed of being Thor? Check out this video and then read up on fingerprint scanners in Fundamentals of Applied Electromagnetics to see how the DIY Thor’s hammer is created! Visit instructables for more superhero LED wearables!


Whatever your costume ideas are we have the resources to help you really stand out!

Two of the many resources we have available to help you make that unique costume!

Two of the many resources we have available to help you make that truly unique costume!



Hartman, Kate. 2014. Make : Wearable electronics. Sebastopol, CA : Maker Media. Engineering Library QA76.592 .H37 2014

Light Saber. 2008. Scratch

Ulaby, Fawwaz T. 2015. Fundamentals of applied electromagnetics. Boston : Pearson Education, Inc. Engineering Library QC760 .U49 2015

Lupita Nyong’o wore a light-up dress programmed by young women, and it was stunning. June 16, 2016. The Viral Beat

Other Resources:

Cho, Gilsoo, editor. 2010. Smart clothing : technology and applications. Boca Raton, Fla : CRC ; London : Taylor & Francis distributor. Engineering Library QA76.592 .S63 2010

Tao, Xioming, editor. 2005.  Wearable electronics and photonics. Cambridge : Woodhead ; Boca Raton FL : CRC Press. Engineering Library QA76.592 .W43 2005

The Galaxy Dress. cutecircuit.com Date accessed Oct. 18, 2016

6 Ways to Light Up Your Halloween Costume. Make: Explore Maker Camp. makezine.com Date accessed Oct. 19, 2016

McCann, J. and Bryson, D, editors. 2009. Smart clothes and wearable technology. Oxford : Woodhead Publishing. Engineering Library TT497 .S58 2009b

Pedersen, Isabel. 2013. Ready to wear : a rhetoric of wearable computers and reality-shifting media. Anderson, South Carolina : Parlor Press. Engineering Library AQ76.592 .P43 2013.

Let’s Make DIY wearables wearables. instructables.com. Date Accessed Oct. 20, 2016

To code your own ZAC Zac Posen dress that Lupita Nyong’o wore:
Projects : Check out some of the amazing things you can do with code. Made w/Code Google Date Accessed Oct. 19, 2016


Watch the Presidential Debates!

myvote-my-voicePlease join the Libraries in collaboration with the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights and the Communication Studies program in the Main Library this evening for the third & final Presidential Debate!

We’ve got pizza, popcorn, buttons, and cookies and plenty of activities for anyone who might need a break from studying (or from the debate)! We’ll be viewing the debate live in the Food for Thought Café so please join us, even for a few minutes!

Want The Perfect DIY Halloween Decorations?


Happy Halloween: Vol. 4




Halloween is getting closer and closer and you are planning that Halloween get-together… Looking for the perfect DIY Halloween decoration projects?

scary_pumpkinLooking for a classic scary pumpkin? How about one that lights up? Electronic Projects for Dummies will help you create the perfect scary pumpkins! You’ll end up with 2 pumpkins – one transmits an infrared beam and the second one lights up and plays a prerecorded message or sound. When someone walks between the two pumpkins and breaks the plane of the infrared beam, the 2nd pumpkin will light up and emit that evil laugh!  The chapter, Scary Pumpkins, takes you through the process, step-by-step,  complete with schematics, photos (some in color), parts list and detailed instructions!

What party would be complete without a moving eyeball picture? Haywired: Pointless (yet awesome) Projects for the Electronically Inclined will help you make one! Pick out a picture of your favorite monster, zombie or ghoul – the parts and tool lists, step-by-step photos, schematics and concise directions will help you create your very own moving eyeball picture!! Perhaps you would also like to have one that smiles when someone approaches it? Haywired will show you how to make one! The example they show is of the Mona Lisa, but you can easily adapt it to a ghoul or monster with a toothless grin!scared_cat

Are you into paper projects? Learn to make a light-up paper cat with Paper Inventions : Machines That Move, Drawings That Light Up, Wearables and Structures You Can Cut, Fold, and Roll. The perfect time of year to make a black cat (or several!) to light up your Halloween party walls! It uses very few materials – construction paper, permanent marker, copper or aluminum foil tape, CR2032 coin battery, LED and a small binder clip! It will also show you how to create blinking and flickering effects for even more eerie decorations!

Interested in coming up with your own spooky decoration ideas? Don’t forget to check out what we have in our Tool Library!! We have Lilypad for making wearable tech (think of the costume you could make!), a MaKey MaKey kit – create a keyboard using a pumpkin and Hersey Kisses! Play around with the littleBits to come up with some fun circuit projects – and there is always the Raspberry Pi Starter Kit, too!



For 10 more last-minute Halloween decorations, check out makezine.com. Spider-web balloons, packing tape ghosts, and a meat head…. Because what’s a Halloween party without an edible head….



With a MaKey MaKey (available in our Tool Library) you can make some small pumpkins (or gourds) scream!

No matter how you plan to spend your Halloween, remember to stop in and explore our resources which can help you make it more eerie!!


Boysen, Earl. 2006. Electronic projects for dummies. 2006. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley. Engineering Library TK7819 .M38 2006

Rigsby, Mike. 2009. Haywired : pointless (yet awesome) projects for the electronically inclined. Chicago, ILL : Chicago Review Press. Engineering Library TK99656 .R54 2009

Ceceri, Kathy. 2015. Paper Inventions : Machines That Move, Drawings That Light Up, Wearables and Structures You Can Cut, Fold, and Roll. San Francisco, CA : Maker Media. Engineering Library TT870 .C54 2015

Brown, Casey.  Oct. 31, 2012. Hershey Kisses, a pumpkin, and MaKey MaKey create and open source Halloween. Oct. 31, 2012. opensource.com

Branwyn, Gareth. Oct. 16, 2015. 10 Last Minute Halloween Decorating Ideas. makezine.com