The current Main Library Gallery exhibit, We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa, provides a glimpse into many facets of campus life over the decades. Part of the exhibition focuses on the scholarly achievements of Iowa students. An ordinary-looking composition notebook sits in one display case, open to a handwritten journal entry from 3:30 a.m. on February 1, 1958: “Success!! The first U.S. satellite is in orbit. It looks like a good one,” wrote graduate student George Ludwig, who had been working with Professor James Van Allen and his team to build the Explorer I satellite. The journal is part of the George H. Ludwig Papers [RG99.0004] in the University Archives.
In this short video, University Archivist Emeritus David McCartney provides more in-depth information about Mr. Ludwig’s journal and the Space Race. The launch of the satellite “was an absolutely magical moment for the U.S. space industry and, of course, for young George Ludwig,” said McCartney.
Read the whole journal entry online, or view George Ludwig’s complete journal in the Iowa Digital Library.
Explorer’s Legacy: Learn more about the Explorer I and its legacy, James Van Allen, and the discovery of the Radiation Belts in an online exhibition featuring images from the University of Iowa Libraries’ digital collection.
We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa was curated by David McCartney, Aiden Bettine, and Denise Anderson. It will be on view until July 3, 2022. A virtual tour is also available online.
Learn more about the Main Library Gallery here: lib.uiowa.edu/gallery.