The University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections is the new home of the renowned Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. Founded by Ruth and Marvin Sackner in 1979 in Miami Beach, Florida, the Sackner Archive currently holds the largest collection of concrete and visual poetry in the world.
The archive includes over 75,000 items that document the concrete poetry movement. Annotated books, periodicals, typewritings, drawings, letters, print portfolios, ephemera, and rare and out-of-print artists’ books and manuscripts represent 20th-century art movements such as Italian Futurism, Russian and Eastern European Avant Garde, Dada, Surrealism, Bauhaus, De Stijl, Ultra, Tabu-Dada, Lettrisme, and Ultra-Lettrisme.
Among many notable items, the collection includes materials by and about the founders of the contemporary concrete poetry movement, such as Haroldo de Campos, Augusto de Campos, Eugen Gomringer, Öyvind Fahlström, Décio Pignatari, and Ian Hamilton Finlay. Also among the richly varied cross section of artists and poets represented in the archive are Dom Sylvester Houédard, Henri Chopin, John Cage, Johanna Drucker, Yoko Ono, and Nam June Paik.
“It’s a great honor for the UI Libraries to become the new home for the Sackner Archive, which will enrich scholarship, inspire generations of students, and draw visitors from around the world,” says John Culshaw, the Jack B. King university librarian at the UI.
Margaret Gamm, head of UI Libraries Special Collections, says the Sackners’ extensive work with item descriptions makes the archive of even greater value to scholars.
“We will soon be able to make a truly remarkable assortment of materials available, thanks to the dedication of Ruth and Marvin Sackner, their love of collecting, and their determination to create a complete archive by creating descriptive item records for each piece,” Gamm says. “I cannot wait to see how our students, faculty, and community use these materials in their research and classes.”
The entire archive has been moved to the UI Libraries, where it will be housed and maintained. The Sackner family has arranged for a scheduled donation of materials to be transferred to the UI Libraries’ ownership. The archive will be open by appointment to students, scholars, and the general public starting January 2020.
The Sackner family chose the University of Iowa Libraries as the new home for the archive due to the Libraries’ reputation as a center for the study of Dadaism, with its substantial holdings in the International Dada Archive. In addition, the Libraries’ world-class conservation program, the UI’s nationally recognized Center for the Book and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, collections in the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, and location in Iowa City (a UNESCO City of Literature) were also factors influencing their decision. The Sackners’ first encounter with Iowa was to loan work for the 1983 UI exhibition Lettrisme: Into the Present, not knowing that those items would eventually find their way back to the Midwest.
“My beloved wife, Ruth, and I had a dream that one day our efforts to build our collection into one that would reside in a world-class educational institution like the University of Iowa would come true,” Dr. Marvin Sackner says. “Our dream has finally become a reality. I am just sorry that Ruth is no longer with us to witness this monumental moment.”
In addition to housing the archive in Special Collections, the UI Libraries will maintain the condition of archive items, including fragile materials and rare or one-of-a-kind items. The Libraries Preservation and Conservation department has begun repairs on items damaged during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
In its new home, the Sackner Archive will continue to function as a living record of the concrete poetry movement, as new works are accepted into the collections. The UI Libraries will house new items as they come in and work to make the material available to all.
“It’s a pleasure to collaborate with the University of Iowa Libraries staff to ensure the safety of the collection during the move and into the future,” says Amanda Keeley, who has served as associate curator of the Sackner Archive for three years. “Margaret [Gamm] has been a particularly helpful partner, allowing a smooth process for moving this substantial archive to Iowa City.”
The University of Iowa Libraries plans to host a celebration of the Sackner Archive in the near future. At a later date, UI Libraries staff will mount an exhibition of select archive items in the Main Library Gallery. The exhibition dates will be announced at lib.uiowa.edu/gallery.
Margaret Gamm, head, Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Shipe, curator, International Dada Archive, University of Iowa Libraries email@example.com
Images from the collection
The Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry includes items created in a wide variety of styles and media. Initially, the Sackners collected examples of artists who started the concrete poetry movement, but the archive has since expanded in scope and now includes a broad array of works that integrate text and image. Examples include experimental typography, experimental calligraphy, correspondence art, stamp art, sound poetry, performance poetry, micrography, ‘zines,’ graphic design, and artist magazines.
The images below show a variety of materials and techniques such as calligraphy on an ostrich egg, a “handmade” leather book cover, pressed leaves, lithograph, embossed paper, tea bags encased in paper, one-of-a-kind artist’s book in a round box, carved/painted wood, and an altered book page on which poetry was created through a technique called “erasure.”
Fanzines of science fiction, fantasy and horror available to read and transcribe
What would you do with thousands of fragile leaflets, known as fanzines, that chronicle the history of science fiction? Such fanzines hold rich information too valuable to sit untouched, yet the materials cannot be handled without risking destruction.
At the University of Iowa Libraries, a digitization project is underway to save a large, notable zine collection.
The James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Collection contains over 10,000 science fiction (SF), fantasy, and horror fanzines collected by Rusty Hevelin, famous science fiction fan, collector, dealer, and zine editor.
The Hevelin collection spans decades of science fiction writing and fandom and holds examples of early writing by sci fi greats such as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, and George R.R. Martin. With documents dating as early as the 1930s, the collection also reveals exchanges between writers and fans.
Enthusiasts and scholars will have online access to the Hevelin collection to study histories of fandom, trace our views of science and technology over decades, and examine fundamental shifts in our ideas of human progress.
Staff at the University of Iowa Libraries digitize each page of each publication through high-resolution photography. As the fanzines become available online, volunteers can transcribe them through the DIY History participatory archives platform. Once transcribed, the zines are fully searchable online, increasing their value to researchers.
The zines are also accessible in the Iowa Digital Library. As work is completed, more scans will be added to the existing online collections. News about the collection and further information on selected items is available on the Hevelin tumblr.
The term “zine” (derived from the word “fanzine”) refers generally to a small, informal, non-commercial publication. Because zines vary widely in style, they defy singular definition. However, most publications in this unique, often handmade print genre have a small, niche following. Some are circulated via subscription, but they are often distributed informally among interested parties. Zine publishers express a raison d’être driven by a desire to uphold principles of free expression rather than a desire for monetary profit.
With the exception of late 19th century amateur press hobbyists, zines entered the cultural milieu as a specific and noticeable phenomenon in the 1930s, when the emerging science fiction fan community began to create “fanzines” as forums for their own stories and opinions on published SF writing and films.
The University of Iowa Libraries is proud to present an exhibition of materials and experiences related to the work of UI alumnus and faculty astrophysicist James Van Allen, 36MS, 39PhD. The UIAA invites you to join Greg Prickman, head of UI Libraries Special Collections, as he guides you on a tour of the Main Library’s new gallery space, featuring an exhibition of Van Allen’s stellar career. Artifacts, writings, photos, and recordings launch visitors into the heart of the Space Age to tell the compelling story of the Iowan’s groundbreaking discovery of the Van Allen Radiation Belts.
|WHEN:||Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 6 p.m.|
|WHERE:||The University of Iowa Main Library, 125 W. Washington St., Iowa City|
|COST:||This lecture is FREE and open to the public; however, RSVPs are encouraged.|
Pre-registration for this event has ended, however, walk-ups are welcome and may register at the event.
Details found here: http://www.iowalum.com/lifelonglearning/vanallen/
The University of Iowa Libraries’ Preservation and Conservation presents:
The William Anthony Conservation Lecture
Thursday, October 8, 2015, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Adler Journalism Building, E105
Gary Frost, guest lecturer
“Great Legacy, Great Prospects — The Historical Bookbinding Model Collection at Iowa”
A reception will follow. All UI students, faculty, staff and Iowa City area community members are invited to attend.
At this event, you can expect to learn about the art and craft of bookbinding over the centuries. Discover the University of Iowa Libraries’ unique role in helping to document and teach these techniques.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Download PDF poster to print Anthony Lecture flier 8.5 x 10-FINAL-1.
Tonight Only! The Brinton Silent Film Project
Friends of the UI Libraries Annual Event
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Join Mike Zahs and Red Cedar Chamber Music for an evening of motion pictures and music from the earliest days of film. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, The Brinton Entertainment Co. of Washington, Iowa, would travel throughout the Midwest bringing films, magic lantern slides, and other forms of entertainment to populations who, in many cases, had never before seen such sights.
Now, the Brinton Collection is being preserved by the UI Libraries, and Zahs, partnering with Red Cedar Chamber Music, will show the silent films with a newly-commissioned score. The filmmakers from Northland Films, who have been documenting the Brinton Collection project, will discuss their film and show a special preview.
Following the program, a reception will be offered in Special Collections, with the opportunity to interact with Zahs, the musicians, and the filmmakers and the chance to view some of the artifacts.
Program at 5:30 PM
Shambaugh Auditorium, Main Library
Reception at 6:30 PM
Special Collections Reading Room, Main Library
cash bar, light refreshments
The event is free, but reservations ARE appreciated. RSVP by Thursday, April 30th, 2015, by calling 319-335-6093 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact The University Libraries in advance at 319-335-6093.
Theisen was recognized in the magazine’s March 15 issue for her efforts to transform libraries in the 21st century. She was selected because of her commitment to the profession and her efforts to transform how library outreach and how we learn about, and interact with, the unique primary source collections in academic libraries. Library Journal especially noted herinnovative work connecting communities on campus and online to rare books and historic documents through social media, online video, and in the classroom
Theisen currently serves as special collections outreach and instruction librarian as part of Special Collections & University Archives
“LJ’s newest class of Movers & Shakers proves once again that the library arena is rich with innovation driven by mission-focus,” said Rebecca T. Miller, group editor, Library Journal and School Library Journal. “Those identified come from across the library universe and beyond, and they are each transforming how libraries connect with and enrich their communities. We congratulate them, and look forward to seeing their ongoing contributions multiply.”
Theisen is from Cedar Rapids and graduated from Regis High School before completing her BA in Art History & Archaeology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She followed her degree with a teaching certificate for secondary art education at Clarke College in Dubuque, before completing her Masters of Science in Information, specializing in archives and records management, at the University of Michigan in 2011. She has worked as outreach and instruction librarian at the University of Iowa for more than three years.
The 2015 Movers & Shakers were selected by the editors of Library Journal, the profession’s leading trade magazine. Each of the Movers & Shakers will be prominently featured in the March 15th issue of Library Journal and celebrated at a special luncheon in June during the American Library Association’s annual conference in San Francisco, CA. The print feature’s companion website is sponsored by OCLC and Boopsie, and it is available at www.libraryjournal.com/movers2015. The luncheon and awards ceremony is made possible by the support of sponsors, including Baker and Taylor, Demco, Mission Bell Media, OCLC, Plata Publishing, Rosen Publishing and Sage.
Read more about new inductees at www.libraryjournal.com/movers2015.
ABOUT LIBRARY JOURNAL
Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 75,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews over 8000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and web sites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visit www.libraryjournal.com. Library Journal is a publication of Media Source Inc., which also owns School Library Journal, The Horn Book publications, and Junior Library Guild.
The University of Iowa Libraries has launched an online site that presents the history of the 1958 Explorer I satellite mission and the role played by UI astrophysicist James Van Allen in its success.
The site, Explorer’s Legacy, chronicles the mission that led to the first scientific discovery of the space age when Van Allen identified the radiation belts surrounding the earth. The website also provides, for the first time, access to the complete set of data collected during the Explorer I mission. Digitized from the original reel-to-reel tapes that have been preserved by the University of Iowa Libraries, these data represent the first scientific data returned to Earth from space.
The new website embeds digitized content from the Van Allen papers within a new narrative account of the mission written exclusively for the site by Abigail Foerstner, author of James Van Allen: The First Eight Billion Miles. The presentation provides a complete overview of the development, launch, and success of the Explorer missions, and highlights the participation of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Iowa in many subsequent space missions, including the current Van Allen probes that continue to make new discoveries within the radiation belts.
“It’s great to have the first scientific measurements ever made in space available to the public,” says Craig Kletzing, F. Wendell Miller Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. “From those first days in 1958 to today’s Van Allen Probes mission, the University of Iowa is still at it, working to solve the mysteries of space.” The data tapes from the Explorer missions were created during the satellite’s orbits around the earth. When Explorer I was launched on January 31, 1958, it began to send a signal back to earth. A series of receiving stations were positioned around the globe that would listen in as the satellite passed overhead, and a technician would activate a reel-to-reel tape machine to record the signals.
In 2009, the University of Iowa began an effort to preserve the original analogue reel-to-reel tapes that were stored in the basement of MacLean Hall on the Pentacrest. Staff from the Libraries’ Preservation Department cleaned and stabilized the tapes onsite, and then transferred them to the Main Library. The entire collection is now physically stable and in appropriate environmental conditions. “This new resource is the culmination of years of effort to preserve these historic recordings,” says Greg Prickman, Head of Special Collections. “The availability of the data tapes in a digital format provides broad access to the foundational information of the space age.”
Explorer’s Legacy is the result of inter-disciplinary collaboration between librarians, conservators, physicists, writers, and digital media specialists. In years to come, it will only be getting bigger—the reel-to-reel tapes holding the data from the next successful mission, Explorer III, have already been digitized, and are being prepared for inclusion in the site.
The site was launched with support from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.
Traveling exhibit to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death
The University of Iowa Libraries has been selected as the host site for the state of Iowa for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, a national traveling exhibition of the Shakespeare First Folio, one of the world’s most treasured books.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio of Shakespeare in 2016 to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
“We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to showcase one of the most important books ever printed,” says University Librarian John Culshaw. “How appropriate that the First Folio visit the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, the only UNESCO City of Literature in the United States. First Folio! will be the first travelling exhibit hosted in the UI Main Library exhibition space, which is currently undergoing renovation and slated to open later this year. As the only stop on the tour in the state of Iowa, we welcome all Iowans to visit the Libraries and experience this unique piece of history.”
Many of Shakespeare’s plays were not published during his lifetime. The First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations. Without it, we would not have 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It. All 18 appear for the first time in print in the First Folio.
“The First Folio is the book that gave us Shakespeare. Between its covers we discover his most famous characters—Hamlet, Desdemona, Cordelia, Macbeth, Romeo, Juliet, and hundreds of others—speaking words that continue to move and inspire us,” says Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. “Shakespeare tells the human story like no one else. We are delighted that we can share this precious resource with people everywhere.”
When the First Folio arrives in Iowa City, its pages will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare and one of the most quoted lines in the world, “to be or not to be” from Hamlet. Accompanying the book will be a multi-panel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare, then and now, with additional digital content and interactive activities.
“In addition to showcasing the First Folio, the Libraries will be highlighting other examples of English early printed materials in an expansive exhibition,” says Greg Prickman, head of Special Collections. “We are also excited to be working with many campus and community partners to host a range of programs for the public.”
Final touring dates for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare will be announced in April.
The Folger Shakespeare Library holds 82 copies of the First Folio, by far the largest collection in the world and more than a third of the 233 known copies in the world today. It is believed that 750 copies were originally printed.
The Shakespeare First Folio is one of the most valuable printed books in the world; a First Folio sold for $6.2 million in 2001 at Christie’s and another one for $5.2 million in 2006 in London. It originally sold for one British pound (20 shillings)—about $200 today.
First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the generous support of Google.org and Vinton and Sigrid Cerf. Sponsorship opportunities of this major exhibition and the Folger’s other Wonder of Will programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death are available; learn more at www.folger.edu.
About University of Iowa Libraries
The University of Iowa Libraries provides leadership in the creation, transmission, and preservation of knowledge to advance intellectual discovery and encourage lifelong learning. With print and digital collections that are richly diverse and deeply comprehensive, the Libraries also offers state-of-the-art resources that enhance teaching and learning on campus and beyond. In partnership with the teaching faculty, the Libraries offers a variety of information literacy and course-related instructional programs designed to develop these critical skills in students in all disciplines. The Libraries is the largest library system in Iowa and ranks 14th among materials expenditures among U.S. public research libraries. University Libraries is proud of its role as the foundation on which the University of Iowa’s academic and research programs rest.
About Folger Shakespeare Library
Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750). The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs—theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures and family programs. Learn more at www.folger.edu.
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives. Additional information can be found at www.ala.org/programming.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.
Looking for a spooky way to start off your Halloween weekend? Craving some free, freshly popped popcorn? Stop by the Main Library Learning Commons for a look at some of the scariest items housed in the Special Collections and University Archives department.
With items ranging from truly disturbing illustrations, to stories of local hauntings, there’s something to startle everyone. Special Collections and University Archives will have a selection of items available for browsing to help you get your Halloween weekend off to a historic start.
Thursday, October 30, 12pm-4pm
Main Library Learning Commons, Group Area D (across from Food for Thought)
For a preview of some of our spooky items, check out our tumblr page!