Skip to content
Skip to main content

Literature Resource Center Trial

In an effort to provide faculty and students access to the latest resources in their disciplines, the UI Libraries periodically enrolls in trial subscriptions to online resources. During and after the trial, library staff encourages feedback from faculty and students about particular resources. Literature Resource Center will be under consideration until May 30.

jkeats.jpgThe Literature Resource Center allows researchers to find up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism and reviews on nearly 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world.

The easy-to-use single search box is designed to work the way people do research. Searchers can look up authors by name and link to a wealth of information about the author, works and criticism of those works. Additionally the Literature Resource Center connects searchers to the MLA International Bibliography, the premier resource for literary research.

Take an online guided tour of the Literature Resource Center.

Please send any comments about this resource to Ed Shreeves, Associate University Librarian and Director of Collections & Content Development.

Find a Place to Study @ your library

Now that the end of the semester is drawing near and finals are just around the corner, you are probably looking for a quiet place to study. With 12 libraries on campus, you can find exactly the right space.

Quiet, Out of the Way Places

The Biological Sciences Library on Iowa Avenue between Phillips Hall and the Biology Building has three floors of student study space. The first floor has computers available for student use. The second and third floors have quiet study carrels, soft seating with tables and large work tables.

The Lichtenberger Engineering Library at 2001 Seamans Center has two floors with bean bags, study carrels and quiet tables. The Library is adjacent to the Engineering Student Commons.

The east side of campus is home to many of our small quiet libraries. The Psychology Library at W202 Seashore Hall ; the Physics Library at 350 Van Allen Hall ; or the Geoscience Library at 136 Trowbridge offer computer access, soft seating with tables and large work tables.

The arts campus is home to the new Art Library at 235 Art Building West which is filled with open spaces, graduate study carrels, group work tables and great views of the Hutchinson Quarry pond. The Rita Benton Music Library located at 2000 Voxman Music Building has a separate computer lab, listening room as well as study tables and soft seating.

Late Night Spaces

On the west side of campus on Newton Road, the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences offers a variety of study spaces for students including a 24-hour study room (the rest of the library is open Sunday until 11 p.m. and Monday – Thursday until Midnight). There are group study spaces on the first, third and fourth floors. Quiet individual quietstudy.jpgcarrels can be found in the Information Commons West ITC and the fourth floor.  Wireless Internet access is available throughout the building.

The Main Library is open Sunday – Thursday until 2 a.m. The second floor houses the largest ITC (with more than 130 computers) on campus. There are also large study tables on the second floor. For more quiet space in the Main Library, try the Government Documents reading room on the third floor, north end of the building. The Fourth and Fifth floors of the Main Library also have quiet tables tucked away at the ends of the bookstacks.

groupstudy.jpgQuiet and Group Study Spaces have been designated throughout the Main Library. In any undesignated areas “The University of Iowa Libraries encourages scholarly research by maintaining an environment conducive to study in all units of the libraries system. Library users are expected to act responsibly, appropriately, and courteously to preserve the libraries’ facilities, environment, and collections.” (From Conduct In the University of Iowa Libraries: Basic Policy Governing Public Use)

Maps of the Main Library and more information for designated study spaces.

UI Libraries Brings Historic Dental College Photos to Life

stahle_dentistry1.jpgIn 1883 with its first class, the College of Dentistry began a tradition of mounting individual portraits of graduates on photo boards. Over time these boards made their home in the basement of the College’s modern building where they were silently deteriorating until last year.

College of Dentistry librarian Chris White re-discovered the photos and contacted the UI Libraries head of preservation, Nancy E. Kraft, who assigned the photograph collection as a class preservation planning project to students Mary Francis, Stephanie Kruckeberg and Jill McCleary. With proposal in hand, Kraft enlisted the expertise of her staff and the Digital Library Services. After several consultations, it became clear that saving these photos was an important project for both the College of Dentistry and the UI Libraries.

Today, the Dentistry College Class Photos Collection is part of a project to preserve and make accessible a piece of the University’s heritage.

“This collection is a visual representation of the rich history of the College of Dentistry, and shows a diversity of students extending to the early part of last century,” says David Johnsen, Dean of the College of Dentistry. “The College faculty, staff, students and alumni are excited that these photographs will be available so that anyone online can view and appreciate this valuable collection.”

1934dent.jpgWith literally thousands of photographs dating from the 1880s to 1960s, the process of making these photos accessible online to the public is a long-term commitment. After the boards were digitally photographed by the UI Creative Media Group, UI Libraries assistant conservator Kristin Baum and a team of technicians began work to restore the photos themselves. At the same time Digital Initiatives Librarian Mark L. Anderson was building the digital collection. In addition to the entire class photo boards, individual student and faculty photographs are viewable and fully searchable based on class lists, which adds to the ease of navigation and retrieval.

“I’ve already had people tell me that they found family members who graduated from the College by using this digital collection,” says Anderson. “Many Iowans have connections to the College of Dentistry, and this resource makes it easier for them to find those graduates.”

The Dentistry College Class Photos Collection is the latest in a series of projects coordinated by Digital Library Services for inclusion in the UI Libraries’ Iowa Digital Library web site, as well as the statewide Iowa Heritage Digital Collections consortium.

To view more digital collections created from the UI Libraries’ archives, visit the Iowa Digital Library web site at

“Blood Done Sign My Name” is All Johnson County Reads Selection

“Blood Done Sign My Name” by Timothy B. Tyson, the true story of a black U.S. Army veteran killed by three white men in Oxford, N.C. in the early 1970s, is the 2007 selection for “One Community, One Book — All Johnson County Reads.”

The project promoting insights on human rights in the United States is coordinated by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) in conjunction with other sponsoring organizations from Johnson County and the UI.

The goal of the project is to encourage people to read and discuss the selected book in order to develop a greater community awareness of human rights issues locally, nationally and internationally.

The book, published by Random House in 2004, is the true story of 23-year-old Henry Marrow, who was murdered in 1973. In the wake of the killing, young African-Americans took to the streets. The author’s father, the pastor of Oxford’s all-white Methodist church, urged the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away.

Tyson returns to Oxford 30 years later to make sense of what happened and how the events changed his life. As he weaves together childhood memories with the realities of present-day Oxford, he sheds new light on America’s struggle for racial justice.

“Blood Done Sign My Name” won the Southern Book Award for Nonfiction. Tyson, a North Carolina native, teaches and writes about the history of African-American freedom movements in the 20th-century South. He holds appointments in the department of history at Duke and in the department of American studies at the University of North Carolina.

The “One Community, One Book” project will run from mid-September through mid-November. Teachers, students, librarians, book groups and others are encouraged to participate. By announcing the selection now, the project sponsors hope to allow time for groups to read the book and participate in fall community discussion forums, and for teachers to plan classroom discussions around the book.

The UI Libraries will host a community discussion of the book in the fall.

Hawkeyes Support Hokie Hope Day

In an email to University Librarian Nancy Baker, Dean of the Virginia Tech Libraries Eileen Hitchingham asked her colleagues across the country to wear maroon and orange in support of “Hokie Hope Day” and take a picture for the Virginia Tech Archives.

“I think of the parents and families today- all in shock– but later it will be very important to feel that the memory of their lost one lives on, and to re-live the unbelievable outpouring of good will that is coming from around the world,” says Hitchingham.


Thank you to all the Libraries staff who donned maroon and orange and came out to share their support for those at Virginia Tech. This photo will be forwarded to the University Archivist at Virginia Tech.

Learn more about remembrances around campus and the state.

History Resource Trial

In an effort to provide faculty and students access to the latest resources in their disciplines, the UI Libraries periodically enrolls in trial subscriptions to online resources. During and after the trial, library staff encourages feedback from faculty and students about particular resources. History Reference Online will be under consideration until June 18.

History Reference Online is an extensive, full-text online collection of reference titles available as a subscription to libraries and covers a broad range of subjects including:

  • American and World History
  • Pop culture, folklore, and mythology
  • Law and government
  • History of religion
  • Geography
  • Political, social, and military history
  • World and U.S. issues
  • History of science, technology, and the environment

This easy-to-use single search box leads students and researchers to credible, citable research materials. Library users can search across the entire collection or a single book, and History Reference Online offers thousands of focused bibliographic records and selective bibliographies.

Learn about other resources currently under consideration.

Vonnegut Drawings Gift to UI Libraries

by Sid Huttner, Head of Special Collections 

nolocontendere.jpgBy 1965, Kurt Vonnegut had published four novels in paperback, but Slaughterhouse Five was several years in the future. Hardly famous and far from rich, Vonnegut accepted an invitation to teach in the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Among his students was Loree Rackstraw. They became close and lasting friends. Although she aspired to writing herself, after taking her degree Rackstraw returned to Cedar Falls and became a member of the University of Northern Iowa English faculty.

In 1984, Vonnegut used brightly colored magic markers to make a suite of eight untitled drawings on 14×17 inch sheets of art paper. Shortly after he created them, Vonnegut sent the drawings to Rackstraw, and they hung, framed, in her living room until Vonnegut and artist Joe Petro asked to borrow and photograph them as the base of a set of silk screen prints titled Enchanted I.O.U.s. The prints restore a depth of color somewhat faded in the original drawings.

There is much to be learned by study of Petro’s work in juxtaposition to Vonnegut’s, and we are honored by Loree Rackstraw’s decision to place the original drawings in the Libraries where they will be permanently available to scholars and students.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2004 issue of Bindings: News for Supporters of the University of Iowa Libraries.

For more about collections related to Kurt Vonnegut, check Special Collections.

Climate Change Report Available Online

The work of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently been in the news. The Executive Summary for Policymakers (pdf), part of its 4th Assessment Report, was recently released. The report documents the current scientific understanding and analysis on global climate change and recommends policy actions to address the global warming that is currently occurring on Earth. The IPCC will continue working on this issue and the more comprehensive Assessment Report is due out later in 2007.

The IPCC works within the framework of the United Nations. The University of Iowa Libraries is a United Nations (UN) depository library and collects a wide variety of materials published by the UN. For more information about the UN collection, please visit the UN Research Guide. For more information, contact Brett Cloyd (

McCartney Elected to MAC Board

mccartney-archive-box2-9-041.jpgUniversity Archivist David McCartney has been elected to a two-year term as secretary of the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC). He’ll join Dennis Meissner of the Minnesota Historical Society (president-elect), Tanya Zanish-Belcher of Iowa State University (vice president), and Craig Wright of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum (treasurer) as MAC officers.

With over 1,100 individual members and about 180 institutional members, MAC is the nation’s largest regional archives organization, serving 13 states. Corporate, government, religious and university archives are members, as are historical societies, manuscripts repositories, and other special collections.