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Special Collections News & Updates 4/20/2017



Upcoming Events:

Final Mellon Sawyer Lecture Friday, April 28. 8:30AM-2:30PM

Marina Rustow
“Fatimid State Documents, Serial Recyclers and the Cairo Geniza”

Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East, Princeton University

Erik Kwakkel
“Aristotle and the Medieval University: The Birth of a New Book Format”

University Lecturer, Universiteit Leiden
10:30 a.m.–noon

Katherine Tachau
“Piece-work and Medieval University Book Production: The Pecia”

Professor of History, University of Iowa
1–2:30 p.m.



April Iowa Bibliophiles Recap

Instruction Librarian Amy Chen presented about her game, Codex Conquest: The Game of Book History at the April Meeting 4/12/2017. The Iowa Bibliophiles, including a group of students from Scattergood Friends School, tested the game in three groups.

Amy Chen will be a guest all next week at Columbia University presenting about the game and play testing. More information:

Follow along on the game’s website for all the updates: 


Elizabeth Riordan is one of the winners of the library student employee scholarship. Congratulations, Elizabeth! Liz is a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science and has worked in Special Collections all of the 2016-2017 academic year. Elizabeth welcomes the chance to work in the archives where every person and item has a story.



From the Web and Social Media:

Historically Yours Podcast Episode 2: Heroic Deeds with Liz Riordan


Donate to the University Libraries’ Special Collections Fund

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Special Collections News & Updates 3/22/2017


March News & Updates:

Instruction Update:

In February 2017 we had 40 class sessions!


Staff Awards & Updates:

Image of David McCartneyUniversity Archivist David McCartney was elected president of the Midwest Archives Conference for a two year term. Read more.





Event Recap & Photos:


Book artist David Esslemont visited Special Collections for the opening reception for “Open * Set.”  This traveling exhibition from the American Academy of Bookbinders is on display on the third floor of the Main Library outside Special Collections until April 19th.

The evening of the exhibition opening, Acquisitions and Collections Management Librarian Margaret Gamm presented new acquisitions to the Iowa Bibliophiles on March 8th.

From the Web & Social Media:



Donate to the University Libraries’ Special Collections Fund

Want to stay connected?  Follow us on social media:

facebookInstagram logotumblrYouTube linkTwitter


Special Collections Open House – Exhibition Reception and Acquisitions Talk March 8th

Special Collections and the Iowa Bibliophiles will be hosting a reception and open house extravaganza the evening of Wednesday March 8, 2017 celebrating the arrival of the traveling exhibition Open*Set while providing an opportunity for in-depth investigation of our newest acquisitions.

Explore the Open*Set exhibition from the American Academy of Bookbinding, in the Special Collections gallery space while recent acquisitions from Special Collections are set up for browsing in our Reading Room.
Bookbinder, printer, and Open*Set judge David Esslemont will speak about the exhibition at 6:15pm.

bibliophiles logo 

Acquisitions and Collections Management Librarian Margaret Gamm will provide an in-depth recap of rare book acquisitions over the past three years at 7:00pm. Learn how the University acquires material through purchase and donation, and discover which areas have been most heavily developed, all the way from Medieval manuscripts to modern artists’ books.
Come for a bit or stay for all.
The festivities all take place in the Special Collections Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Main Library from 5:30PM~7:45PM.
Refreshments will be served

Iowa Bibliophiles always meet the second Wednesday of each month.
More information and full 2016-2017 schedule: