The University of Iowa Libraries is pleased to announce that Aiden M. Bettine will join the Department of Special Collections and University Archives as Community and Student Life Archivist effective January 4, 2021, a newly-created position in the Libraries’ Residency Librarian Program*. Bettine established the Transgender Oral History Project of Iowa in 2018 and is a Ph.D. candidate in the UI Department of History. He completed his M.A. in Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa in May 2020. He is also establishing a new lending library and community archives in Iowa City, the LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library, which will open in January.
“I am excited for the opportunity to preserve underrepresented histories on our campus and in our community,” says Bettine. “As the Community and Student Life Archivist, I plan to prioritize archiving the materials of students of color and queer students on our campus including personal collections, oral histories, and working closely with student organizations. One of my primary goals is to actively collect materials from each cultural house on campus, knowing how critical these spaces are for supporting students and creating a community space at the university for both LGBTQ students and students of color.”
In his spare time, Bettine is an avid supporter of the United States Postal Service, making sure to send out mail at least once a week. He enjoys riding his bicycle and camping as well. Currently, Bettine is on a mission to visit all 83 of Iowa’s state parks and recreation areas.
*The UI Libraries offers early-career librarians or librarians new to research libraries, the opportunity for their first professional-level experience in academic librarianship via its Residency Librarian Program. The three-year appointment is designed to provide an immersion into academic librarianship, an opportunity to focus on areas of interest, and funding to support professional engagement at the national level.
On December 28th, 2020, Dr. Eric Ensley will join Special Collections as Curator of Books and Maps. Ensley earned his MSLS from UNC before going on to earn an MA in English from NCSU, then an MA, M.Phil., and PhD in English from Yale. While at Yale, he worked in the Beinecke Library as a Curatorial Assistant to the Curator of Early Books and as a Medieval Manuscripts Cataloging Assistant from 2016-2020, served as Program Director for the Digital Editing & the Medieval Manuscript TEI/XML Workshop starting in 2017, and in addition to other classes, served as Instructor of Record for “What is a book?”. His research interests cover the History of the Book, Librarianship, Manuscript Studies, Early Modern Print Culture, Digital Humanities, and Appalachian Studies.
“I’m most looking forward to welcoming students from a variety of backgrounds to work with our special collections,” says Ensley. “I believe that we can tell powerful stories about who we are through the history of books and manuscripts, and I look forward to hearing what stories students, faculty, and colleagues will tell with our collections. I’m particularly thrilled to learn how our collections speak to the lived experiences and histories of students from Iowa and further afield. Our collections allow us to talk about and even touch history, from pre-modern materials to our contemporary moment, and I can’t wait to help to make these collections accessible.”
In his spare time you can find him in the kitchen cooking or baking. “I grew up working alongside my grandmother in the kitchen, and she taught me the foundations of Appalachian cooking, which has sparked a lifelong love of food.” Just wait till he gets a hold of the Szathmary Culinary Collection here at the University of Iowa. This is Ensley’s first time living in the Midwest and he has expressed excitement in learning more about the local foodways and recipe traditions in Iowa.*
*His new coworkers are wondering how long to wait before they tell him all about the Butter Cow and the wonders of the Iowa State Fair.
The following is written by International Dada Curator Timothy Shipe.
The latest major acquisition for the International Dada Archive is The Large Glass and Related Works (1967-1968), an impressive collaboration between artist Marcel Duchamp and the Egyptian-born Italian writer and gallery owner Arturo Schwarz. The magnificent set of two large portfolios contains a monograph by Schwarz on Duchamp’s unfinished masterpiece, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (known as the “Large Glass”), housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is accompanied by an extensive set of facsimiles of Duchamp’s preparatory notes for the “Large Glass,” one of several similar sets of notes the artist published during his lifetime (including the famous “Green Box,” the most precious treasure of the Dada Archive).
But what makes The Large Glass and Related Works most special is the two sets of nine original etchings by Duchamp designed especially for this edition. These are among the last art works by Duchamp, who died in 1968. The first set, titled simply “The Large Glass,” consists mainly of depictions of individual elements taken from that complex work, along with a diagram of what the Glass would have looked like had it been completed.
The second set of etchings, titled “The Lovers,” is a set of erotic drawings largely based on classic works of art. According to Schwarz, these were intended as a sort of sequel to the “Large Glass,” depicting the consummation of the frustrated love affair between the “bachelors” and the “bride.” One of these, based on Lucas Cranach’s famous depiction of Adam and Eve, is, in a sense, a self-portrait of Duchamp, since it replicates a well-known Man Ray photograph of a 1924 stage performance in which a nude Duchamp and Brogna Perlmutter imitate the scene in Cranach’s painting.
The Large Glass and Related Works was formerly part of the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry but was deaccessioned before that collection came to Iowa. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to purchase this important work for the Dada Archive, where it will complement the other major Duchamp items that are frequently used in classes in Art History and other fields.
It’s been over fifty-three years since Muhammad Ali spoke to a full house in the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa campus, but thanks to the Darwin Turner Audio Collection (and a grant to digitize this collection), anyone today can take a moment to listen to Ali’s words and advice to Hawkeye students back in 1967 on the digital exhibit Uptight and Laidback: Iowa City in the 1960s.
On November 20, 1967, Ali, who changed his name from Cassius Clay in 1964 after joining the Nation of Islam, came to the University as part of a series on Afro-American culture. The series, hosted by the Department of English and the Afro-American Studies Program, was to help provide a background for the course on Afro-American literature being offered at the University.
This recording is part of the Darwin Turner Audio Collection, a collection recently acquired by the University Archives. Darwin Turner became the chair of the newly formed Afro-American Studies Department in 1972, and held that position for nearly two decades. You can read more about his substantial contribution to the department and the study of African American culture in an Old Gold article written by University Archivist David McCartney. With the help of a recent grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the University of Iowa Libraries has been working to digitize the over 400 recordings of speakers talking about African American culture.
This talk from Muhammad Ali demonstrates the mental strategy of this champion boxer. As the Daily Iowan article above states, “Muhammad Ali was a surprise, a refreshing experience. True, he jabbered, he chattered, he joked. But there was method to his madness. He had a point to make. And if you listened and laughed with him long enough you received an answer for your patience.”
His talk, which relied heavily on questions from the audience, involved a wide range of topics, including interactions with white TV personalities, his religion and the controversy around his stance on Vietnam, and the reason for using the term “Black” to describe a group of people.
This audio clip provides a rare glimpse into a time on Iowa’s campus. Since Muhammad Ali went to the audience almost straight away for questions, not only do you hear his stories and experiences, but you get a sense of what is on the mind of the students and community members who found themselves standing on the precipice of great change.
Our Archives Assistant Denise Anderson explored the Szathmary collection to create the perfect cherry pie. Below is the recipe, along with Denise’s step-by-step guide on what she did to create what is sure to be the best dessert at your next Thanksgiving.
The original recipe, pictured above calls for the following ingredients for a 9″ pie:
*1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar
*1/3 cup GOLD MEDAL Flour
*1/2 tsp. cinnamon
*4 cups fresh fruit (cherries)
*1 tbsp. butter
*Pastry for 9″ two-crust Pie
Taking this base recipe, I have made a few adjustments to make the perfect pie (which you see below).
I like the look of an ample pie, so I used a nine-inch, glass, deep-dish pie pan and I increased the 4 cups of fruit called for to 6 1/2 cups, which then required adjustments to the other ingredients; adjustments provided below.
Frozen tart cherries are also available, but if you use fresh cherries, which are ripe around the Fourth of July, you will wash, sort out blemishes and remove the stones. Preserve the juice in a separate measuring cup.
In a pan on the stovetop, combine 3/4 cup cherry juice, 5 T. small pearl tapioca, 2 1/2 cups sugar, 2 T. water, 1 T. fresh lemon juice, 1/2 t. almond extract. Cook and stir this on medium-low heat until it thickens, and then boil it for one minute. Remove from heat and set it aside for 15 minutes. Tapioca can be difficult to locate on grocer’s shelves. You might have better luck finding quick cooking tapioca granules at a natural grocers.
My grandmother Sylvia taught me to make pie crust using the Crisco Single Crust recipe printed on the label. This recipe is included in Crisco’s American Pie Celebration, from the Szathmary Recipe Pamphletscollection. Because I have a penchant for oversized pies, I tripled the recipe and cut the dough in half for top and bottom crusts, ensuring there was no difficulty rolling the dough to fit.
Crisco Single Crust recipe:
Combine 1 1/3 cups flour and 1/2 t. salt.
With a pastry cutter, work 1/2 cup Crisco into the mix evenly.
Sprinkle in 3 T. water, not all in one spot, and mix it in.
Roll the dough into a ball and then evenly flatten it a bit in your hands until it is a thick disk. Sprinkle flour onto your countertop or pastry cloth and smooth it around in a circle with your palm. Gradually roll the dough into a circle using a rolling pin, working from the center outward in different directions until you reach a size that is two inches larger than your pie pan if it were placed on top of the dough upside down. As you roll, sprinkle more flour onto the dough if it begins to stick. Gently drape one half of the dough circle over the other half, and then again (quartered) so it may be easily picked up and positioned in the pie pan. Now follow these steps with the top crust, and when it is draped into a quarter, cut slits through the crust for ventilation. Set the quartered top crust aside for a moment, still folded.
Pour the cherries into the bottom crust, and then pour in the thickened cherry juice. Dot the top of the cherries with 2 T. of butter cut into small pieces. With a coffee cup of water next to the pie, dip your fingers into the water and run them along the rim of the bottom crust until you have dampened the entire rim, leaving the excess dough hanging over the sides. This moisture will help seal the two crusts together. Place the quartered top crust in place, and gently unfold it to cover half, and then the whole pie. Excess crust from both the top and the bottom are draped over the rim. With your thumb and index finger, work around the rim, pinching the dough slightly to build up the rim and make an interesting design. Use a knife to trim off the excess dough, cutting below the fluted edge.
Cut 3 or 4 strips of aluminum foil to wrap loosely around the rim of the pie, so it won’t burn. Overlap the pieces of foil and crimp them together a bit with your fingers to hold them together, without pressing into the dough. Line the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil before preheating to 425 degrees. Bake for one hour on the center rack, removing the foil strips after 45 minutes.
The following post comes from Olson Graduate Assistant Rachel Miller-Haughton.
Political cartoons are more fraught and relevant today than ever. The New York Times ended their political cartoons in July 2019, after they pulled an image that was widely perceived as anti-Semitic. Other publications have gone the same way in order to be perceived as more serious, or less controversial. At the same time, cartoonists and their supporters write about the loss of the visual medium. Patrick Chappatte, a New York Times political cartoonist, says, “Political cartoons were born with democracy. And they are challenged when freedom is.” No matter whether you like them or not, the impact of political cartoons cannot be denied. The most extreme example of this in recent memory are the attacks on the offices and contributors to French magazine Charlie Hebdo in response to their portrayal of Islamic prophet Muhammad. The response to a political cartoon, and subsequent conversations over free speech, is something that has colored our understanding of what they look like.
Almost 100 years ago, a cartoonist was illustrating his view of the current election. Jay N. “Ding” Darling was a cartoonist who spent much of his life in Sioux City, Iowa, and spent most of his career at the Des Moines Register. Born in 1876, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1924 and 1942. He was disillusioned with many of the political groups he worked with, but his life’s passion was wildlife conservation. The University of Iowa Libraries now holds many of his works. The “Ding” Darling Papersin Special Collections are a large group of the political cartoons the artist was best known for, as well as other art forms he created over the span of his life. Two images from the 1924 election stand out, even today. That year, Calvin Coolidge, the Republican candidate, won, helped by a divide in the Democratic party where many liberal Democrats left the party and backed third-party Wisconsin Senator, throwing the majority of the rest of the votes to Coolidge. A three-party election with a divided majority party was highly contentious.
The first image is captioned, “The citizens will now go forth and vote their calm, dispassionate judgement.” It features two voters clutching their ballot, pursued by huge ballooning figures carrying signs saying, “campaign lies,” “beware of chaos!” and “the government is run by a bunch of crooks,” among others. Anyone who has spent a few minutes watching TV, or on social media, has been blasted by similar messages around the 2020 election. Darling shows us that voters in the early 1900s were obviously feeling a similar strain, albeit with different names (“red peril” from the newly formed Soviet Union is reflected now as Russian cyber agitation).
The second cartoon, also from 1924, says “It’s a wonder there aren’t more serious accidents” and is commentary about nonvoters. Meant to either galvanize or shame “non voting voters” to be more like “the small percent who take their voting duty seriously,” it is certainly interesting to reflect on today. Already, the 2020 voter turnout is breaking records. Darling hoped this piece would encourage those who were able, and had the right, to vote, while also telling those who didn’t they don’t get to complain about “the gov’t machinery.” This may have been his way of encouraging participation in democracy.
The 2020 election is weighing on all our minds as Americans. Looking in Special Collections, it is almost comforting (albeit frustrating) to look back at history and know this is not the first time we’ve felt bombarded by groups telling us how to vote. Political cartoons have always done a good job of showing us what is important, and cutting through the noise of words with a single image. Who we listen to is up to us. But the importance of voting, although portrayed in a humorous manner by Darling, is no less pressing today than it was in 1924.
The following blog is written by Rich Dana, Olson Graduate Assistant in Special Collections.
Dr. Marvin Sackner passed away on September 29th. A national leader in the field of pulmonology and an inventor of innovative medical devices, Marvin Sackner was also an internationally recognized authority in the field of word-art, known as concrete or visual poetry. Along with his late wife, Ruth, Dr. Sackner collected the world’s most extensive collection of word-based art, which arrived at the University of Iowa in 2019.
In an October 5th memorial, International Dada Curator Timothy Shipe wrote that “For those of us at Iowa, Dr. Sackner will be forever remembered for selecting the University Libraries as the permanent home of his world-renowned collection of concrete and visual poetry; but as his obituary shows, his memory will be treasured for his countless contributions in many areas—by his numerous patients, by members of the medical profession, by artists, art historians, and literary scholars around the world, and most of all by his beloved family.”
Timothy Shipe later shared with me some personal thoughts about his interactions with Marvin Sackner, recalling that his 2018 New York meetings with Dr. Sackner and Head of Special Collections Margaret Gamm were not just business negotiations. Rather, he remembers working with Marvin as “enjoyable days full of enlightening conversation.”
Dr. Sackner was scheduled to visit Iowa City in April to attend the opening of an exhibition of works from the Sackner Archive at the UI Main Library gallery. Unfortunately, Dr. Sackner’s visit did not come to pass. In March, the world was thrown into the chaos of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Iowa, like most campuses across the United States, quickly closed the campus and moved to virtual classes. The Sackner exhibit was put on hold, and Dr. Sackner’s visit was postponed.
Later in the spring, I had the good fortune to talk at length with Marvin Sackner in a series of phone calls in which I interviewed him for a pair of blog posts. Our discussions were far-ranging, covering everything from the origins of the Sackner Archive to current events, historical medical treatises to science fiction.
When he inquired about my own scholarly interests, I mentioned that I was working on a paper exploring the links between early science fiction fandom and the literary and artistic uses of the mimeograph by the avant-garde. He became quite excited, telling me that “Oh, yes, you are on to something there!” Quickly pivoting from fine art to pulp paperbacks, he went on to share with me his own early interest in science fiction. In hindsight, he thought that the first time he saw an example of concrete poetry was not in a rare book shop or gallery, but rather in the paperback edition of Alfred Bester’s novel The Stars My Destination. “You will find several copies in the collection,” he told me.
At age 88, his memory for detail was impressive and his enthusiasm infectious, even over the phone. His comment about Bester’s book was spot-on, providing me with one of the first critical lynchpins in my thesis. We continued to correspond through occasional emails, and I held out hope that I might one day get to meet him in person after the pandemic had passed.
In late August, the exhibition of highlights from the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry finally opened in the Main Library Gallery. Sadly, one month later, we received the news of Dr. Sackner’s passing. A portrait of Dr. Sackner was added to the exhibit, next to the portrait of his wife Ruth.
I regret that I won’t be able to talk to Dr. Sackner again, but I will always appreciate how generously he shared his time with me. I also regret that the UI students and faculty will never have a chance to meet him, to experience his infectious enthusiasm, and thank him in person for the gift he has given us. However, we will continue to celebrate his passion and gain inspiration from the fantastic artwork and legacy that he has left in our care.
The following was written by International Dada Curator Timothy Shipe
It is with profound sorrow that we note the passing of Dr. Marvin Sackner on Tuesday, September 29 at age 88, just a few weeks after the opening of this exhibition. For those of us at Iowa, Dr. Sackner will be forever remembered for selecting the University Libraries as the permanent home of his world-renowned collection of concrete and visual poetry; but as his obituary shows, his memory will be treasured for his countless contributions in many areas—by his numerous patients, by members of the medical profession, by artists, art historians, and literary scholars around the world, and most of all by his beloved family.
We had originally planned to open this exhibition in May 2020 with a gala event featuring a guest lecture by Dr. Sackner accompanied by his entire family. Given Dr. Sackner’s stature as a world-famous pulmonologist, there is a sad irony in the fact that his visit to Iowa was thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those of us who had the privilege of getting to know Marvin—and to hear his engaging manner of telling the story of his collection and the artists represented in it—know what an opportunity the public has missed now that there will be no chance to welcome him back to campus. But we can take comfort in knowing that current and future generations of Iowans and visitors from around the world will be able to engage with the Sackners through their legacy—the magnificent collection they amassed and curated over four decades, which now resides in the UI Libraries Special Collections.
We now rededicate this exhibition to the memory of Ruth and Marvin Sackner, extraordinary art collectors, generous individuals, and above all, kind and loving human beings.
The following is written by Erik Henderson, Graduate Assistant for Iowa Women’s Archives
As we have moved into the digital age, the value of handwritten letters has seemingly faded. Archival repositories nationwide are composed of letters because they once encompassed the most influential and sometimes most intimate moments experienced by their authors. Preserving history allows for people in the 21st century to understand the values, norms, and perspectives of life before them. In an era of prompt communication through smartphones and social media, could we imagine what it would be like waiting weeks, or even months, to hear from loved ones?
Within the UI Special Collections are the letters of Anson Rood Butler, which transport readers to the Civil War era. Consisting of items dating from 1862 to 1900, this collection is primarily correspondence between Butler and his wife, Harriet Saunders. The letters, all transcribed on Iowa Digital Library and DIY History, describe his time aboard the Nashville, a “floating hospital,” traveling through the south: where he served as the third sergeant of the 26th Iowa Infantry Regiment. The 26th Iowa Infantry, organized in Clinton, Iowa, consisted of Black and White soldiers that mustered in three years of Federal service and were a part of the 3rd brigade, 1st division, XV Corps.
For the Black soldiers of the 26th Iowa Infantry, they battled against their white peers in efforts for them to recognize their worth regardless of their status or the obstacles they faced such as deteriorating weapons. Butler writes to his wife, “I want the people to know that Gov Baker of Iowa armed us with old muskets not worth a cuss & he knew it & then reported us as fully armed to General Curtis, who as soon as he found out the matter, gave us good ones & no thanks to Baker”(Butler papers, 10-28-1862, pg 2). Although this integrated brigade was ill-equipped for victory, they prevailed. Black soldiers fought with a sense of pride for their country, for their freedom and for the dignity of basic liberties that had been denied them for too long.
The American Battlefield Trust, a charitable organization that primarily focuses on the preservation of battlefields from the American Civil War, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, details events leading up to and resulting from the Battle of Milliken’s Bend. Included is an excerpt from their description of the battle, which works to give setting to Butler’s letters:
In late May, 1863, as his Army of the Tennessee encircled the strategic Mississippi River town of Vicksburg, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant established advanced supply bases on the Yazoo River north of the city to feed his army…At the latter, several newly-recruited black regiments were posted to defend the facilities. Confederates, seeking to disrupt Grant’s supply lines, developed plans to attack the bases on the west side of the river. On June 7, the Texas Division under Maj. Gen. John G. Walker attacked the garrison at Milliken’s Bend…Lieb’s former slaves, with little training, fought valiantly against their attackers…Although a small battle, the result proved that Black Union soldiers would fight hard for their freedom.
In historiography, this battle is often overlooked because of the large presence of Black Union soldiers. However, this battle, fought by Butler and his comrades, proved to be a significant victory for the Union army, revealing the resilient nature of disparately supported Black soldiers. Throughout his letters, Butler delivers detailed play by play of what was happening around him; he was observing and living history, then sharing it with his wife through his letters home. In some instances, he was not able to write back to his wife for weeks in between. The uncertainty of the status of his life and the patience to wait for these letters, brings value to them and their inside knowledge of the battles. As he gets closer to the Battle of Milliken’s Bend, Butler shares specific tasks he and others had to do in order to survive:
Every team from 4 to 6 Infantry riding in the wagon in full shooting and [livery] as a part of the guard for them, which opposite our camp they halted and waited a few moments when some 200 cavalry came thundering down the road and past all the teams till out ahead (they were the rest of the guard) then the command “forward march” came. Whips cracked and all started off on a gallop… They came back the next day with 90 loads of corn, potatoes (sweet) etc. gathered from the Secesh. Such is war. Killing and robbing go hand in hand and can’t be helped.
War can often highlight the corruption within governments and military officials. Butler creates a space to reflect on humanity’s values through his letters to his wife and remember those who cared for him before taking on his military duties. Within one of his letters, he reflects on the times he once enjoyed with his own wife and children:
The Chaplain’s wife was along with a baby. I heard it cry one night after I lay down & up I jumped and got after the baby I tell you it made me think of home & when I left I dreamed of you & our baby what may become of me I can’t say but I’ll keep you & the children stowed away in a snug corner of my heart, till I wake (if I do) in the unknown hereafter.
In this intimate moment, Butler gives us a full view of the isolation from and nostalgia for his family that occurs within the military and during war. In a later letter to his daughter and wife, Butler expresses deep emotions that often contradict the killing and robbing mentality needed for survival during war. Instead, he shows a more sensitive and intimate side, pleading, “write again Ida, Pa reads your little letters with tears in his Eyes & you know it does me good to cry once in a while.”
Digging into the letters of the Anson Butler papers, one uncovers the world of a soldier who depicts firsthand accounts of the brutality of the Civil War. He retraces the difficult journeys, both mental and physical, that coincide with surviving in a deadly war. Through personal letters we can observe day-to-day life during wartime, reading the thoughts and wishes soldiers felt most critical to impart on loved ones waiting back home. On the other hand, sharing experiences through letters can ease pressure off soldiers, knowing that someone is listening to what you are going through. Having the ability to personally share through letters about one’s experience, whether in war, during a transition into higher education, or after one’s first day on the job, is not only refreshing, heart breaking, and stress relieving, but it allows for in depth and personal conversations between you and the recipient, wherever you are.
Information about Anson Butler and Milliken’s Bend come from these resources:
“From the Classroom” is a series that features some of the great work and research from students who visit our collections. Below is a blog by Jacob Roosa from Dr. Jennifer Burek Pierce’s class “History of Readers and Reading” (SLIS:5600:0EXW)
Examples of anti-copyright notices abound in the history of anarchist publishing, and Catherine Baker’s Against Prisons (Firestarter Press, n.d.) from the Special Collections’ Public Space ONE (PS1) zine collection is no exception. Mixing political statement with political practice, this notice and many others like it permit any reader to take “every text, every picture, every sound” from the book to use how they wish. Not only does this ease the distribution and reproduction of these pamphlets and zines, it gives the reader a space to consider the history of copyright in the U.S. and recognize the possibility of a publishing space outside its bounds.
This zine preaches what it practices, asking the reader to journey outside the U.S.’s deep, centuries-long commitment to prisons to imagine life in which people are not forced to surrender their capacity to resolve interpersonal conflict and violence. Baker, a prison abolitionist, interrogates the way in which our justice system, and really our conception of objective Justice, determines the guilt or innocence of an individual on our behalf. They argue that we are constructed entirely as “murderer, journalist, woman, bandit, child, etc…” by this process, abstracted to the point where we have no agency in how we conceive of ourselves or others. For Baker, the point of rejecting this process is to recognize how it denies all of us, in and outside of prisons, the space to reckon with our lives and our relationships to other people.
“We do not want isolation; this goes without saying, otherwise what would we be doing here? We want to think with others about ways of living with others outside pre-existing systems.”
If this kind of thinking with others interests you, the PS1 zine collection has you covered! Donated in 2010 by the folks at Iowa City’s own Public Space ONE, this three-box collection contains around 200 zines, pamphlets, journals, and books, covering topics from anarchism to anti-capitalism, bike repair, youth activism, prisoners’ experiences, feminist theory and practice, race and anti-authoritarianism, and histories of U.S. imperialism, among others. Some of these materials were made with the intention of being freely distributed, and, much like Baker’s text, some actively encouraged readers to reproduce and proliferate their text. Copyright law in the U.S. is very complex and tricky, so always be sure to research whether or not you’re safe to reproduce, manipulate, or distribute any given material before you do so, as it is your legal responsibility (for more information on the University of Iowa Special Collections’ rights, permissions, and copyright policies, please visit their website or contact a librarian). Zines like Against Prisons are invested in educating readers about the histories of familiar institutions, so discover more at Special Collections!