We are happy to welcome Kate Orazem as the inaugural Iowa Women’s Archives Women in Politics Archivist.
Orazem joined the team at the beginning of October. She received a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master of Arts in women’s and gender studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Yale University. Orazem recently worked as the first archivist for the Rural Organizing Project in Oregon, a network of community activists across small-town and rural Oregon. Her work in the Iowa Women’s Archives will focus on collecting, processing, and bringing to light the stories of Iowa women and politics.
When asked about working in this new position, Orazem stated she was “looking forward to building community with people at the University of Iowa, across the state, and beyond who are passionate about the rich history and future of Iowa women and their political work.”
The Jean Lloyd-Jones and Michal Eynon Lynch Iowa Women’s Archives Women in Politics Archivist was generously funded by Jean Lloyd-Jones (71MA), who spent 16 years as an Iowa legislator and much of her life advocating for women—from all backgrounds and political affiliations—to pursue careers in politics. This is the second named position in the Libraries and Orazem will be formally invested into the role in 2023. Orazem will help update, maintain, and expand the Hard Won, Not Done—A Salute to Iowa Women Politicians online project. Learn more about Lloyd-Jones and the “Hard Won, Not Done” initiative here.
As an archivist, Orazem says she is a big dabbler and has always loved the generalist nature of the archival profession. “Whether it’s developing relationships with donors, assisting researchers on their subjects of expertise, working with students who are new to archives, or interviewing people about the stories they’ve lived, you get to wear many different hats and dip a toe into many different projects, so my passion for the work is constantly renewed.”
When not working in the IWA, Orazem enjoys seeing live music, playing euchre, and exploring local cemeteries (wait till she hears about our haunted stacks!)
We are so happy to have Kate on the team and look forward to watching her grow the IWA as the Women in Politics Archivist.
We are pleased to announce Rich Dana as Special Collections and Archives’ Sackner Archive Project coordinator librarian.
Rich Dana earned his MFA from the University of Iowa Center for the Book in 2021 and his MA from the School of Library and Information Science in 2020. He has worked as an art mover, art fabricator and art installer, and curator for a variety of New York City galleries and institutions, and has served as a freelance instructor and workshop leader for several years. He has also held various roles at Special Collections and Archives: as curatorial assistant for the Hevelin Collection, the Olson graduate research assistant, and temporary project registrar for the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry.
In addition to his past work with the Sackner Archive, Dana is himself a copier artist (one of his works is included in the Sackners’ collection) and independent publisher. His 2021 book Cheap Copies! describes some of the techniques used by artists in the collection, and he frequently leads workshops on copier art techniques.
When asked what he enjoys about the Sackner Archive, Dana stated, “Because the Sackners were enthusiastic autodidacts and made personal connections to many of the artists whose work they collected, the archive has a very lively and idiosyncratic quality. It’s not only an astounding collection of visual poetry, it’s also a remarkable historical record of the movement.”
Dana looks forward to raising awareness of this amazing resource and making the materials in the collection more accessible to patrons and researchers. We are so glad to have him on the team.
We are pleased to welcome Sarah Keen as our new university archivist in Special Collections & Archives.
Sarah joined the Libraries at the start of the fall semester. She comes to Iowa from upstate New York, where she served as Colgate University Libraries’ university archivist and head of Special Collections and University Archives. Previously, she was technical services archivist and American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences project archivist at Cornell University Library, and archivist for the Jane Harman Congressional Papers Project at Smith College. She earned her MSI from the University of Michigan and her BA from Alma College.
As an archivist, Sarah says that she enjoys “learning about people’s lives and their experiences as individuals and with the organizations they create.” She looks forward to learning about the University, its complex history, and its wide range of activities while collaborating with colleagues across campus.
When not digging through the archives, Sarah enjoys rowing, crocheting, and listening to music. She is also a Red Sox fan, and she enjoys reading mystery books and watching mystery/detective shows. Have we already told her about the culinary murder mystery books in Szathmary’s collection? You bet we have.
Welcome Sarah! We’re excited to have you on the team.
The following is written by Community and Student Life Archivist Aiden Bettine
The University Archives is embarking on a new, hands-on project to collect the history of student organizations on our campus, Student Organizations Archiving their Records or SOAR. The Purpose of SOAR is to ensure that the legacy of each student organization on the University of Iowa campus is being actively preserved. This project provides student organizations with archiving kits for their materials so they can engage in the archival process. Involving students in the organization, description, and care for their organization’s archival collection is an integral part of making the history of student organizations visible on our campus. Organization leaders will work closely with our Community & Student Life Archivist, Aiden Bettine, to ensure their collections move into the University Archives.
Students are an integral part of our campus history. One of the primary ways that students make an impact on our campus is through student organizations whether as founders, members, or leaders. Yet a challenge with collecting this history is the reality that leadership and organizational records change hands every couple of years. Through SOAR, our goal is that when a student organization has a leadership change, the awareness of being able to work closely with the University Archives is passed down.
Although the organizational records will vary from group to group, there are some consistent types of materials we collect to capture the history of an organization:
Annual financial budgets
T-shirts, buttons, stickers, etc.
Whether physical or digital versions of materials, the University Archives is ready to help preserve your organization’s history on our campus.
For student organizations that are affiliated with a center, office, or department on campus, SOAR offers the opportunity for archival storage outside of the University Archives in another campus space. This affords students the opportunity to keep their records close to where they gather regularly for ease of access and use. Storing materials on campus but outside of the Main Library also invites library patrons to learn more about an organization in context, to understand how institutional spaces for student organizations function on campus.
The University Archives is here to support the preservation and accessibility of each student organization’s history, regardless of where the materials are stored on our campus. We will work directly with each group to ensure the best decisions are made for the preservation and use of their collection. We want all our Hawkeyes to SOAR! To learn more about SOAR visit here.
Are you part of a student org and want to get involved in preserving your org’s history? Fill out the SOAR participation survey to tell us more about the materials you have.
He’s served as the University of Iowa’s institutional memory for the last 21 years, which includes writing the beloved Old Gold series. Now, University Archivist David McCartney is starting a new chapter.
McCartney, who is retiring on March 1, has been dedicated to ensuring access to Iowa’s history and also highlighting voices that are underrepresented in the University Archives. Throughout his career, McCartney also developed relationships across campus, working with classes or faculty in every department, as well as with many different people throughout the state, region, and beyond.
“David has tied together research questions and historical threads across campus, from the College of Medicine to the School of Art and Art History. He has such a passion for constantly learning more about the people and events represented in our collections and for uniting materials with those who need them,” said Margaret Gamm, director of Special Collections & Archives in the University of Iowa Libraries.
After publishing an award-winning article on the life of UI student Stephen Smith, a young man from Marion, Iowa, who found his voice through civil rights activism in the 1960s, McCartney organized the Historical Iowa Civil Rights Network to bring together related repositories and collections from across the state. He also established the Stephen Lynn Smith Memorial Scholarship for Social Justice. David has served as a consultant for many smaller archives and libraries throughout the Midwest, and volunteers much of his time with smaller nonprofit organizations. In addition, McCartney received the 2020 Staff Excellence Award from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. He’s also held many positions in the Midwest Archives Conference, including president, and made invaluable contributions to the Big Ten Academic Alliance University Archivist Group and the Consortium of Iowa Archivists.
Throughout his time at the University of Iowa, McCartney has proven to be not only a leader in his field, but an advocate for growing the archives to include the many voices that make up Hawkeye history, as demonstrated in the current Main Library Gallery Exhibit “We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa.” Curated by McCartney, along with Denise Anderson and Aiden Bettine, the exhibit is a fitting final showcase of McCartney’s work of collecting and lifting all voices to be heard.
“David’s contributions and dedication during his time serving as university archivist are unmatched,” said John Culshaw, Jack B. King University Librarian. “We wish him well and know that current and future generations will continue to benefit from his preservation of university history.”
Special Collections & Archives is excited to welcome Kathryn Reuter to the team as our new Academic Outreach Coordinator.
As Academic Outreach Coordinator, Kathryn will be working with both the UI Libraries and Stanley Museum of Art to increase visibility and usability of our deep and culturally diverse collections of art and visual materials. Kathryn will collaborate with faculty to bring object-based learning into the classroom and leading object-centered teaching and research workshops for instructors across campus.
Kathryn has an Associate of Arts from Orange Coast Community College, a BA in History from California State University Long Beach, and an MA in History and an MLS with an Archives Concentration from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She has interned at the Getty Research Institute as a Multicultural Intern, and as Watson Library Intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She also served as a Cataloger and Researcher at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee, and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Wisconsin Milwaukee. Her research interests also include animal studies, the history of homelessness and food insecurity (as well as food justice and housing activism), and the history of vegetarianism/ veganism — and animal rights activism.
“In my new role as Academic Outreach Coordinator, I am looking forward to finding connections across the Stanley’s and the Library’s collections. I love teaching and aim to empower students to interpret art and rare materials on their own. Museums and libraries can be intimidating spaces, but I fully believe art is for everyone! And the library is for everyone! I am excited to be a part of making the library and the museum welcoming spaces where students have fun learning.”
When not at work, Kathryn enjoys mail and mail art, making and writing a lot of postcards and letters. She also collects and makes zines. Her favorite food is a veggie California-style burrito (which she informs us is a an amazing creation that features french fries inside of the burrito–so you know we’ll have to try it here in Special Collections).
We’re excited to work and learn more from Kathryn.
Bethany Kluender, Special Collections Cataloging Librarian, is hard at work re-cataloging and reclassifying Special Collections’ Dewey materials, which means she is updating the existing catalog records so they have accurate descriptions, more access points, and meet current cataloging standards, especially for rare materials (DCRMB).
This process also entails reclassifying these books that use the Dewey classification system and changing them to the Library of Congress system to match the majority of Special Collections holdings.
Many of the books are early 20th Century acquisitions and were first cataloged in the 1980s. Interesting details about provenance and binding were often not included in the original cataloging work since descriptive standards have changed over time. One rewarding part about this project has been the “detective work” of researching a bookplate or inscription from previous owners.
For example, the following images are from a 1556 copy of Marcus Tullius Ciceroes thre bokes of duties (London: Richard Tottel). Research revealed that this book most likely belonged to a Lucy Renshaw. It is inscribed to her from her friend/travel companion Amelia B. Edwards, who was a talented writer & self-taught Egyptologist. Amelia’s grave is designated an LGBT landmark. The late 19thC leather binding also features Lucy’s monogram in silver.
All of this previously unrecorded information is now available for our students, faculty, and patrons. This project is still underway with hopefully many more fascinating things to be discovered. Be sure to follow Special Collections & Archives on social media to see updates of the project.
The following is written by Public Services Librarian, Lindsay Moen
Today marks the 155th birthday of renowned children’s book author, Beatrix Potter. Potter was best known as the author and illustrator of cherished tales such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, and The Tailor of Gloucester. While Peter Rabbit might be the primary character people recognize today, Potter has many additional works credited to her name, which emphasizes her literary accomplishments.
At University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives, we are fortunate enough to hold a few treasures from the Beatrix Potter catalog. First and foremost is our copy of Potter’s privately printed The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which she published independently in 1901 after being turned down by at least six publishers. You can read more about our copy here.
As we commemorate Potter’s 155th birthday, our department has another reason to celebrate as we have welcomed some wonderful new Potter additions to our holdings. These new materials come from the personal collection of Kara Sewall, a longtime member of the Beatrix Potter Society and expert on Potter collectibles and merchandise. Longtime friend and fellow Beatrix Potter Society member, Kathy Cole, reflects that Kara “devoted her own time and resources to sharing her love of Beatrix Potter with others. She did this well before the days of the internet by typing and posting a ‘Potter-gram’ to update collectors of new items that became available.” (1)
Sewall passed away in February 2020, leaving behind a legacy in the Beatrix Potter world. We at Special Collections & Archives are very fortunate to hold a selection of materials from her personal collection. We know these materials will be appreciated by Peter Rabbit fans and researchers for years to come.
Sewall’s donation includes a lovely selection of new materials, but some highlights include copies of Sister Anne, and first editions of The Pie and the Patty Pan and Ginger and Pickles.
Sister Anne is Beatrix Potter’s version of the story of Bluebeard and is one of her lesser-known tales. This is primarily due to the book being illustrated by Katharine Sturges, rather than Potter herself. At the time of publication, Potter was 66 and her eyesight was too poor to complete the illustrations. This book was only published in the United States by David McKay Company in1932 and was the last of Beatrix Potter’s stories to be published in her lifetime. (2)
The first editions of The Pie and the Patty Pan and Ginger and Pickles are also wonderful additions to Iowa’s collection. These are prime examples of the variety involved in collecting Potter’s works. Both titles went through various publication changes. For example, for The Pie and the Patty Pan, the early printings have plain, mottled lavender endpapers, which were shortly replaced by an endpaper design featuring the pie and the patty-pan. The cover picture was then changed from a cat in a small circle, to one of Ribby, the cat sitting by the fire in a large circle. Our newly acquired copy is a first edition, and therefore features the cat in the portrait circle. (3)
We hope fans of Beatrix Potter and children’s books alike will enjoy these new additions to our collection.
Special Collections & Archives would like to thank Kathy Cole for facilitating this donation.
“Obituaries”. The Beatrix Potter Society Journal and Newsletter No. 152. The Beatrix Potter Society, May 2020, pp. 33.
2. Linder, Leslie. A History of the Writings of Beatrix Potter. Frederick Warne & Company, 1971, pp. 324-326.
3. Linder, Leslie. A History of the Writings of Beatrix Potter. Frederick Warne & Company, 1971, pp. 425.
The following is written by Humanities for the Public Good Intern Patrick Johnson
Tom Brokaw is a name synonymous with journalism, and the journalism that many strive for. His career spans decades and his resume includes trips across several continents and countries, meetings with some of the most famous and infamous world leaders and covering some of the most well-known sporting events in American and world history. He even can say that he was at the Royal Wedding that was watched by more than 750,000 million people around the world.
Beyond the hours of television appearances and bylines, there are unique ways in which we can come to learn and know about Brokaw’s impressive list of journalistic endeavors. The Brokaw collection, located in the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives, is one of those places where viewers can get a glimpse into the history of the world according to the accounts of one of America’s greatest journalistic icons. The collection itself includes artifacts,
correspondences, events, speeches, commentary, writings, awards, and so much more. The collection, known as The Papers of Tom Brokaw: A Life and Career, was donated to the University of Iowa by Brokaw. According to Emily Nelson in an IowaNow post, Brokaw’s time at Iowa (“where he attended the UI during his first year of college, from 1958-59″) led to these artifacts calling the land of the Hawkeyes home in 2016.
While the collection includes a significant number of items, one of the most important to a journalist, but relatively unknown or unimportant to others, are the extensive amount of press passes spanning Brokaw’s career.
That’s where I come in.
I am the fortunate one that gets to work with his passes thanks to my role as a fellow for the Humanities for the Public Good through the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. My role as an intern with Special Collections & Archives, working directly with Liz Riordan (who curated and cultivated the collection as a School of Library and Information Science graduate student at the UI), the department’s Outreach and Engagement Librarian, is to immerse myself into the history of these significant material objects. The hopeful outcome: an interactive timeline that can be used as an educational tool.
Setting a Goal
The timeline that will come from this summer’s work is intended to be used for educational purposes, whether it is in classrooms or for research. We hope that what users will get out of this is an ability to interact with primary sources, see history through the lens of a journalist and recognize the role journalism plays in the telling of history.
Across the country, teachers are looking to utilize primary sources to teach students how to read and understand history. Teaching with primary sources is a requirement of the Common Core State Standards. The College Board utilizes primary sources to assess students on Advanced Placement exams. Being able to provide a place where students and teachers can see primary sources in action and being used for the purpose of learning is key to this project.
It is also important to recognize and showcase the intricate intersection of journalism and history. This project intends to show just that. Brokaw’s history as a journalist, and his press passes he used for the events he covered and participated in, represents a unique perspective on world history. He is attached to some of the most significant events and people. And the stories he told helped write the history we study. But, what’s unique about this project is that the press passes he used also tell that story. They just do so in a way that is unfamiliar to many. By reading his press passes and seeing where they belong, one can truly see history through the lens of a visual. This project attempts to do just that.
Thus far in the project, I’ve catalogued all of Brokaw’s press passes in the collection. I built a searchable database to hold several pieces of information associated with the project, including the press passes themselves. The database serves as a place for collaboration among a number of us working on this project, as well as a log for deadlines, questions and ideas. The timeline will include around 150 passes, from nearly 500 different files. They include Presidential trips, sporting and pop culture events and points of war. The passes are diverse and historical. They are both unique and shared. They are history.
At this moment in the project, the fanboy in me is entirely satisfied. Brokaw’s book Boom is what inspired me to be a journalism teacher, which in turn brought me to the place I am today. In getting to read and see his press passes, I feel that I am reliving history through Brokaw’s eyes. I’m getting to immerse myself into Nixon’s resignation, the return of Billie Jean King, the election of a number of presidents, several Olympics and a celebrity ski event. The world of history is coming alive each and every day I interact with Brokaw’s passes, and I cannot wait for you all to experience them as well.
The Hopeful Future: An Appendix to Brokaw’s History
Journalism is seen as the first draft of history. It is through journalistic works that we often come to know and learn about the world and the people around us. Journalism defines our collective memory. What Brokaw did was tell a draft of history that defined a generation. In some respects, I hope this project can serve as a second draft—a history of a history.
While I’m certainly not looking to tell Brokaw’s story, or even the history of the world, through this project, it can and should serve as an opportunity to see how journalism, and its material objects, can help us more deeply understand who we were, who we are and who we may become. Brokaw’s career wrote history for the masses; my job now is to help show that. This isn’t a revision or an edit of his history, but an appendix to develop that history further.
Starting July 1st, the Special Collections & Archives reading room will be returning to the walk-in access model. We will no longer require appointments to visit our space and use our materials. This summer, we welcome you to visit noon – 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. While you will not need an appointment, please note that we will be operating at 50% capacity. Please note, however, that we will still require appointments until June 25th. Special Collections & Archives will be closed June 28th – 30th, and July 5th.
It’s been a while, so here are some reminders to help you with the changes in our reading room.
–The Reading Room Visitor’s Guide is here to stay! This is your guide to stay up-to-date concerning accessing the Special Collections reading room. Contact information for other special collections reading rooms on campus, including the Iowa Women’s Archives, John Martin Rare Book Room, and Canter Rare Book Room, is also available on this page. Have a question, start here!
Access & Safety
-The Main Library has been open to the public since June 1st, 2021. University ID card swipe will no longer be required for entrance to the building.
-The University of Iowa has revised their face mask policy as of May 20th, 2021. If you are not fully vaccinated, you are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a mask and physically distancing on campus. If you are fully vaccinated, you should feel comfortable continuing to wear a mask if you choose, however it is not required.
-If you are feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of illness, please stay home. If you have materials on hold at the Special Collections, we will keep your materials on hold until you are able to return to the library to access them.
Notable Service Changes
-Patrons will again be able to request materials using their patron (Aeon) account. Please note that requests made within 24 business hours of your visit may not necessarily be pulled upon your arrival, and therefore we will page the materials for you on the spot. As always, patron accounts will be required to access Special Collections materials. Click here to create a patron account.
-To learn more about placing material requests, please use this guide. Not comfortable making an item request? No problem! We can help you on the spot, or staff can help you in advance of your visit. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-We will be returning to our 6-item reading room limit. Please note that unlimited material requests may be placed in your patron (Aeon) account, and placed in your “user review” for easy submitting during your reading room visit. During your visit, once you finish with your first 6 items, we will promptly page your next 6 items and do our best to limit your waiting time in between requests.
-The scanner returns! We will be bringing back our overhead scanner, along with our two patron computers with flatbed scanners. But remember, these cannot be reserved.
-You will be able to access patron lockers again. Please remember that while using Special Collections materials, you will only be able to bring with you a laptop, phone, camera, and pencil into the reading room space. Bags, coats, notebooks, outside paper, pens, food, or drink is not allowed. We can provide pencils and special paper for your reading room visit if needed.
Preparing for the Fall Semester
-Beginning August 23rd, Special Collections will increase service hours to the following new schedule, again, walk-ins accepted.