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.
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.
The University of Iowa Libraries is excited to announce that Diane Dias De Fazio will be joining Special Collections as the new Curator of Rare Books this July.
Dias De Fazio is joining us from New York, where she has been working as a librarian at the New York Public Library since 2016. Her work with the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History and Genealogy, as well as her work with the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, included outreach, instruction, and various public service duties such as reference and research consultations. She was also instrumental in running various social media outlets for the library. Dias De Fazio brings with her a strong background in book arts and more than a decade of special collections experience to the University of Iowa.
“I am deeply honored for the opportunity to work with the staff, students, and collections at UI and UICB [University of Iowa Center for the Book] and look forward to collaborations and engaging with the UI community across departments,” said Dias De Fazio.
A graduate from Fordham University in New York, Dias De Fazio received her Bachelors in Drama and History. She went on to get her Masters of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science with a concentration on Archives & Special Collections and Museum Libraries from Pratt Institute in New York. In 2016, Dias De Fazio was named a “Bright Young Librarian” by Fine Books & Collections magazine, and continues to actively engage in ACRL Rare Book and Manuscript Section (RBMS) Annual Conference.
Special Collections is thrilled to bring Diane Dias De Fazio on board, and we cannot wait to see what new, exciting things she brings to the department.
Amy Hildreth Chen is the new Special Collections Librarian in charge of the Instruction Program. Previously, she was a 2013-2015 Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Special Collections at the University of Alabama, where she oversaw instruction, exhibitions, and social media. In 2013, she received her Ph.D. in English from Emory University with a dissertation on the acquisition of literary collections. She also is an alumna of Iowa, as she graduated from UI in 2006 with a BA in Political Science and honors in English.
Laura Hampton recently joined the department as a Digital Project Librarian working on digitizing 1930s-1950s fanzines from the James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Science Fiction Collection. In May 2015, she received her MLIS from the UI School of Library and Information Science and Center for the Book. During her time at Iowa, she worked as a graduate assistant in Special Collections, and as a Reference Assistant at the Hardin Library of Health Sciences. Previously, she earned her undergraduate degree from New College of Florida in Sarasota, Florida where she graduated with a BA in literature.
John Fifield is the new 2015-2017 Robert A. and Ruth Bywater Olson Graduate Assistant. He is a student in the School of Library and Information Science and the Center for the Book and he holds a Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance from Oklahoma State University. John is currently conducting bibliographic research at a convent’s library at the Convento de la Recoleta in Arequipa, Peru and will officially join the department in mid-August. His research interests include the Spanish colonial book trade as well as food culture.
Recently on the Web and Social Media:
1. If Books Could Talk
The third video in the series If Books Could Talk is now live. If Books Could Talk is a partnership between UI Libraries’ Special Collections and Music Library with History Corps, a public digital history project from the UI Department of History. The series investigates what can be learned by looking closely at medieval manuscripts. Subscribe to the UI Special Collections’ Staxpeditions channel on YouTube with any GMail or Google ID to get notifications whenever a new video is posted. Historian Heather Wacha posts a complementary essay for each episode which can be found on the History Corps website.
2. Library Journal Article, “University of Iowa Libraries Begin to Digitize Decades of Fanzines.”
Library Journal recently had a feature article about the University of Iowa Libraries’ initiative to digitize 1930s-1950s science fiction fanzines in the James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Science Fiction Collection. After the digitization, the scans will be open to a small group of fans to log in and help crowdsource metadata in an unprecedented effort to harvest the knowledge of the fan community and make available information about these fan-made publications. Read it here.
3. Daily Iowan Coverage
Last week The Daily Iowan covered two events that Special Collections partnered to create, an event introducing teens to 1960s-1980s comic books as a partnership with the Iowa City Public Library, and ongoing efforts to recreate historic recipes from the Historic Foodies, a community group that is a partnership with the Old Capitol Museum. Read about the comic book event.Read about Historic Foodies.
4. Vine Channel
This summer the Special Collections team has been testing the social media site Vine which is a site dedicated to very short videos that are less than six seconds long. You can see in the section below a short looping video of our librarian Margaret Gamm opening a new acquisition. The videos may be seen on our Vine channel, or shared to our Twitter or Tumblr.
1. Fluxus maps
“Hi Red Center,” 1965, was edited by Shigeko Kubota, designed and produced by George Maciunas, and maps the activities of the “Hi Red Center” avant-garde art collective conceptually onto the Tokyo landscape where the activities took place. The back of the map has documentary photographs of events and happenings mapped on the other side that took place between 1963-1964.
The second map, “Fluxus Island in Decollage Ocean” is from Nam June Paik from 1963.
This book from 1499 is a manual for confessors that still has its first binding, a “wallet” style binding. Meant to be used and carried around, these everyday bindings do not survive in great numbers.
The transition from the manuscript tradition to the earliest printed books is one of our most frequent topics that we teach in the classroom, across the disciplines on campus, for visiting classes from other colleges and universities, and for community groups.
Citation: Baptista de (Trovamala). Summa casuum conscientiae quae Baptistiniana nuncupaor (second version, known as Rosella casuum). Add. Sixtus IV: Bulla “Etsi dominici gregis” 30 December 1479. Rubricae iuris civili et canonici. Venice: Paganinus de Paganinis, 21 December 1499.
Kelly Grogg, Special Collections’ Olson Graduate Assistant was awarded the Rovelstad Scholarship in International Librarianship, which will fully fund her travel, housing, and registration to attend the World Library and Information Congress hosted by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. This scholarship is intended to encourage students who have an interest in international library work and enable them to participate in IFLA early in their careers.
Margaret Gamm, Special Collections Acquisitions and Collections Management Librarian was honored as a “Bright Young Librarian” by Fine Books and Collections Magazine. See the article here.
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