James Alan McPherson taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop beginning in 1981. In 1978, he received a Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for his Elbow Room. In 1981, he read his short story, “There was once a State Called Franklin“, the same year he was named a MacArthur Fellow, and in 1995 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Iowa Digital Library also contains a lecture he presented in 2003 at the Iowa Memorial Union, giving examples of the types of landscapes across the world that have influenced peoples’ thinking and philosophies.
James Alan McPherson died yesterday at the age of 72.
Together with the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, the UI Libraries launched a new DIY History collection, the Egg Cards, a little over a month ago. These field note cards were collected by amateur ornithologists during the late 1800s/early 1900s in Iowa and elsewhere, for the purposes of identifying egg specimens in nests. Being handwritten, these cards haven’t been searchable, but with the power of crowdsourced transcription, will become a searchable database to accompany the museum’s collection of bird eggs.
This represents the first “natural science” project in the DIY History program, following the success of citizen science initiatives such as Zooniverse’s Galaxy Zoo and the Smithsonian’s Bumblebee Project. Participation in the Egg Cards bounced with the release of an IowaNow article, and the 1900 cards are nearing halfway completion. Join the fun – while you still can!
The Iowa Digital Library is fortunate to host the college scrapbooks of three University of Iowa students from the 1920s and 1930s, which provide views of the African-American community during their time on campus.
Hal and Avril Chase of Des Moines, Iowa, funded the purchase of this album for the University of Iowa Archives.
James Morris was the son of James Morris, Sr., a long-time publisher of the Iowa State Bystander, an African-American newspaper. James Morris Jr. married Arlene J. Roberts Morris, the first African-American woman psychologist to be licensed by the Iowa State Board of Psychology.
Digital Research & Publishing is pleased to announce that Rob Shepard has accepted our offer to be the new Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Librarian for the UI Libraries. Rob comes to us from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Geography.
We at DRP are looking forward to the talents and experience Rob brings that will further enhance the accessibility and usability of geospatial resources (everything’s spatial!) in the Iowa Digital Library. Rob will also be working on cross-campus coordination of GIS and support for faculty research and other Libraries partners.
Today is the vernal equinox – the first day of spring. 72 years ago, Nile Kinnick reflected on its meaning from the U.S. Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. His words about the trajectory of the ongoing war are startlingly prescient, before turning his thoughts to springtime at home. Thanks to DRP’s Wendy Robertson for finding this letter today, and to the DIYHistory participant/s who transcribed it.
“…today is supposed to be the date of the vernal equinox, when the sun’s center crosses the equator and day and night are everywhere equal. As surely as the world is round the sun will begin to rise earlier and set later, we shall have more light than darkness. Time and season wait on no man. And so it will go with this war. As the stars in their courses indicate the shifting seasons so do they proclaim that goodness shall triumph over evil, hope over despair. There has been so very little sunlight to cheer either America or Britain since the war started, and even now the prospect is dark and foreboding. However, the “spring equinox” is approaching. It will be born of blood and thunder in the year 1942. Fierce will be the fighting against superior odds, and disadvantageous will be the circumstances, but when the smoke and blood have been cleared away, the Allied Nations shall be more nearly on an equal footing than at any time since the adversary set upon them. And then in 1943 the drive will begin. Slowly but surely, gaining momentum with every assault, the foe will be beaten back until once again sunshine & light have gained dominion. The year 1944 will see the termination of this fearful struggle, and once again we shall make an attempt to prevent the recurrence of such an holocaust.”
“But enough of figurative speculation, and on to lighter things. Spring in the midwest, oh, that is a glorious season! Soon the countryside will be green and fresh, the heavy hand of winter will be shaken off – and, yes, the grass will be a grab and a half high, and picnics will displace the afternoon schedule.”
This year, spring looks about as colorful as this photo, A spring day at Bellevue IA, 1910s, from the Mary Noble Photograph collection. Click the photo and zoom in, and you’ll still see some smiling faces. Both the Noble and Kinnick collections are part of the Iowa Digital Library.
The name George Stout has been in the news a lot lately as the basis for the lead character in the movie Monuments Men. A 1921 graduate of what was then the State University of Iowa (SUI), he also makes several other appearances in the both the yearbooks and alumni publications.
Stout is also mentioned in the March 1921 issue of the Iowa Alumnus for delivering a short address for Foundation Day, the UI’s 74th birthday. While there’s no accompanying picture for this event, the IDL collection Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes includes several photographs from earlier Foundation Days.
Finding information in Iowa Digital Library text collections is made simple through OCR and word highlighting.
We in Digital Research & Publishing sadly bid fond farewell to Christine Tade. Christine’s involvement in DRP extends back almost to the beginning of the department, to a 2006 professional development internship, where Christine learned the ins-and-outs of applying descriptive metadata to Iowa Digital Library materials. Afterward, Christine was the point person for digital collection metadata in the Cataloging department, training and supervising staff there, finding ways to bend the software to her will and making more archival collections usable online.
Christine officially joined Digital Research & Publishing in 2012, six months after the launch of DIYHistory, the Libraries crowdsourcing transcriptions project. While continuing her digital collection work, Christine transitioned into the role of chief correspondent with transcribing participants, answering questions and also transcribing and reviewing many manuscripts herself. In July, DIYHistory reached a major milestonetemp, 35,000 pages transcribed.
Christine has contributed greatly to the success of many projects and collection initiatives. We wish her the very best in her retirement!
Mauricio Lasansky, the innovative printmaker and founder of the printmaking workshop at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, died last week at the age of 97. Lasansky studied and worked at the Atelier 17 workshop prior to his arrival in Iowa City where he continued to influence the course of printmaking in the United States.