Special Collections Department
Past News and Events
The Special Collections Department Will be Closed September 29, 2010
The Special Collections Department Reading Room will be closed to the public on Wednesday, September 29. If you need to make special arrangements for viewing the collections, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 294-6648.
The Special Collections Department Will be Closed December 24, 2009 - January 3, 2010
The ISU Library will be closed December 24, 2009 - January 3, 2010 in a effort to reduce costs and conserve energy. Since the Library will be closed, the Special Collections Department will also be closed during this period. We will be unable to answer reference questions until we return on January 4, 2009.
For further information regarding the closing, please see the news release on the Library's website.
New Exhibits in the Special Collections Department
This month the Special Collections Department will open two new exhibits. On February 6-27, the Department will host a special mini exhibit, Celebrating Darwin Day, February 12: Selection of Works from Special Collections. The exhibit celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's revolutionary book, On the Origin of Species, which explained his theory of natural selection and evolution.For more information about Charles Darwin, please visit this site: Archives Hub: Collections of the Month: Charles Darwin and Evolution.
The other exhibit to open in Special Collections is the Campus Cottages on the Iowa State Campus
starting February 16, 2009. This exhibit reflects upon the history of the small houses built on campus. The main focus of the exhibit will be on Sloss House, The Knoll, and The Farm House, which are the only remaing cottages on campus.
Special Collections Department Acquires the Papers of Congressman Edward Mezvinsky
Edward Mezvinsky, Ames native and former Member of Congress from the State of Iowa, has donated his papers to the Special Collections Department at the Iowa State University Library. During 2008-2009, he will be conducting research as a Visiting Researcher in the Library, and will also be available to give presentations in the university community.
Edward Mezvinsky donating his papers to the Special Collections Department.
The Special Collections Department Reading Room Closed for Thanksgiving Break
The reading room in Special Collections will be closed November 21-26, 2008 for the waxing of the Reading Room floors. However, patrons are still welcome to submit their requests via telephone: (515) 294-6672, or e-mail: email@example.com. Every effort will be made to accommodate Department patrons. The Reading Room will reopen on Monday, December 1.
VEISHEA Open House
The University Archives will hold an open house for VEISHEA 2008. We will be open on Saturday April 12, 12:00-3:00. The open house will feature the 1858 Act that created Iowa State University. It is loan from the State Historical Society of Iowa. Other items on display include Christian Petersen's tools, Margaret Stanton's death mask, and General Geddes' sword. Visitors can also look through the Bombs and other Iowa State publications.
Special Collections is now on YouTube and Flickr
Are you interested in seeing historic images and films of Iowa State University? The University Archives has been busy putting images and films on the Internet just for this purpose. You can view a selection of our photograph collections on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/isuspecialcollections. To see some of the 16 mm films produced by Iowa State and WOI-TV, please visit our channel on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/ISUSpecialCollection. We are continually adding new items to these sites, so please visit often.
Special Collections is now on Facebook
The Department maintains a group page on the popular networking site, Facebook. The group began in December 2007 and currently has 34 members. This site displays news about the Department's collections and activities. The group is open and anyone can be a member and invite others to be members as well. If you are a member of Facebook and would like to join the Special Collections group, please click here. If you are not a member, you can join Facebook by going to this website: www.facebook.com.
Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area Affiliate Site
The Special Collections Department of the Iowa State University Library has recently been named a Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) Affiliate Site. The Department is one of 106 other partner sites in the Heritage Area, which include the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum, the Carl & Mary Koehler History Center, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park & Museum.
Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area is a federally designated heritage area and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. SSNHA encompasses a 37 county area in Northeast Iowa. Through the development of a network of sites, programs and events, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area preserves and interprets American agriculture and rural life. In order to become a SSNHA partner site, organizations must demonstrate how their site conveys the history of American agriculture. There are three levels of partner sites based upon level of services and facilities. Strategic Investment Partner Sites provide full services, including staff, exhibits, programs, and restrooms. Affiliate Sites are open less frequently and/or have more limited public services. Points of Interest may not be staffed or have public services. For more information regarding Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, please call (319) 234-4567 or visit http://www.silosandsmokestacks.org.
New Collection: Terrill Family Papers
In March 2007, descendants of Thomas Milton Terrill (19th century Iowa farmer) donated his diaries to the Special Collections Department. The diaries span the years 1871-1912, lacking only the diary for 1883, and record Terrill's daily activities on his farm with occasional entries documenting family life. Published transcripts of the diaries completed by granddaughter Lois Terrill Mueller are included in the collection as is genealogical information on the Terrill family compiled by Audrey MacLellan, another granddaughter. The family genealogy is presented in the manuscript "Thomas Terrill of Iowa, 1850-1912; Some Ancestors and His Descendants." There are also several miscellaneous diaries with notes by Terrill, including one that has diary entries copied from his brother Daniel's diary for the years 1865-1869. Two pocket bibles acquired by Terrill are also included in the collection.
The finding aid for the collection is available at http://www.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/manuscripts/MS690.html
Donation from the Memorial Union: In 1976, the MU purchased a number of historical works for display during the country's Bicentennial. These works have now been donated to the Special Collections Department, and they include the following titles:
An Astronomical Diary (1777)
Common Sense (1776)
Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty (1776)
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1791)
A Valedictory Address to the Young Gentlemen (1776)
"Treasures from the Archives: 150 Years of Iowa State University," is open to the public during the Department's open hours, 8-5, M-F. The display includes the original 1858 legislative Act founding the university and other artifacts.
The Iowa State University Campus and Buildings, 1859-1979 (by H. Summerfield Day), is now available online!
Reading Room Renovation Update:
Grants: Reading Room Renovation:
The Lennox Foundation is donating $75,000 to renovate the Department's Reading Room. The project will include the updating of technical equipment, lighting, and wiring, the purchase of museum quality exhibit cases, new furniture and carpeting, and a pilot project to provide laptops for researchers.
$4,000 from the National Television and Video Preservation Foundation to create BetaSP video masters of selected episodes of WOI-TV's The Whole Town's Talking: An Experiment in Democracy, which are currently only available on 16mm film. The episodes were chosen due to their focus on the school consolidation issue in the community discussion as well as being directed by Academy Award winner, Charles Guggenheim.
Award (May, 2004):
The Special Collections Department at the Iowa State University Library, has won the National History Day in Iowa Kids Count! Award for Outstanding Service to Youth Researchers for providing access to primary documents for K-12 researchers in Iowa. Two Iowa project participants (who used the department's collections on George Washington Carver and Roswell Garst) have proceeded to the national competition.
Traveling Exhibit (Spring-Summer, 2004):
The Archives of Women in Science and Engineering, Special Collections Department-Iowa State University Library, will be sponsoring the Chemical Heritage Foundation traveling exhibit, "Her Lab in Your Life: Women in Chemistry," from late May through mid-July. The exhibit location will be in the main Library lobby area. The exhibit will focus on the following three themes: women chemists have improved our understanding of the physical world; they have helped shape the material circumstances and popular culture of our everyday lives; and they have broken new ground in the chemical professions and served as role models for young women.
New Collections (2003):
During 2003, the Department received approximately 230 donations of archival material and books. Some new collections (which will be made available to the public in 2004), include:
Papers of Autumn Stanley, independent scholar and author of Mothers and daughters of invention : notes for a revised history of technology (1993)
Papers of Lee Anne Willson, University Professor in Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University
Photograph collection of 76 master silver gelatin prints by Michael P. Harker, author of Harker's barns: visions of an American icon (2003)
Records of Common Threads, an Iowa sewing club, donated by Victoria Irons Walch of Iowa City
Selection of advertising prints donated by alumnus Frank Champion Murphy, a Chicago, Illinois, freelance artist specializing in illustrations of livestock.
Re-creation of Carrie Chapman Catt Library (2003):
During the spring semester, the Special Collections Department will be coordinating the locating of the original library of Carrie Chapman Catt, which she donated to the ISU Library, 1938-1947. The books will be transferred to the Special Collections Dept., and identified in the Library catalog. This project is being funded by the College of Liberal Arts and Science as part of a proposal by Asst. Professor, Kevin Amidon (Foreign Languages and Literature) and Assoc. Professor, Tanya Zanish-Belcher (ISU Library).
Society of Women Engineers Archives National Exhibit (2003):
From February 17 through May (2003), a national exhibit focusing on women engineers and created by the Society of Women Engineers Archives (Wayne State University) will be hosted by the Iowa State University Library in its main lobby. The exhibit and other events are being sponsored by the Archives of Women in Science and Engineering (Special Collections Dept., ISU Library), and ISU's Program for Women in Science and Engineering.
American Archives of the Factual Film (AAFF):
Announcement: As of June 30, 2002, the catalog of the American Archives of the Factual Film (AAFF) as well as films in the AAFF collection, will no longer be available to the public. Due to budget constraints, the Library is refocusing collection priorities, and is consequently in the process of investigating the transfer of this valuable film collection to a repository of national prominence.
Grant Award: Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation (2001)
The Iowa State University Library is pleased to announce that the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has awarded the Archives of Women in Science and Engineering a $25,000 grant to conduct an oral history project focused on women who have devoted their careers to the study of chemistry in the post-World War II era.
The University Library's project will document the careers and experiences of women in chemistry and chemical engineering to illustrate the critical role of women in science. The Archives of Women in Science and Engineering will partner with National Public Radio station WOI to create a broadcast series. Further, it will provide K-12 and professional outreach in collaboration with national chemistry organizations and national academic programs for women.
Grant Award: National Film Preservation Foundation (2001)
The NFPF awarded $6,500 to the American Archives of the Factual Film, located in the Special Collections Department at the Iowa State University Library. The grant will fund a film laboratory transfer of six nitrate-based film (to safety film) in the Rath Packing Company Collection.
History Day Visit: 9-2, February 22, 2001
The Special Collections staff will be hosting 8th grade students participating in History Day from the central Iowa area who will be visiting the Iowa State University Library. There will be presentations on using primary sources, working in the Library and conducting research for primary materials on the World Wide Web, and behind-the-scenes tours of the Special Collections Department.
History Day Workshop: Using the web
Open House: October 1, 2000--Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
To celebrate Brunnier Museum's Christian Petersen exhibit, there were a community-wide open houses for the public. The Special Collections Department was open on Sunday from 1-4, and the public viewed its exhibit, Christian Petersen: Artist and Teacher. Also on display on the ISU Library's 2nd Floor President's Rotunda, were reproductions of Petersen sketches.
New exhibit on the history of campus buildings at Iowa State University
Including pictures and historical information, this exhibit is a good starting point for your research on the history of campus buildings at ISU. The exhibit is titled, "From Prairie Sod to Campus Cornerstones: Building Our Campus History."
Iowa State University unveiled new portrait of Dr. and Mrs. Parks (April, 2000)
Former Iowa State University President W. Robert Parks and his late wife, Ellen Sorge Parks, were honored on Friday, April 14th when a portrait of them was unveiled. Iowa State's main library was named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Parks in 1984.
Special Collections in "Inside Iowa State," January 21, 2000
Special Collections job: part sleuth, part historian, by Linda Charles
Iowa Award honors Atanasoff
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack presented the family of John V. Atanasoff with the Iowa Award in a ceremony in the Howe Hall auditorium Tuesday, Nov. 2. Atanasoff invented the first electronic digital computer, doing his pioneering work while a professor at Iowa State in the 1930s and early 1940s. Accepting the award was Atanasoff's son John V. Atanasoff II, Boulder, Colo. The Iowa Award is the state's highest citizen award. Presented every four or five years, it recognizes the outstanding service of Iowans in numerous fields including science.
Donation of J.V. Atanasoff papers (June 1999)
Books, papers, and memorabilia from the estate of John V. Atanasoff were turned over to Iowa State during a ceremony on Friday, June 4, 1999 in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The presentation was made by Atanasoff's widow, Alice Atanasoff; and his son, John V. Atanasoff II.
The collection includes books from Atanasoff's library, court papers from the trial that proved Atanasoff was the inventor of the first electronic digital computer, and notes and papers on the designs of several of his other inventions. The collection will be housed in the Special Collections Department of the Iowa State University Library.
Instituzioni Analitiche Libro Primo
Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)
In October 1974, the Iowa State University Library celebrated a milestone in its history, the acquisition of its one-millionth volume. That volume, a first edition of Leonardo da Vinci's Trattato della Pittura (1651), was chosen because Leonardo 's work symbolized the ties among science, the arts, and the humanities -- ties essential to the mission of Iowa State University. Now, twenty years later, Iowa State University's Library celebrates another milestone in its history, one equally significant: the acquisition of its two-millionth volume. The two-volume set chosen for this honor is a first edition of Maria Gaetana Agnesi's Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventu italiana -- or Analytical Institutions for the Use of the Youth of Italy -- published in Milan, Italy in 1748.