In April we celebrated two separate days dedicated to the environment: Earth Day and Arbor Day. Even though this post is coming out belatedly at the end of April, we thought we should still let our readers know about the recently compiled subject guide listing our collections and rare books related to the environment and sustainability. The subject guide was created in support of Iowa State University’s campus-wide Live Green! Initiative.
The rare books and collections listed demonstrate an ongoing concern with the environment throughout the twentieth century, particularly in the state of Iowa. The department holds a variety of collections related to sustainability and the environment in both the university archives and manuscript collections, covering such topics as soil and water conservation, alternative and efficient energy usage, recycling, wildlife protection, ecology, and sustainable agriculture. Included are records of the Environtology Council, Citizens United for Responsible Energy, National Association of Conservation Districts, Iowans for Returnable Beverage Containers, and records related to the Live Green! Initiative. The department also holds individual’s papers such as conservationist and botanist Ada Hayden, ornithologists Walter Rosene and Philip DuMont, and soil conservationist Hugh Hammond Bennett.
Above is a photograph from the collection of the National Association of Conservation Districts Records showing a once better than average farmstead in Colorado which was abandoned during the dust storms of the 1930s. The collection of the National Association of Conservation Districts documents its efforts to prevent the environmentally damaging farming practices which contributed to the Dust Bowl.
In addition to the environment and sustainability subject guide, the department holds numerous other subject guides listing and briefly describing our collections related to specific subject areas including agriculture, aviation, genealogy, and natural history. We also have a subject listing of our manuscript collections.