Posted by: Laura | March 22, 2013

Job Opening: Project Archivist

The Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library is currently searching for a 2-year term Project Archivist.  If you are interested, please visit for a complete description, qualifications and application instructions (Vacancy ID:  130256).

Below is a brief description of the position:

The Iowa State University Library is currently seeking applications for a Library Associate II position. This position will serve as a Project Archivist in the Special Collections Department. Responsibilities include appraising, arranging, rehousing, general preservation activities, and describing large 20th century archival collections. Collection management duties include establishing an overall organization for the collections; assuring efficient, effective, and appropriate processing based on archival policies and procedures; and creating finding aids that include historical notes, scope and content, and series descriptions. This position will work under the direction of the Collections Archivist.

The Project Archivist will work collaboratively with others in regards to the archival processing, preservation and digitization of records. This position will serve as backup on the departmental reference desk and may also supervise part-time student assistants.

The successful candidate will have the ability to work independently and collaboratively, creatively, and effectively as a part of a team; interact effectively with library staff; and communicate effectively (written and oral). The ability to perform physical activities associated with archival environments including lifting up to 40lbs will also be needed for success in this position.

To ensure consideration, please submit your application by April 21, 2013.

Posted by: Laura | March 8, 2013

The Dinkey: Early Precursor to CyRide


The Dinkey traveling through campus with the Campanile in the background.

Visitors to Parks Library may have noticed the model of the Dinkey now on display on the first floor. The model is on loan from the Ames Historical Society through the end of this semester. If you are in Parks Library, you should stop by the model and discover more about an early method of transportation between Ames and Iowa State! The display is a short stop from the entrance, on your way to the Fireplace Reading Room or Bookends Cafe.

What was the Dinkey, you may ask?  The Dinkey was a small steam engine that took passengers between downtown Ames and Iowa State College. The engine ran from July 4, 1891 until 1907 when it was replaced by an electric streetcar. In 1891, the Dinkey was a welcome alternative to the  mud road which had previously been the primary route from downtown Ames to campus.

In conjunction with the display, this Monday, March 11 Ames native and Iowa State alum Douglas Biggs (associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Kearney) will be giving a talk about the Dinkey and Ames in the 1890s: “Iowa State College in the 1890s: A Visual History”. For more information, please visit the event details.


The Dinkey arriving at the Hub, which was then commonly called the “Dinkey Station.”

Interested in learning more about the Dinkey after attending the presentation or seeing the display on the first floor of Parks Library?  The Special Collections Department has a small exhibit on the Dinkey outside of our Reading Room, and we have a small file on the Dinkey in RS 4/8/4. More information on the Dinkey can also be found online here and the Hub here. Images of the Dinkey are also available online through Digital Collections.

An Experiment Station research farm in winter (University Photographs, box 529).

An Experiment Station research farm in winter (University Photographs, box 529).

This Friday, March 1, 2013, the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station (IAHEES) celebrates its 125th anniversary! Since its inception, the Experiment Station has existed under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and although it serves as the research arm of the College, the Experiment Station also supports programs in almost every other college at Iowa State and at a number of off-campus research facilities in the surrounding area. During the earliest years of its existence, Experiment Station research focused on soil, crops, horticulture, and dairying. Today, research conducted by Experiment Station staff has a broad scope and is multidisciplinary in practice reflecting the complexity of agricultural problems facing scientists and farmers today.

Early experiment station field (University Photographs, box 529; also available online through Digital Collections)

Early experiment station field (University Photographs, box 529; also available online through Digital Collections)

The IAHEES was founded at Iowa State as a result of legislation (known as the Hatch Act) passed by the U.S. Congress on March 2, 1887 which provided funding for agricultural research at land grant colleges. The exact date, almost a year later, that the Iowa General Assembly approved the terms of the Hatch Act is a little less definite since different sources from that time cite slightly different dates.  However, the Acts and Resolutions Passed at the Regular Session of the Twenty-Second General Assembly of the State of Iowa…, published under the authority of the State of Iowa and printed in 1888, says that the acceptance of the terms of the Hatch Act was on March 1, 1888. This is the date we are using. If anyone has reason to believe it was in February or on March 2nd or March 3rd as several other contemporary sources cite, please let us know!

The University Archives has a variety of books and records documenting the history and activities of the Experiment Station. Records in the University Archives are listed here. These include News Clippings, Biographical Files, Annual Reports, Newsletters, Subject Files, Administrative Records, Research Project Records, and others.

9-2-4_experiment station_3-4-1_72dpi

Photograph from the “Study of the Horse as a Motor”. The contraption to the left is probably the dynamometer, which “furnishes constant resistant to each of two horses”. (from Report of Progress 1923). The repoRS 9/2/4, box 3, folder 4)

Interested in the details of studies done at the experiment station, especially from the early years? The Research Project Records (RS 9/2/4) and the Research and Demonstration Farms Records (RS 9/2/10) contain a variety of records related to a select number of projects.  For instance, the “Study of the Horse as a Motor” (RS 9/2/10, box 3, folders 3-4) contains photographs, annual reports, news clippings, dynamometer blueprints, news releases, and data from horse and mule pulling tests.

Photograph of terrace work on an Iowa farm in June 1931 for Project No. 232, "Studies on Soil Erosion on the Marshall Silt Loam in Page County, Iowa." (from RS 9/2/4, box 3, folder 4).

Photograph of terrace work on an Iowa farm in June 1931 for Project No. 232, “Studies on Soil Erosion on the Marshall Silt Loam in Page County, Iowa.” (from RS 9/2/4, box 3, folder 4).

In addition to the records, there are many publications available in Special Collections and the General Collection which can be found through the University Library’s search system. There are hundreds of them, so you should have a decent idea of what type of topics you are interested in!  Even by 1909, the annual report was divided by section such as agricultural engineering section, husbandry section, and others.

To get an idea of the early experiments done at the experiment station, good places to look is also the annual reports (RS 9/2/0/1) and the Bulletin (call number S542 Io9b; also available in microfilm).  The first bulletin from 1888 describes the background and organization of the experiment station. The second bulletin (September 1888) contains six reports which give an idea of the variety of studies already taking place during the first few months of the experiment station’s existence:  “Corn Tassels, Silks, and Blades,” “Proposed Chemical Work: Fodder Analysis,” “Grasses and Other Forage Plants,” “Chinch Bug Remedies,” “Arsenic Experiments,” and “Promising New Cherries.” Another fun aspect of the early bulletins in the University Archives is that they were once owned by Samuel W. Beyer, geology and mining engineering professor and dean at Iowa State (1891-1931). Beyer was also a major figure in Iowa State athletics, bringing Homecoming to Iowa State among many other contributions.

Another interesting set of publications are the Wartime Farm and Food Policy Publications (RS 9/2/0/5) which contain Pamphlet No. 5, Putting Dairying on War Footing. This publication caused a controversy at Iowa State because it promoted the production and consumption of oleo margarine instead of butter. The resulting backlash by the dairy industry forced the college to publish a revised edition which in turn resulted in the departure of several researchers in protest. This publication can also be found online.

Not able to make it to the Special Collections Department or the University Library? A variety of photographs and publications (such as the Research Bulletin) related to IAHEES can be found online  here in Digital Collections as well.

Interested in visiting the University Archives to learn more?  Then take a look at the finding aids for the records related to the Experiment Station, come visit the Special Collections Department (open M-F, 10-4), and request the boxes from the collections you would like to see!

The blog post below was written by one of our student employees, Barry Snell.  The Cardinal Guild Records (the Cardinal Guild was the organization which preceded the Government of the Student Body) needed some additional work, and since Snell was a Government of the Student Body (GSB) Senator we decided that this would be a great collection to have him work on, and to then write a blog post about! The online finding aid can be found here.

Concerned about Iowa State College’s tremendous growth, both as a school and in the student population, the faculty and staff gathered together in the spring of 1904 to discuss the formation of a student government to help connect the ballooning student population to the administration, and to help student organizations work with one another.  Using the student government models of Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Brown and California, the Iowa State administration chose eleven students from the senior class who were meritorious due to their academic achievements, leadership abilities, and sterling character.

And so it was on May 9, 1904 that those eleven seniors met in Engineering Hall (now Marston Hall) and established what they would eventually name the Cardinal Guild, which would in turn be known as the Government of the Student Body (beginning around 1962).

1906 Bomb_cardinal-guild-1

Members of the first Cardinal Guild (1904, top) and the second (1905, bottom) from the 1906 Bomb (student yearbook).

1906 Bomb_cardinal-guild-2

Second page of the Cardinal Guild’s entry in the 1906 Bomb, which describes the background and purpose of the new organization.

The original members decided that the Cardinal Guild was to be operated to “promote the welfare of Iowa State College,” and, according to an address given by the Guild’s first president, A.R. Buckley, to “bring into close touch and harmony with the various branches of college activity, and serve as a medium of communication between the students, the alumni, and the governing bodies of the college.”  The Cardinal Guild’s original constitution set forth these goals in addition to preserving and promoting desirable Iowa state traditions and customs, fostering and promoting a healthy and democratic spirit, and welcoming and extending courtesies to college visitors.

Calling themselves the “charter members,” the initial group of eleven seniors was tasked with choosing their successors on their own, without the college staff involvement that had chosen them.  This precedent setting appointment system lasted several years, with each preceding Cardinal Guild choosing the members of the subsequent Cardinal Guild.  Eventually, however, the appointment system gave way to popular election by the student body, originally including a rigorous primary system used to select the Guild presidential and vice presidential candidates and their platforms.

Cardinal Guild 1962 nominating convention

Cardinal Guild 1962 nominating convention

A single body at first, the Guild’s organization eventually evolved into a three-branched system of student government to include a senate, an executive cabinet, and a court, and the membership grew accordingly.  To this day, the Government of the Student Body has the same essential organizational structure and mission as its predecessor, the Cardinal Guild.

The Cardinal Guild Records (RS 22/1/1) contains a variety of documents ranging from the original 1904 meeting minutes and notes, constitutions and bylaws through the years, research and publications regarding student involvement, student organization budgets, presidential addresses, committee reports, legislation, and scrapbooks put together in the final decade of the Guild.  Because the Cardinal Guild and today’s GSB are the original student organizations in the sense that they are typically the origin of funding and assistance for student groups, this collection reveals a great deal about student life at Iowa State through the years.

First Guild President Buckley said, “we have various organizations, but there is no single undergraduate body thru [sic] which the students may work, and be brought into contact.  Harmony is an essential in all our endeavors and this must be fostered and encouraged.  The students cannot at present feel that they are in direct communication with the faculty, but this the Guild will right.”

First page of the minutes for the first Cardinal Guild meeting on May 9, 1904 (RS 22/1/1, box 1, folder 1).

First page of the minutes for the first Cardinal Guild meeting on May 9, 1904 (RS 22/1/1, box 1, folder 1).

The original meeting minutes book (the first part is available online here), which spans the years 1904 through 1909, shows the Cardinal Guild’s immediate interest in working with Iowa State College staff to make student life better.  The members of the Guild formed committees right away at the beginning of the 1904 fall semester, on September 13th.  They created the committees to work with the Athletics Department to staff refreshment stands during games, to establish a celebration on the anniversary of the founding of Iowa State College, and to investigate transportation options for visitors to the college during Excursion Day (Note: Excursion Day was formerly one of the largest events at Iowa State in that it brought thousands of alumni and community visitors to Iowa State to view the farms, research and school in general.  Excursion Day may be considered, in part, a precursor to VEISHEA).

As the fall 1904 minutes report, the staffing of the Athletics Department refreshment stands was the Cardinal Guild’s first successful external official act to come to fruition that directly connected them to their student constituents and assist a school department.  One may examine all the surviving Cardinal Guild minutes we have in the collection up through the late 1950s, as well as witness GSB activity in the modern day, and see that as far as student involvement goes, the role of student government at Iowa State has hardly changed since its very beginning.  Iowa State students, it seems, though not surprisingly, have always had an interest in helping one another out.

Several Cardinal Guild records which document its very early years are now available online.  The first part of the minute book can be found here (the entire minute notebook can be found in the Cardinal Guild Records, RS 22/1/1, box 1, folder 1).  Another set of documents available online are two commencement addresses by the first two Cardinal Guild presidents, A. R. Buckley (1904) (original in RS 22/1/1, box 1, folder 2) and R. R. Jorgenson (1905) (original in RS 22/1/1/, box 1, folder 1).

Scrapbooks from the Cardinal Guild Records.

Scrapbooks from the Cardinal Guild Records (RS 22/1/1, boxes 7 and 8).

Another fascinating set of items in the collection are the scrapbooks.  Ranging from 1950 to 1962, marking the final twelve years of the Cardinal Guild prior to becoming the Government of the Student Body, the scrapbooks are collections of various newspaper clippings, mostly from the Iowa State Daily, of various things regarding student life and directly relating to Cardinal Guild activities.  This amazing array of articles paints a vibrant picture of what life was like at Iowa State in the mid-20th century.  Interestingly, the public relations committee of the GSB continues the scrapbooking practice to this day.

One notable event captured in the scrapbook is the riot that took place one night in 1956.  A secret society calling themselves the Pi Xis (Greek letters: Π Ξ), aka the “Pixies,” were a rascally bunch of students who existed to pull pranks and generally be disruptive.  The Pixies were possibly a throwback to the days of the underground Greek system, accidentally created by the college’s ban on fraternities and sororities in the late 1800s due to their untoward behavior at the time.  Rather than obey the ban, the Greeks of the day simply made their activities secret until some years later the ban was lifted by the college.  Early Iowa State legend has it that some of the first fraternities here never stopped being secret, giving credence to the claim that the Pi Xis were one such group.

Regardless of their origins, the Pixies did exist and were alive and well on the evening of Thursday, May 24, 1956.  They were planning a demonstration for unknown purposes, though probably simply to create some temporary disorder.  Their plan was to meet at the Campanile at 10:00 PM and go from there.  However, members of the Cardinal Guild found out and deployed themselves to the Campanile ahead of time.  Turning the Pixies back as they arrived, the Guild was confident they had prevented the shenanigans.

Not ones to be easily thwarted though, the Pi Xis regrouped.  At approximately 11:00 PM, someone blew a bugle at the Memorial Union, sounding a rallying call.  The Pixies and other nefarious students rallied indeed, and the bunch moved to Friley Hall, where they shouted and raised a ruckus, attempting to call more students into their growing numbers.  As fortune would have it, the residents of Friley weren’t interested.  Frustrated by their rioting impotence, the Pixies moved on to Sorority Circle, where they attempted to break into the Delta Delta Delta house and disturb the girls in residence there.

Cardinal Guild members, with the help of like-minded students, took positions before the Tri-Delts’ doorways and windows, pushing back all who tried to enter.  With amazing fortitude, the Guild held back the invaders, defending the honor of the women within.  But still refusing to give up, the Pi Xis regrouped yet again and headed for the women’s dormitories on campus.

Page from the scrapbook describing the Pixies' raid.

Page from the scrapbook describing the Pixies’ raid (RS 22/1/1, box 7).

Once more into the breach, dear friends, did the intrepid members of the Cardinal Guild rush.  Finding the Pixie rioters at Roberts and Barton Halls, the Guild redeployed themselves, employing their tried and true tactic of manning the doorways and blocking all who attempted entry.  In Gandalf-esque fashion, the Guild’s message to the Pi Xis was clear: You shall not pass.

The battle of wills persisted, with the Pixies taking a page from history.  In a scene that Caesar would have recognized and would have made his enemies in Gaul proud, the Pi Xis discovered ladders nearby and attempted to raise them and scale walls of the women’s dorms.  Guild members fought the ladders from the hands of the would-be invaders, and pushed them back away from what would prove to be an impenetrable blockade.


Another page from the scrapbook with a new article describing the Pixies’ schemes the evening of May 24, 1956 (RS 22/1/1, box 7).

In what was less like the Thrilla in Manila and more like the Lames in Ames, this battle of wills ended with a righteous victor: The Cardinal Guild.  Citing their bravery and good character in the midst of difficult circumstances, Iowa State President James Hilton and the police chief congratulated and thanked the members of the Cardinal Guild for their gallant actions that night.

Want to know more?  Such as how the Pixies also tried to blow up the College Creek dam across from the Memorial Union with a bundle of dynamite and a homemade timer, or how the Cardinal Guild actually had a pact with the college to mobilize in the event of such insurrections and disturbances?  What other cool stories of campus legend lurk in the archive of the Cardinal Guild?  You’ll have to stop by Special Collections and request to see the Cardinal Guild Records (RS 22/1/1) to find out!

Posted by: Laura | February 10, 2013

New Hours for Special Collections Department

The Special Collections Department will be shortening its hours as of Monday, February 11th to 10-4, Monday through Friday.  These hours will remain in place until further notice.

Posted by: Laura | January 30, 2013

A Farewell to Tanya Zanish-Belcher!


On February 1, 2013, our Special Collections Department will be just a little different.  Not only will the office across from mine be empty, but our department will have said good-bye to our Head, Tanya Zanish-Belcher.  She will be moving on to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she has accepted the position as Director of Special Collections & University Archivist.  She has worked here at Iowa State for over 17 years, led our department for over 14 years, and began in the Special Collections Department in 1995 as Curator for the Archives of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).  She has been a supervisor, manager, leader, mentor, guide, role model, fellow archivist and colleague.  To say that she will be missed is a vast understatement.

Tanya has been such an integral member of the Special Collections Department for so many years that it is hard to quickly summarize what she does for the department.  As her resume states, she “Manages the Special Collections Department through the general administration, planning, evaluation, and implementation of program goals including reference services, collection development, digital project coordination, preservation, and technical processing; promotes archival issues and the Department’s activities and holdings to campus and outside constituencies; and selects and appraises organizational archives and personal manuscript collections in a variety of formats. Responsible for the Department’s grantsmanship and development efforts; overall supervision of the departmental faculty and paraprofessional staff; and participation in divisional and library management.”  In addition to  her duties as Head of the Special Collections Department, she has maintained her position as Curator of the Archives of Women in Science and Engineering and has continued to work with donors to bring in a variety of collections documenting both women’s organizations and individuals in this area.

Tanya has worked with numerous donors to bring in rare books and archival collections.  Shown above is the Robert R. Harvey Rare Book Open House.  Professor Emeritus Robert Harvey donated over ninety volumes of his amazing landscape architecture books.

Tanya has worked with numerous donors to bring in rare books and archival collections. Shown above is the Robert R. Harvey Rare Book Open House. Professor Emeritus Robert Harvey donated over ninety volumes of his amazing landscape architecture books.

Tanya has not only lead and managed the Special Collections Department, but she has not hesitated to do the day to day work such as handle reference requests, conduct tours (in fact, she is conducting one right now as I write this post!), and when we lost staff she quickly volunteered to be the one who stayed in the department over the lunch hour to pull a rare book or archival collection when everyone but the archivist at the reference desk was out to lunch.  Not only has she conducted her work here with enthusiasm, energy, and dedication but she has also been committed to local, regional and national professional groups.  She is a founder of the Consortium of Iowa Archivists (CIA), and has been involved in a variety of professional groups such as the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA).  She is a Past President of MAC and was recently elected to the Council for the Society of American Archivists.  She is also an SAA Fellow.  In addition to her work with professional organizations, she has regularly given presentations to local and regional groups.

Tanya at the Association of Moving Image Archivists conference in 2000.

Tanya at the Association of Moving Image Archivists conference in 2000.

She has contributed much to the Special Collections Department, University Library, Iowa State University, and the State of Iowa.  Even though she may be leaving us for a new opportunity, she has pointed out repeatedly that she will only be a phone call or email away.  Her dedication to Iowa State will not completely disappear, but her steadfast leadership will be missed.  We wish her all the very best in her new endeavors!

Posted by: Laura | December 21, 2012

Winter has arrived…as well as winter break!


Yesterday, central campus may have looked almost exactly like this early 20th century winter scene (Beardshear can be seen in the distance)!

The Iowa State University Library, including the Special Collections Department, will be closed from Saturday, December 22nd through Tuesday, January 1st.  The Special Collections Department will be open during our regular hours (9am-4pm, M-F) starting January 2nd.  We wish everyone a wonderful winter break, and safe travels!

While our department is closed, we thought you might be interested in viewing additional winter scenes from our collections available online.  A number of images can be found here.  Quite a variety of items in Digital Collections can also be found by searching under the keyword “winter.”


Sleigh heading towards Catt Hall (then known as Agricultural Hall and later Botany Hall) in the early part of the 20th century.

Posted by: Laura | November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving, Part 2

Since we already have several blog posts related to Thanksgiving items here in the Special Collections Department (available here and here), I had not intended to create a Thanksgiving blog post for this year.  However, I recently received a call from Iowa Public Radio asking me if I would like to speak on the Iowa Public Radio program Talk of Iowa.  I was one of three guests on the program last Wednesday morning, and I spoke about some items in our collections which are related to Thanksgiving.  I enjoyed being a part of the conversation, even though the hour’s program was far too short to share all of the recipes I had put together to speak about!

Did you enjoy last Thursday’s Thanksgiving meal?  Are you all ready to start planning for next year’s Thanksgiving?  If so, this is the post for you!  If not, hopefully you will find some of the recipes below interesting, and perhaps they will inspire you to remember them when planning for the 2013 Thanksgiving meal next fall.  Or you may even find a delightful holiday recipe to add some historical cuisine to your menu (holiday or otherwise)!

Below are some of the recipes I did not have a chance to talk about on last week’s radio program, including links to some recipes you can find online through Digital Collections:

The Suffrage Cook Book, published in 1915, was once owned by Carrie Chapman Catt (Iowa State graduate and suffragist).  The cook book contains a wide variety of recipes, including a nut turkey for Thanksgiving.  As the introduction explains:

“Now that we are entering upon an age of sane living it is important that home makers should be impressed with the fact that good health precedes all that is worth while in life, and that it starts in the kitchen; that the dining room is a greater social factor than the drawing room.”

What better introduction do we need to inspire us to create healthy recipes together in the kitchen?

The section under meats contains a chapter on “Nuts as a Substitute for Meat.”  The introduction to this chapter states that since the “soaring cost” of meat, many had been rationing or eliminating their use of meat.  However, as the chapter notes, nuts “contain more food value to the pound than almost any other food product known” and goes on to explain that peanuts have a significant amount of protein.

Interested in making a Nut Turkey (page 68) instead of the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving?  Below is the recipe from this interesting book – I recommend you take a look at it!  As the note found at the beginning of the cookbook states, the book includes notes and check marks made by Carrie Chapman Catt.  If you are not interested in the Nut Turkey, then peruse the digital version, and perhaps make a favorite of Catt’s instead!

Nut Turkey

One quart sifted bread crumbs

1 pint English walnuts (or any other kind of nuts “will go”)

1 cupful of Peanuts (“simply washed and dried”)

1 level tsp Sage

2 tsp Salt

1 T. Parsley

2 Raw eggs (not beaten)

“sufficient water to bind the mass together”

“Then form them into the shape of a turkey, with pieces of macaroni to form the leg bones.  Brush with a little butter and bake an hour in a slow oven and serve with drawn butter sauce.”

Another interesting cookbook which contains a turkey recipe (and this one for the actual bird!) is Mrs. Welch’s Cookbook.  Mary Welch was the wife of Iowa State’s first president, Adonijah Welch.  Mary Welch had many accomplishments in her own right, including helping start and acting as the first head the Department of Domestic Economy (now better known as Home Economics or Family and Consumer Sciences).  In addition to the recipes, the cookbook also contains explanations and experiments for learning the why of cooking.  For instance, the section on Soups, Meats, Poultry and Game tells the reader to thinly cut a piece of meat and then wash and boil it.  She explains the changes that are taking place to the meat, and why.  The recipes sometimes also contain references to this experiment at the beginning of the chapter in order to provide brief lessons within the recipe itself.

Mary B. Welch

Wondering how March Welch recommends making a turkey?  You can find the recipe online here on page 178-180.

Trying to figure out what to do with your turkey leftovers?  A recipe for turkey soup can be found here on page 154.

Interested in learning more about Mary Welch or Carrie Chapman Catt?  The University Archives also holds the papers of both.  The finding aid for the Mary B. (Mary Beaumont) Welch Papers can be found here, and the finding aid for the Carrie Chapman Catt Papers can be found here.

A portion of the University Photograph Collection in the University Archives can be seen above.

The fall semester has definitely arrived and is now in full swing, with students and researchers coming in to the Special Collections Department daily to work on research papers or locate that hard-to-find fact related to Iowa State University and its over one hundred and fifty years of history.  In addition to being a busy month for students with midterm exams and projects nearing their deadlines, October is American Archives Month.  Archives Month gives archivists across the country an opportunity to promote awareness of archives, what they do, and the collections they hold.

Wondering who we are, what we do, and what you might be able to find in our collections?  We have created a number of blog posts in past years about our department.  Please take a look at a few or all of these in order to learn more about the Special Collections and University Archives:

For American Archives Month:  An Online Tour of Special Collections!

American Archives Month:  Fun Tools For Discovering What Archives Are About!

Navigating Your Research Using Special Collections and University Archives Resources

Anyone is welcome to visit the Special Collections Department.  Please feel free to stop by at any time Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  In addition to our collection of rare books and historical records, we also have a new display in our Reading Room:  “Make Our Spirits Great:  100 Years of Homecoming History.”  If you are not able to visit our reading room, we also have an online exhibit available.

First Homecoming game in 1912 against the University of Iowa.

Posted by: Laura | August 3, 2012

Olympians in the Archives!

Iowa State has quite a number of Olympic gold medal winners in freestyle wrestling, including the well-known Dan Gable.  Pictured above is Glen Brand who was one of the first Iowa State alumni to win a gold medal (1948).  He graduated in 1950 in civil engineering.  The original photograph can be found in the University Photograph Collection (RS 24-12-A, box 1963).

The 2012 Olympics are now in full gear – only one week left until the closing ceremonies!  Did you know that Iowa State has quite a few alumni who have competed in the Olympic Games?  (More on how you can find additional information here in the Special Collections Department can be found at the end of this posting.)  Below is a listing of our alumni who have received Olympic medals:

Glen Brand: 1948 gold medal in wrestling

Nate Carr: 1988 bronze medal in wrestling

Dan Gable: 1972 gold medal in wrestling

Jeff Grayer: 1988 bronze medal in men’s basketball

Danny Harris: 1984 silver medal in 400 hurdles

Kevin Jackson: 1992 gold medal in wrestling

Nawal El Moutawakel (Morocco): 1984 gold medal in 400-meter hurdles

Ben Peterson: 1976 gold medal in wrestling

Cael Sanderson: 2004 gold medal in wrestling

Chris Taylor: 1972 bronze medal in wrestling

Sunday Uti (Nigeria): 1984 bronze medal in 4×400 relay

Although it would be too extensive to highlight all the medal winners listed above, there are a few we’ll take not of in this post.  More on current and past Olympians with Iowa State connections can be found in the Thursday, July 26, 2012 issue of the Iowa State Daily.

We should not leave out Ron Galimore from this post.  Galimore (1981 speech communications) was the first African American to be named to the U.S. men’s gymnastics Olympic team.  Unfortunately, he was unable to compete in the 1980 Olympics due to the United States’ boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.  This was due, in part, to the USSR invading Afghanistan.

Ron Galimore is pictured (far right) on the cover of the 1981 Cyclone Gymnastics Media Guide (RS 24/08, box 1, folder 7).

Nawal El Moutawakel (1988 physical education) has a very impressive list of firsts, in addition to winning a gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles in the 1984 Olympics for Morocco.  She was the first Iowa State woman, the first Arab woman, the first African woman, the first Muslim woman, and the first Moroccan of either gender to win an Olympic gold.  Not only that, she had a perfect 1984 season at Iowa State, and won the gold medal after her freshman year at Iowa State.  1984 was also the first year the 400 meter hurdle race was held for women.  She is active internationally in promoting sports for women, and in 2004 served as Chair of the Olympic Evaluation Commission.  In the 2016 Olympics she will chair the Olympics coordination commission (and her impressive list of firsts continues – she is the first woman to ever chair the Olympics coordination commission)!

Nawal El Moutawakel was honored in the 1985 Women’s Track Media Guide on page 10 (RS 24/23/00/06, box 1, folder 1).

Iowa State’s current wrestling head coach, Kevin Jackson (1991 human sciences), won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  He transferred to Iowa State for his senior year and became Iowa State’s wrestling Head Coach  in 2009.

Cael Sanderson, ISU student-athlete in wrestling, finished his Iowa State career as the only undefeated four-time champion in NCAA history (159-0) in 2002.  Two of Cael’s brothers, Cody and Cole, also wrestled at Iowa State with impressive records of their own.  Cael won a 2004 Olympic Gold Medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and was formerly Head Coach of Iowa State Wrestling (2006-2009).

And one cannot forget Dan Gable who won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling in 1972.  More on Dan Gable can be found in a previous blog post.

One resource for finding information on Dan Gable is the 1969-1970 Iowa State Wrestling Media Guide, where he is pictured on the cover and has a feature on him inside (RS 24/12/00/06, box 1, folder 1).

More on Iowa State wrestlers who competed in the Olympics can be found in a recent Iowa State Daily article.

Wondering about how you can find more information on Iowa Staters who have competed in the Olympics?  The University Archives maintains biographical files on Iowa State students where you can find news clippings and other publications (RS 21/7/1).  Please note that the files on alumni and former students are not comprehensive, but if they made the news there is a decent chance we will have a file with news clippings.  Additional information on the athletic career here at Iowa State of current and former Olympians can also be found in various records found under the Department of Athletics.  Good places to start are often the media guides, programs and news clippings.  Alumni who have gone on to work at Iowa State, such as Cael Sanderson and Kevin Jackson, can be found under the departments where they  worked.  Sanderson has his own collection (RS 24/12/51), which primarily contains news clippings (1999-2011).  We also have a folder of news clippings related to Kevin Jackson under RS 24/3/1.

Photographs can also often be found in the University Photograph Collection, although sometimes you will need to look in other places for images, such as the media guides or the Bomb (Iowa State yearbook).

Occasionally you will find photographs unrelated to the athlete’s sport.  Shown above is a photograph of wrestler Glen Brand (gold medal in 1948 freestyle wrestling).

For more on another Iowa Stater who was very much involved in the Olympics, please see our post on Barbara Forker or the finding aid describing the Barbara Forker Papers.

A selection of recent Iowa State publications related to the Olympics, many of which are articles in the Iowa State Daily, can be found in the library’s new Digital Repository (a blog posting by our new Digital Repository Coordinator, Harrison Inefuku, can be found on the Preservation Department’s blog).

If you’re curious about other athletes from the state of Iowa who have won Olympic medals, the recent issue (July 2012) Iowa History Journal has an article by Don Doxie, “Olympic dreams blossom in Iowa”.  The periodical is available both in the General Collection (most recent issues in the Periodical Room) and here in Special Collections under call number F616 I59x.  In addition, the July 5, 2012 issue of the Iowa State Daily has a listing of ISU alumni who have recently competed in the Olympics.  Curious about other Olympic medalists?  The official website of the Olympic movement has a database of medalists.

We wish all the current 2012 Olympians who attended Iowa State the best of luck in the 2012 Summer Olympics!

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