#TimeTravelTuesday – 1970 Student Meeting


Image from University Photos Box 29

The above image depicts a large group of students gathered in a meeting on central campus in 1970. Student protests were common in the 70s, a time of great political unrest. My favorite thing about this image is just how many students have gathered at this meeting. This is a powerful image of student unity as the crowd raises their fists in the air as a sign of defiance.

The Great Flood of 1993

This #WeatherWednesday let’s take a look at some photos from the Great Flood of 1993. I’ve always been interested in the aftermath of natural disasters so these pictures were particularly interesting to me. It’s hard to imagine all this damage when looking at our campus today, which makes these images even more incredible.

Images from University Photos Box 38.

#WomenOnWednesdays – ISU 1942-43

During World War II, everyone had to play their part to support the war effort, including Iowa State Students. Women all over campus stepped up and got involved in many ways. Perhaps related to the change in student population at the time, the contributions of female students were highlighted much more than usual in ISU yearbooks compiled during these years. Here are some of the contributions that were highlighted in the 1943 Bomb.

War Council Women

Home Economics Department Shortens Programs to Prepare Students to Work in War Areas

Students Prepare to Meet Emergency Needs


Image from the 1943 Bomb pg. 58

Students Learn to Combat Clothes Rationing

Want to see more? Browse through the digital editions of the Bomb from the 1890s to the 1990s!


Manuscripts Miscellany: Old-time Campaign Photograph

In this season of political campaigning, especially here in Iowa, my attention was caught recently by a photograph I came across while looking through the Walter M. Rosene papers, MS-0589. Rosene was a birder, and most of his photographs are of birds, nests, and landscapes through which he traveled to go bird watching. So, I was surprised to see a photograph of a politician, addressing a crowd from the back of a train car:

Kansas Governor Alf Landon won the Republican Party’s nomination for president in 1936. He was running against Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who had been in office for one term at this point. Roosevelt won with a landslide victory. But before that, Governor Landon made a campaign stop in Boone, Iowa, speaking from the platform of a train car. He was engaging in a whistle stop campaign, making brief speeches at a number of small towns along a train route. Judging by the crowd of people in the photograph, Iowans were as engaged in politics in the 1930s as they are today.

Fashion Show Flashback – 80s Edition

The annual Fashion Show event, currently put on by the Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM), has provided students a chance to show off their designs to an eager audience for 37 years. Over the years, this student-run event has highlighted countless beautiful outfits designed by Iowa State students. Here are some of our favorite outfits from shows of the 1980s!

1982 Fashion Show

1983 Fashion Show

1985 Fashion Show

1987 Fashion Show

1988 Fashion Show

All of these images (and much more information on fashion shows of the past) can be found in Special Collections RS 29/2/4 Fashion Show Records (1982-2017). There are several  boxes in this collection but everything featured in this post can be found in box 1.

What a wild ride! 80s fashion is always worth looking back on. Which outfit was your favorite?

“Our trip…will long be remembered”: Following the Trail of a Bird Watching Road Trip

Last Thursday our new exhibition, “Our trip…will long be remembered”: Following the Train of a Bird Watching Road Trip, opened. This exhibition follows the route of birders Walter M. Rosene, Sr., and Walter Bennett during their 1924 trip from Sioux City, Iowa, to East Central North Dakota as documented in Rosene’s travel journey. Detailed notes taken on the trip represent some of the earliest observations of birding areas that are now well-known for their value to ornithological study. The exhibition will be available now through fall 2020 in Parks Library Room 403.

Detailed bird observations and poetic descriptions of fascinating accounts enable visitors to see the beauty of nature through Rosene’s eyes. Excerpts from his journal are complimented by photographs and hand-colored lantern slides taken on the trip, and maps and supplemental materials place the road trip in the larger context of environmental and social concerns of the Great Plains in the early 20th century.

Rosene, the first president of the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union, and Bennett, a biological investigator and bird life lecturer, dedicated most of their lives to conservation and bird study, and their 1,600-mile journey remained a memorable and important experience throughout their birding careers.

Many of the documents and photographs are from the Walter M. Rosene, Sr. Papers and are available digitally as part of the Avian Archives of Iowa Online (avIAn) – a newly launched web portal of Iowa ornithological primary sources supported by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The avIAn project documents nearly 100 years of bird study in Iowa and includes materials from some of the Midwest’s most prominent conservationists.

Pictured above are staff from Iowa State University Printing and Copy Services installing the window decals for the new exhibition.

Join us at the exhibition reception to learn more

What: Following the Trail of a Bird Watching Road Tip: A Curators’ Journey

When: 7-8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24

Where: Ames Public Library Farewell T. Brown Auditorium, 515 Douglas Ave, Ames IA 50010

Join us to learn behind the scenes details about the creation of the exhibition and its connection to the recently completed Avian Archives of Iowa Online (avIAn). Attendees will have the unique opportunity to hear from exhibition curators Erin Anderson and Amy Bishop as they discuss their findings and the impact it has on local and national communities.

This talk marks the opening of the exhibition. Admission is free and hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

We would like to give special thanks to the following exhibition partners: Iowa Young Birders, Iowa Ornithologist’s Union, Ames Historical Society, the ISU Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management and Wild Birds Unlimited of Ames

Contact information

Rachel Seale, University Library Special Collections and University Archives Outreach Archivist ­­515-294-5311 or rmseale@iastate.edu

Nacuya Rucker, University Library External Relations Director 515-294-2155 or nrucker@iastate.edu

Weird, Wacky, Wonderful: “Adulting” is Hard

I’m back with another interesting thing I found while helping answer reference questions. When doing some research on the houses at Pammel Court, I came across an amusing description of the lack of “adulting” skills of some of the residents:

Page 162 from “The First 100 Years of Residential Housing at Iowa State University 1868-1968” by J.C. Schilletter

The Pammel Court houses were first occupied in 1946, and, as this book was published in 1970, we can assume this story took place in that twenty-five(ish) year span. To my fellow Millenials, here is some ammunition for the next time someone decries our generation; it seems that even the Greatest Generation endured some growing pains when entering adulthood and running their homes. As we see so often in history, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Latinx Heritage Month: HASU Poster and News Clippings

Happy Latinx Heritage Month!

Last September, I wrote about my process of searching for information about a (no-longer active) student organization that had not been adequately documented within our archival collections. Because, believe it or not, such a thing is possible! You can read the post here.

I just wanted to follow up on that post with a handful of HASU (Hispanic American Student Union) materials that I DID stumble across a few months later in the much more general RS 22/03/00/01 collection for multicultural student organizations, which had apparently grown since the last time it was inventoried in our subject index. Archives are, by nature, continually a work in progress. So sometimes, you just have to keep thinking of new places to look, even if your initial CARDinal keyword search turns up empty.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find very much. But here is a poster/flyer connected to the organization:

KIC Image 0001

HASU Poster, date unknown, RS 22/03/00/01

And, apparently, if these news clippings are dated correctly, the club existed into the 1990s, which I had not known when I wrote the last post. Also helpful are the inclusion of club officers’ names, which, if you wanted, you could look up in the Bomb Yearbook, as that still being published at the time.

KIC Image 0002

1990 Iowa State Daily news clippings, RS 22/03/00/01

And, finally, here is a teeny-tiny news clipping, about the size of a fortune cookie insert (pencil included in photograph for scale) from a year or two after the club was founded.

KIC Image 0003

1981 news clipping, RS 22/03/00/01

I will write about a few more student organizations, and maybe some other Latinx resources, later this month. Until then, make sure you take part in some of the fun celebrations that the U.S. Latino/a Studies (USLS) department has planned to commemorate their 25th anniversary.

CyHawk: We are family

Nile Kinnick Sr., University Photos, box 1831

As we all prepare for the big football game this Saturday, I wanted to present a little known fact about Nile Kinnick, the namesake for the University of Iowa football stadium. For good reason, when you think of the name Kinnick, you think of University of Iowa. However, it’s interesting to learn that his father (also named Nile Kinnick) was a player on Iowa State’s Football team in the 19-teens. In case you’re wondering, the Ames team beat the University of Iowa team in Iowa City during Kinnick Sr.’s graduating year.

Bomb 1917, Page 186
Nile Kinnick Senior graduated with a degree in agronomy.
1916 Iowa State College Directory

Despite the fierce rivalry between the two schools, it’s important to remember that historically and today, there is more that unites the schools than divides them. Have fun at the game this weekend and be safe!

History At Home: Community Archival Film Screenings – Take 3!

Join us Thursday, September 12th for a screening of the film “When We Farmed with Horses” at Living History Farms (11121 Hickman Rd., Urbandale, Iowa). We will be in the Celebration Room in the Visitor’s Schedule (relocated from Flynn Barn due to weather) during the day from 1 – 4 pm looping several films and news clips that have featured Living History Farms over the years. Then, we return during History Happy Hour and will have en evening program, from 6 – 8 pm. After the film, stick around for a presentation with Tom Morain, the Director of Government Relations as Graceland University, followed by a Q&A session.

Still from "When We Farmed With Horses"
Still from “When We Farmed With Horses”

History Happy Hour Evening program “Flicks on the Farm”

6 pm Screening of When We Farmed With Horses

6:45 pm When We Farmed with Horses…And Before by Tom Moraine

7:15 pm Q&A

Headshot of Tom Morain

Photo courtesy of Tom Morain

Tom Morain is Director of Government Relations as Graceland University.  From 1981-1995, he was Director of Interpretation at Living History Farms before accepting appointment as administrator of the State Historical Society of Iowa.  His study of small-town idea received the Shambaugh Award as Best Book of the Year.  He has taught Iowa History at Iowa State and Graceland and currently serves on the Iowa History Advisory Council.

This archival film is the last in a series of film screenings across Iowa dedicated to telling America’s agricultural stories at home. History At Home: Community Archival Film Screenings is funded, in part, by the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area General Grant Program. This program funds projects dedicated to telling America’s agricultural stories.

This project was inspired by the work of film archivist Jane Paul (1958-2018). Paul spent her career collecting, curating and presenting film content, tailored for regional, and multicultural, New Zealand audiences. 

The Iowa State University Library Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) received $6,286 from the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area General Grant Program. This program funds projects dedicated to telling America’s agricultural stories.

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. Through the development of a network of sites, programs and events, SSNHA’s mission is to interpret farm life, agribusiness
and rural communities-past and present. Click HERE to explore the heritage area or to visit one of our sites.