Thanks for following us during our first year!

A new year has begun!  Our departmental blog was started last year (the first post was February 17, to be exact).  Although not strictly a year in existence, I thought it would be fun to start off this new year off with some highlights from last year – including some not announced on this blog.

Posts with the most visits were:

1.  Images of Past ISU and Ames Floods

Hopefully this year we will see nothing even close to last year’s flood here in Ames!  However, I took advantage of being the only one to make it to the office that day by putting together a quick post on past floods.  As you can see, many visited this one!

1918 Flood: the Dinkey and floodwaters again

2. New Collection: Agricultural Machinery Product Literature

This is a wonderful collection of agricultural literature, and although I enjoyed writing most if not all blog posts – I think I had the most fun with this one!  We hope to have even more posts, although perhaps much shorter, on new incoming collections in the future.


Buckeye Mower and Reaper catalog, 1874

3.  Friley Hall images now on Flickr

One of our wonderful students helped describe and put these images up on Flickr, and her work has paid off!  We hope at some point to add more dorm images to Flickr.


A student in his Friley Hall dorm room working on homeworrk in 1964.

Other highlights from last year:

The Library’s new Digital Collections site (using CONTENTdm) was launched.  Many of the original collections on this site are housed here in our Special Collections Department.

During October’s Archives Month, I created a blog version of a tour of our department.  We are hoping to create a video version of the tour to put up on our website.

An image of our collections in storage seen on the "tour."

One of the many excellent donations this year was that given by Professor Emeritus Robert Harvey of ninety-two rare books to our Department.  Back in October we had an after hours open house which highlighted books from this donation and allowed visitors to speak with Professor Harvey and members of our staff, including Preservation.  Many of these books were related to his field of expertise, landscape architecture.  For more information on this donation, please see our Preservation Department’s post.

Several of the books on display at the Open House.

Although not announced yet on this blog, we received the exciting news later last year that the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is funding $137,000 to support the design and construction of a Special Collections and Preservation classroom on the fourth floor of Parks Library.  Courses, seminars and workshops will be held in the classroom space.  The Trust is a philanthropic foundation in Iowa with assets of more than $250 million and annual grant distributions of over $11 million.  We have a number of classes which visit both our department and Preservation each semester, and we are looking forward to having a much larger and accessible space for presentations, tours, seminars, workshops and class projects with our collections.

Happy New Year to all!  We are looking forward to 2011, and hope you are as well.  Thanks for your readership and support!

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