1,000+ ISU lectures now online

The Iowa State University Library is pleased to announce the completion of a grant project funded by the National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) to digitize and provide online access to 991 recordings from the ISU Lecture Series. The recordings, which span the 1970s-1990s, were selected based on their significant cultural, historical, and aesthetic value, as well as timeliness with respect to topics that our country is grappling with today, which include race, gender, and sexuality—just to name a few. In selecting the content for this project, we join calls across the country to center and magnify these voices and movements, and to affirm ISU’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Select highlights from the project include: 

For a complete list by topic click here

The lectures, accessible via Aviary, have been captioned and can searched full text or synced with transcripts. As a land grant institution, ISU wholeheartedly supports the mission of sharing knowledge beyond the campus borders. Adhering to this mission requires a further commitment to digital accessibility and the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, digital content by people with disabilities. By providing highly accurate captions for lectures, including online delivery that syncs searchable captions and audio, we expand access to this content for all online users in accordance with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines. 

This project is part of the Library’s ongoing work to provide access to all Lecture Series recordings in its holdings. From 2018-2019, thanks to support from the Lennox Foundation, the ISU Library migrated 3,000+ optical discs from the Lecture Series. In addition, we have reformatted 290 reel-to-reel and audiocassette recordings based on patron requests and available funding. As a result, 3,000+ lectures are now available via our YouTube channel. What remains are approximately 1,160 reel-to-reel and audiocassettes and 141 born-digital recordings. 

Special shout out to those whose hard work made this project possible:  

  • Heather Campbell, Chris Dieckman, Leonard Kluck, Wesley Teal, Harriet Wintermute (Metadata) 
  • Laura Sullivan, Scott Marron (Digital Scholarship & Initiatives) 
  • Rosie Rowe (Preservation) 
  • Greg Bailey, Rosalie Gartner (Special Collections & University Archives) 

About the ISU Lecture Series 

Designed to stimulate thought and promote new ideas, the ISU Lecture Series intends to document a broad range of topics with significant cultural, historical, and aesthetic value, including political debates; academic forums; and cultural events (e.g., musical performances, art and dance programs, and films). While appeal to the student population is a primary focus, the lectures also present topics and issues which may not necessarily be in the mainstream but may broaden students’ awareness. 

The ISU Lecture Series consist of over 5,000 audiovisual recordings in a multitude of formats dating back to 1958. Committed to the philosophy that the function of the university is to provide “a market place of ideas,” the Lecture Series has brought to the ISU campus a broad spectrum of talks: political debates; academic forums; and cultural events, including musical performances, art and dance programs, and films. In addition, since 1966, ISU has hosted annual series devoted to national affairs and world affairs.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s