Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Records

The Special Collections and University Archives Department is excited to announce that RS 9/1/5 Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture records have been processed and are open to researchers. The collection contains the administrative records from the Leopold Center including grant applications and reports from the center’s thirty year history. Types of materials include photographs, correspondence, grant reports and applications, annual reports, meeting minutes and agendas, notes, newsletters, and electronic media.

The Leopold Center, named after environmentalist Aldo Leopold, was established at Iowa State University in 1987 by the State of Iowa’s Groundwater Protection Act. The Leopold Center was originally charged with researching the negative impacts of Iowa’s agricultural practices, assisting in the development of alternative practices, and informing the public, in cooperation with ISU Extension, on the results of Leopold Center research. According to its 2002 vision statement, the Leopold Center “…explores and cultivates alternatives that secure healthier people and landscapes in Iowa and the nation.” The Center’s goals “are to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources as well as reducing negative environmental and social impacts.” In accordance with this new direction, the Leopold Center focused its research initiatives into three distinct areas: marketing and food systems, ecology, and policy. During its 30 year history, the Leopold Center also funded grant projects to help further the center’s research mission.

In 2017, the Iowa Legislature voted to de-fund and close the Leopold Center. Governor Terry Branstad used a line item veto to allow the center to remain open although it lost its primary funding source.  Following a listening tour and discussion with an advisory board, the Center shifted their mission to focus on the education and research of alternative approaches and practices to promote resilient rural communities across Iowa.

To learn more about these materials, visit the finding aid or contact archives staff. 


AESHM Student in Project Runway!

https://www.bravotv.com/people/brittany-allen

Brittany Allen, PhD student currently enrolled in Iowa State University’s Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program, is one of the contestants on the current season of Project Runway. Project Runway, in its 18th season, is a highly competitive show in which contestants push themselves to the limit for a chance at $250,000 dollars.

Allen’s goal as a designer is: “to bring fun and excitement back into the fashion industry, and…to make women feel more empowered and beautiful.”

Iowa State University’s Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program is one of 15 highly ranked programs offered by the Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM), under the College of Human Sciences.

In 2011, the name of this department was changed from Department of Apparel, Educational Studies and Hospitality Management to Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management, though it is still abbreviated as AESHM. The name change was prompted by the programs move to the College of Human Sciences. According to the department’s website, the mission of AESHM is to: “create, share, and apply knowledge to provide consumers with products, services, and experiences to enhance overall well-being.”

One of the things AESHM is best known for on campus is the annual Fashion Show, which has been an Iowa State Tradition since 1982. The first Fashion Show was actually put on by the Textiles and Clothing club on the steps of the Memorial Union. The event ended up being such a big hit that the fashion show became an annual tradition that continues to give AESHM students the opportunity to showcase their designs today. Here are a few photos from the show that started it all.

We’ve posted about the Fashion Show previously, and will likely post again come April, when this year’s show will be held. We also have some additional posts about AESHM for anyone interested.

Image Credits:

Brittany Allen image credit – https://www.bravotv.com/people/brittany-allen

AESHM Graphic – Screenshot from https://www.aeshm.hs.iastate.edu/

Fashion Show Images from RS 29/2/4 Fashion Show Records Box 1 – https://n2t.net/ark:/87292/w90j7g


#FashionFriday – Graduation Fashion from 1914

Very excited to return to the Mary A. Barton Fashion Illustration Collection for this #FashionFriday! We’ve posted about this collection a few times before but the beauty of this collection never ceases to surprise me.

While browsing through box 12 of the collection, I found a variety of eye-catching illustrations, each a beauty to behold. One illustration that really caught my eye was on a page from McCall’s Magazine, dated June 1914.

The first page is titled “For the Day of Graduation”, and depicts three women in black and white with a pop of orange in the background. The woman on the far right of the image is holding a diploma.

On the other side of this page, there’s information on the different patterns available to create these outfits, along with information on the materials required.

I love being a student employee in Special Collections and University Archives. Not only because of the amazing people I’ve met here, but for the collections I’ve been able to explore. It is the most incredible experience to be handling materials from over a hundred years ago, and sharing them via social media.


Black History Month 1983

“Black Americans are major contributors to historic and contemporary life… Because we wish to deepen our own appreciation of ourselves, and because we need to share our rich culture and heritage with the world.”

Debra Gibson, 1983 – Bomb 1984 pg. 72

In 1983, what was intended to be a week of commemoration turned into a month-long celebration of everything African-American history. Debra Gibson, alumni information specialist and coordinator for Black History Month at the time, chose “Our Attitude, Our Future” as the theme for the month’s activities.

Image from the 1984 Bomb pg. 72

According to this snippet from the 1984 Bomb, pg. 72, the highlight of the month’s activities was the performance of the first black theater production to be held at Iowa State University. The play, “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” by Lorraine Hansberry received positive reviews from those in attendance.

Several lectures were also hosted throughout the month on topics relating to Black History Month, as well as several other exciting events.

For information on similar events at Iowa State, consider checking out our collection on Multicultural Student Organizations RS 22/3 Box 1.


Rare Book Highlights: new purchase by William Morris

Page on left hows a black and white print of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve is seated on a fallen log with a fur wrapped around her lower abdomen and long hair somewhat covering her naked breasts. At her feat are two young children, one with its arms wrapped around her leg. Adam is standing, bending over to push a spade into the ground. Printed text at the bottom reads, "When Adam Delved and Eve Span Who was then the Gentleman. There is an intricate black and white printed border around the image on the left page and the text on the right page. Both borders have design sof leaves, and the righth one includes bunches of grapes.

Frontispiece and first page of William Morris’s “A Dream of John Ball; and, A King’s Lesson.”

Just look at that frontispiece! Is that classic William Morris, or what? The book featured here is among our newest additions to the rare books collection.

William Morris was a Victorian British designer, craftsman, and author, known for his wallpaper and textile design and associated with the Arts & Crafts Movement. You may be familiar with his famous quote:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

In rare book circles, he is known as the founder of the Kelmscott Press and the designer of the famous Kelmscott Chaucer.

William Morris believed in the importance of manual labor and skilled craftsmanship. In the wake of mechanization during the Industrial Revolution, he made sure that his own decorative arts company performed impeccable handwork in crafts that he first made sure to master himself. In 1891 at the age of 56, Morris founded the Kelmscott Press to produce books that were a pleasure to look at and to read. Following his principles of skilled craftsmanship and handiwork, he learned the skills of hand printing, type design, and paper making. Taking inspiration from the type of the famed 15th century type designer Nicholas Jensen, who created one of the earliest Roman typefaces, he designed three typefaces for use by the press–Golden, Troy, and Chaucer–that were clear, readable, and beautiful. He also designed ornamental letters and borders. You can see that the ornamental borders in the image above look very similar to Morris’ wallpaper and textile designs (see examples here).

The book we purchased is William Morris’s A Dream of John Ball; and A King’s Lesson (1892). It includes two of Morris’s own writings. The illustration for the frontispiece was designed by Morris’ friend, longtime business partner, and Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones. See more pictures of this book below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The founding of the Kelmscott Press marks the begininng of the private press movement that flourished around the turn of the 20th century, in which private individuals set up presses that were focused on producing high-quality handmade books emphasizing the book as a work of art and generally without a strong profit motive. Other famous private presses include the Doves Press and the Ashendene Press.


#FlashbackFriday – Postcards

Today I took a look at the Iowa State University Archives Postcard Collection. I’ve been wanting to check out this collection for a while and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. There were hundreds of postcards in just this box and at least six boxes in the collection. Here are a few of my favorites from box one.

I look forward to exploring more of this collection in the future! Materials from Box 1 of the ISU Archives Postcard Collection.


Study Breaks from 1985

Almost no one wants to spend their whole day studying. As important as it is to stay on top of assignments and readings, there’s only so long the average student can study before some kind of study break is needed. The authors of the 1985 Bomb likely would have agreed with the need for occasional study breaks, as they gifted us with this two-page spread on the types of study breaks preferred by students at the time.

According to the Bomb, many students looked to watching T.V. shows such as All My Children and General Hospital, to relax after a long study session. Others preferred to take a quick nap to rest their minds and bodies.

However, by far the most popular types of study breaks at the time were ones centered around food. The most iconic of these food centered breaks being what the authors refer to as “the famous “Quick Trip Run.”

All of these certainly sound more fun than studying! Which, if any, would you choose to relax and refresh yourself? If none of these sound quite right, what works for you?


#FunFriday – 1974 Novelty Sports

Let’s start this #FunFriday with a look at the past! On March 18th, 1974, over 500 students participated in the novelty intramurals of Residence Hall Week. The RHW novelty intramurals were set up in the Linden-Oak-Elm courtyard on a Sunday. Of all the events held that day, I’d be willing to bet the messiest was the mud slide, shown below, which set a new record for longest mud slide.

Other activities included an egg toss, a molasses pour, frisbee toss, pogo stick race, and pyramid building. From these pictures it looks like the next day must have been a laundry day for many participants!

On Wednesday, the RHW Novelty Intramurals moved inside. These indoor events were considerably less messy, but no less fun. Students participated in activities such as a clothes race, bat race, sleeping bag race, and tug of war. Also included in this week was an all-university ping-pong championship between members of residence associations.

Overall, this week sounds like it was a lot of fun!

If you’d like to read about more Iowa State events from the past, check out our digital collection of yearbooks from 1894-1994.


SCUA Research Blog

Throughout my first semester managing social media with the Special Collections and University Archives Department, I’ve learned more about Iowa State than I ever thought I would. My favorite thing about working here has been the opportunity to be so close to so many physical representations of history. Every day I found something new and exciting to photograph and post about.

For this end-of-semester blog post, I was asked to write about one thing that surprised me from the collections I’ve viewed so far. It was difficult to choose just one thing to post about because every day I found something new that surprised me. After much deliberation, I’ve decided to post about my two favorite collections thus far.

RS 21/7/9 – Mary A. Barton Fashion Illustration Collection

This was one of the first collections I viewed that wasn’t necessarily University records; it’s a collection donated by an Iowa State Alumni, Mary A. Barton. More information about the collection can be found here, as well as in previous posts about this collection.

I was shocked at how many illustrations are in this collection, and even more shocked by how beautiful each one is. The majority of the illustrations that I looked at are from the early 1800s. Everything about this collection just blew me away. It is incredible to be able to pick up and look at something from over 200 years ago. I hope to post about this collection again soon!

RS 13/16/4 – Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadette Program

Earlier this semester, I posted some images from this collection on our Facebook page for a #WomenOnWednesdays post. There have been multiple posts about the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadette Program that can be found on Cardinal Tales, I will also link the finding aid for more information on the collection. In the previously mentioned Facebook post, I decided not to post about my favorite items in the collection, due to the images not being very visually engaging. However, I think they’re absolutely fascinating and am excited to share them now!

Above are two letters from 1943, sent from other colleges to Iowa State inquiring about the possibility of their students earning college credits through participating in the program. I find these letters fascinating as they highlighted the involvement of transfer students, many from community colleges, who had been accepted to this program. Being a transfer student myself, I was pleased to see these faculty members fighting for these women to be able to finish their degrees on time even while participating in the war effort.

The tone, and content, of these letters both surprised and delighted me. The letter from Jefferson City Schools, shown on the left, contains the line: “Miss Hultmark is desirous of securing her degree from the Junior College this year…” I enjoy this line because it highlights the determination of this woman to complete her degree, as well as the advocacy of the dean sending the message. I have personal experience with transferring credits and working through the difficulties that come with it, so it was interesting to see a documentation of a step of that process all the way from 1943. In a way, while reading these letters, I felt connected to a part of history.

I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about women’s history at Iowa State in the coming semester.

Moral of the story: stop by the reading room this Spring and check out our collections! You never know what you’ll find!


Rare Book Highlights: A Sophisticated Copy of “On the Origin of the Species”

During a class visit to Special Collections last week, the professor brought something to my attention that I had not noticed before. Our supposedly first edition of Charles Darwin’s famous On the Origin of the Species, which he had requested for his class, was a sophisticated copy.

Sophisticated. That’s good, right? It means that the book is refined, polished, cultured, right? Wrong. In this case, the definition of sophisticated relates to the origins of the word, pointing to the ancient Greek Sophists, or teachers that specialized in the subjects of philosophy and rhetoric. Plato criticized Sophists for teaching deceptive reasoning and rhetorical skills to those seeking political office. You might think of the term spin doctor today. Well, a sophisticated book is ‘spinning’ the truth of its own origins, in a way, since it refers to a doctored book, or one that is deceptively altered. In this case, the title page from a first edition has been bound at the front of the text of a second edition.

This wasn’t a new discovery–it was noted in the catalog entry for this copy, so it was likely known from the time the library purchased it. This was just new information for me; something I hadn’t noticed before. The catalog doesn’t actually use the word “sophisticated,” but what it describes fits the definition of “sophisticated” to a T. What it actually says is this: “Composite copy having t.-p. and half-title of 1st ed., 1859, and text of 2d ed., 1860.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What does it really mean, though, to add the title page from one edition onto the text of a different edition? Let’s start by defining what an edition is. An edition refers to the entire set of copies printed from one setting of type. After printing up the first edition of a book, it may or may not sell well. If the book does sell well, a printer may want to print more copies to sell. During the handpress period, this would most likely mean that he would have to set all the pages of type again. Below are images showing what it looks like to set lines of type using a composing stick (left), and a fully set page of type (right):

Chances are, in setting them by hand, the new set of pages will not exactly match the original set: words may end up on different pages, typos from the original edition may have been corrected, while new typos may have been introduced. But the changes can be so small that, unless you know just what to look for, it can be very easy to be taken in by a misleading title page.

In the case of the Origin of the Species, I wondered what those differences were the gave away the fact that we had a sophisticated copy. Since we don’t have an actual first edition copy to compare it to, I went searching online. I found Darwin Online, which, among other things, provides scans of the major early editions of Darwin’s writings. It also gives publication history of his major works. In the essay for On the Origin of the Species, it lists a number of textual differences between the first and the second editions. I will focus on one of them to illustrate how we can see that the text of our copy is, in fact, a second edition.

Page 20, line 11 of the first edition has a typo in the word “species,” misspelling it as “speceies.”

Page of text from book, with a red circle around the misspelled word s-p-e-c-e-i-e-s.

Misspelled word “speceies” from the first edition.

Page 20 of our copy looks completely different. As you can see, the typesetting turned out differently. In this edition, that same word doesn’t appear until line 14. And here it is spelled correctly.

Page of text with the same word circled in red, but appears lower on the page.

The same instance of “species” is spelled correctly in the second edition.

Why would anyone sophisticate a book? There are a couple of main reasons. One reason is profit. First editions have a special allure, which tends to make them in high demand by collectors. High demand = high selling price. Perhaps an unscrupulous bookseller had a second edition that wasn’t moving off the shop shelves as quickly as they would have liked. Perhaps they also came across a poor condition first edition that wouldn’t make as much money as one in fine condition. Well, perhaps that bookseller removed the title page from the first edition and bound it into the second edition copy. Caveat emptor*, as the saying goes.

Another reason for sophisticating a book is in order to achieve a “perfect,” or complete volume. The “perfecting” of books was a fashion among 18th and 19th century book collectors. Books deteriorate with use, and with highly used books, it is not uncommon for pages to become worn, torn, or removed entirely. In order to achieve a perfect volume, some collectors would cannibalize pages from another copy and bind them into their own copy. To read more about this practice, see this blog post from the Folger Shakespeare Library about the practice of sophisticating the First Folio. In the case of the Darwin that we have been examining here, it seems clear to me that this instance of sophistication was likely for the purpose of profit.

*So I won’t be accused of defamation of my fellow book lovers working in the book trade, I want to clarify that modern booksellers associations have adopted codes of ethics meant to establish trust in the antiquarian marketplace by laying out standard expectations for ethical business behavior. The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America in their Code of Ethics and Standards, for example, specifies in point 3 that “An Association member shall be responsible for the accurate description of all material offered for sale. All significant defects, restorations, and sophistications should be clearly noted and made known to those to whom the material is offered or sold. Unless both parties agree otherwise, a full cash refund shall be made available to the purchaser of any misrepresented material” (my emphasis added). So, a bookseller knowing her business should have identified and described any sophisticated copies as such. But even the experts can sometimes miss a clue! So, it never hurts to do your own research if you are purchasing book.

Works Cited

Charles Darwin. On the Origin of the Species By Means of Natural Selection. London: J. Murray, 1859 [ie, 1860]. Call number: QH365 .D259o

John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)