Posted by: Kim | June 2, 2015

CyPix: A House of Books

"This is the House That Books Built." Library Display at the May 1928 VEISHEA. (University Photographs 22/12/G, box 1724)

“This is the House That Books Built.” Library display at the May 1928 VEISHEA. (University Photographs 22/12/G, box 1724)

The library’s contribution to the 1928 VEISHEA was the house made of books that you see above. The sign over the door reads “This is the House That Books Built.” June is Freshman Orientation month at Iowa State and here in the library we are preparing to welcome students and their families by showing them a bit of what we do to support their time at the University. This VEISHEA construction was the 1920s librarian’s way of showing the wealth of knowledge available at the campus library.

We don’t advocate the use of books as building blocks in displays, but we do appreciate the sentiment. As an archivist, I would say “These are the books that archives built” – underscoring that books and publications rely on archives as their foundation –  drawing from the observations, evidences, and human experiences found in records, manuscripts, photographs, and other archival materials.

As we welcome visitors over the next month, we encourage you to avail yourself of the wealth of books, databases, manuscripts, records, media, photographs, spaces, technology, and people eager to assist you in both Special Collections and elsewhere in the library.

Welcome!

Posted by: Kim | May 29, 2015

“Iowa Roads are Good Roads”

1936 Iowa Highway Map (MS 186, box 2)

1936 Iowa Highway Map (MS 186, box 2)

It’s road trip season and here in Special Collections we have a variety of interesting materials pertaining to highway travel and the development of road infrastructure in Iowa.

Read More…

Posted by: bishopae | May 26, 2015

CyPix: backyard BBQ

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday to remember those that died while serving in the armed forces. It also marks the unofficial beginning of summer, when many celebrate with backyard barbecues. While your celebration may not have looked quite like the photograph below of a 4-H exhibit, I’m sure you will sympathize with the quest to find more time to enjoy your backyard, if you have one–or maybe a park or nature preserve if you don’t.

Photo of a Home Grounds exhibit at the Iowa State Fair, taken in 1939. University Photograph Collection, Box 1326.

Photo of a Home Grounds exhibit at the Iowa State Fair, taken in 1939. Banner at top reads, “Home efficiency practices add time to enjoy your own back yard.” University Photograph Collection, Box 1326.

Wishing everyone living in the northern hemisphere a warm and happy summer!

To see more 4-H photographs, check out our Flickr album, or stop by Special Collections and University Archives and ask for photographs from RS 16/1 and 16/3.

“Before her yet lay her most hazardous journey, to undertake which required the cool, calculating bravery of a heart not insensible to fear, but inspired by that sublime determination which risks danger when duty calls…. Along the high approaches of open timber work, and over the body of the river, thirty feet above its roaring current, she must make her way, stepping from tie to tie. A single misstep would be fatal, and to add to the horror of her terrible venture, just as she reached the bridge her flickering light went out, leaving her in total darkness. Providence must have guided the footsteps of that intrepid girl, for she made her way over in safety.” (Kate Shelley Papers, MS 684, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library, Box 1, Folder 14)

Thus did an 1881 newspaper capture the hazards eighteen-year-old Kate Shelley faced as she crossed the Des Moines River on a trestle bridge to warn the Moingona, Iowa, depot of a washed-out bridge further down the tracks.

Des Moines River bridge crossed by Kate Shelley in 1881. University Photograph Collection RS 4/8/L, box 373.

Des Moines River bridge crossed by Kate Shelley in 1881. University Photograph Collection RS 4/8/L, box 373.

If you grew up in Iowa, you probably heard the story of railroad heroine Kate Shelley in elementary school. I did not grow up here, so I was excited to hear this nineteenth century teenager’s story and learn that we have her papers here in Special Collections (MS 684).

It was the night of July 6, 1881. A strong storm was blowing through central Iowa where Shelley lived on her family’s farm on Honey Creek near Moingona in Boone County. Heavy flooding of the creek had weakened the railroad bridge crossing it near the homestead. A pusher engine, used to push trains up steep inclines, had been sent to check the tracks for damage. While crossing Honey Creek, the bridge collapsed, sending the engine and its four-man crew plunging into the creek. Two men died, and two men were left stranded in the creek.

Top photo shows the depot at Moingona in 1876. The bottom photo may be the pusher engine that crashed into Honey Creek. University Photo Collection, RS 4/8/L, Box 373.

Top photo shows the depot at Moingona in 1876. The bottom photo may be the pusher engine that crashed into Honey Creek. University Photo Collection, RS 4/8/L, Box 373.

Shelley was at home when she and her mother heard the collapse of the bridge and the men’s cries for help. A regular express train, she knew, was scheduled to come through later that night, passing through Moingona, then over the Des Moines River and on to the collapsed bridge over Honey Creek. Against her mother’s protests, she decided she had to get to Moingona to warn the station. She first made her way down to the collapsed bridge and called down to one of the crewmembers, saying that she would get help. She then followed the train tracks to the Des Moines River bridge.

After the harrowing crossing, she did successfully reach the depot and gave the warning of the collapsed bridge. A rescue party was sent out to save the two men in the creek, Shelley once again leading the way to find a safe crossing to reach the men.

Stirring accounts of Shelley’s heroic deed, such as the one quoted from above, were printed in newspapers across the country, and she became a household name. She received many letters from admirers, especially from other young women, requesting photographs, information, and correspondence from this suddenly famous teenager.

One such writer, a J. M. Noble, writes in a letter dated “October 10, ’81” from Tupper’s Plains, Ohio, “Dear Madam:- It is with timidity that I request of you the pleasure and honor of your correspondence. I enjoy the society of a lady far more than that of a gentleman, and deeming you to be a lady of more than ordinary endowments I should feel proud to consider you as one of my lady friends.” Later in the letter, she provides references, in case Shelley is in doubt of her potential correspondent’s reputation: “In regard to my character, you can address Mr., or Mrs. M. Bowers the teachers at the Plain’s Seminary, or a young lady (whose name I will give if you desire) whom I have been intimately acquainted with for about two years, she will be married soon and is going to Kansas but she can give you more information, perhaps, that any one else, concerning my standing in society.”

Letter from J. M. Noble to Kate Shelley, MS 684, Box 1, Folder 22. (Click image to enlarge.)

Letter from J. M. Noble to Kate Shelley, MS 684, Box 1, Folder 22. (Click image to enlarge.)

The Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway Company was, of course, indebted to Shelley for the deed, for which they presented her with a watch and chain. Our collection includes this letter from E. O. Soule, Train Master in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Letter from E. O. Soule to Kate Shelley, MS 684, Box 1, Folder 6. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Letter from E. O. Soule to Kate Shelley, MS 684, Box 1, Folder 6. (Click on image to enlarge.)

He writes, “The enclosed ‘watch & chain’ you will please accept on behalf of ‘Valley City Division, NE 318, of the ‘Order of Railway Conductors’ as a sleight [sic] testimonial of our appreciation of your brave and noble deed of July 6th, and I wish to assure you that the name of ‘Miss Kate Shelley’ and the remembrance of her bravery will ever be cherished in the memory of every member of ‘Div. 318.'”

In 1901, the bridge that Shelley crossed was replaced by a new iron bridge, named the Kate Shelley High Bridge. Here is a picture below.

Kate Shelley High Bridge, built 1900-1901. University Photograph Collection, RS 4/8/L, Box 380.

Kate Shelley High Bridge, built 1900-1901. University Photograph Collection, RS 4/8/L, Box 380.

The Boone County Historical Society runs the Kate Shelley Memorial Park and Railroad Museum, marking the site of the original Moingona depot.

ISU Special Collections has several collections about Iowa railroads. Stop by to check out these great collections:

 

Posted by: Whitney | May 19, 2015

CyPix: Summertime and Softball

Women playing intramural softball, 1915. RS 22/7/[letter], box [number].

Women playing intramural softball, 1915. RS 22/7/G.

It’s summertime – well, maybe not officially, but in the academic world it is! Summer session classes have begun, and traffic on campus has drastically decreased since the spring semester ended. What’s a student to do with the extra time? One idea: get outside and pick up a new hobby. For well over 100 years, baseball and softball have been favorite summer sports. In the photo above, we see four college women playing intramural softball in 1915. Can you imagine what the game must have been like in those long skirts?

Another activity for those with some time to spare – student or not: come in to Special Collections and University Archives and exercise your brain! We have plenty of materials for research, just let us know what you’re interested in and we can help you out. See you soon!

Iowa State College (now University) was the site of the first Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit in the country. Established in 1932, the collaboration between the Iowa Fish and Game Commission (DNR) and Iowa State predated, by three years, the national cooperative program between Iowa State, eight other universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Biologic Survey. In 1941 the unit expanded to include fisheries research.

One of the first accomplishments of the fishery unit, directed by first unit leader Reeve M. Bailey, was the establishment of an Iowa State fish survey, which today’s fishermen will find easily accessible in its online form. Following Bailey, Kenneth Carlander served for nearly two decades as the second unit leader of the unit. During Carlander’s tenure, ISU offered two fishery-related graduate degrees: Fisheries Management (1947) and Fishery and Wildlife Management (1963). Carlander also had students in his “Principles in Fish Management” class take a census of fish in Lake Laverne.

1962 guest book for the Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Click to enlarge. (RS 9/10/4, box 4, folder 10)

1962 guest book for the Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Click to enlarge. (RS 9/10/4, box 4, folder 10)

The program has had international impact, drawing both students and visitors from around the world, as well as exchanging knowledge and informing practice in multiple countries.

Read More…

Posted by: Kim | May 12, 2015

CyPix: Weighing Duroc Pigs

A. W. Dahlgran work with an FFA high school student on his Duroc pig project. Undated. (University Photographs RS 9/6/F box 544)

A. W. Dahlgran works with a high school student on his Duroc pig project. Undated. (University Photographs RS 9/6/F box 544)

The caption on the back of the photograph reads:

Those preparing to teach vocational agriculture assist high school pupils to improve their home projects as part of their training program. This agricultural education student, A. W. Dahlgran, left, is assisting one of his pupils in the weight of his Duroc Pigs at weaning time. An analysis of these weight records shows the value of management practices followed. The modern movable type hog house was built in the high school farm mechanics class from plans secured from Iowa State College.

Fun fact: the champion boar raised last year on the Allen E. Christian Swine Teaching Farm was a Duroc!

The teacher education program in agricultural life sciences is one of the older programs on campus. Begun in 1911, as part of Agricultural Education, the program prepares educators for teaching high school agriculture as well as other career options. Special Collections has many photographs of student teachers working with FFA (formerly “Future Farmers of America”) and other agriculture students in University Photographs RS 9/6. Here is a sampling of some of our collections related to swine, swine husbandry, and agricultural education:

  • 4-H Youth Development Records (RS 16/3/4)
  • Iowa Hog Cholera Eradication Committee Records (MS 202)
  • Iowa Pork Producer’s Association Records (MS 158)
  • J. Marion Steddom Papers (RS 21/7/65)
  • National Swine Grower’s Council Records (MS 235)
  • Paul C. Taff Papers (RS 16/3/56)
Posted by: Whitney | May 8, 2015

National Agri-Marketing Association

Another collection is now available for research in Special Collections and University Archives! The National Agri-Marketing Association Records, MS 540, contains the administrative files, conference and event materials, and chapter files of the non-profit professional organization. The collection includes correspondence, meeting minutes, committee records, directories, clippings, conference records, newsletters, chapter reports, photographs, negatives, slides, videotapes, an audio reel, and audiocassettes.

Meeting on women's role in agri-marketing, or "How to Succeed in Agri-Business - Without Being a Man," 1981 circa. Box 41, Folder 29.

Meeting on women’s role in agri-marketing, or “How to Succeed in Agri-Business – Without Being a Man,” 1981 circa. Box 41, Folder 29.

One of the biggest roles of NAMA (est. 1957) is to put on conferences and other professional development events for its members – agri-marketing professionals and students. Their first seminar, “Farmarketing,” was held in 1960 in Chicago, back when the organization was called the Chicago Area Agricultural Advertising Association. Since then, the Agri-Marketing Conference has been held every year all around the United States. Other events they have held include the Outlook Conference, the Marketing Management Conference, the Issues Forum, and various tours and short courses, information and photos of which can be found throughout the collection (see Series 2 in the finding aid).

I want to know why there is a robot in this photo as much as you do. Agri-Marketing Conference, 1981 or 1982. Box 41, Folder 18.

Agri-Marketing Conference, 1981 or 1982 (I want to know why there is a robot in this photo as much as you do). Box 41, Folder 18.

Enjoying a golf outing at the 1984 Agri-Marketing Conference. Box 41, Folder 24.

Enjoying a golf outing at the 1984 Agri-Marketing Conference. Box 41, Folder 24.

More information can be found in the collection, along with images, audio, and video. Related collections include National Agri-Marketing Association. Iowa Chapter Records (MS 57), National Agri-Marketing Association. Midwest Chapter Records (MS 64), National Agri-Marketing Association. Missouri/Kansas Chapter Records (MS 83), and National Agriculture Day Records (MS 66), all of which are worth seeing if this new collection strikes your fancy. Stop by sometime!

Posted by: bishopae | May 5, 2015

CyPix: moving up

It’s that time of year again! The time for donning caps and gowns if you are a senior, or if not, at least setting aside those textbooks and pencils for a nice …bonfire. A beanie bonfire, to be exact.

Photograph of a large freshman beanie replica burning in the bonfire during the Moving Up Ceremony, 1926. University Photograph Collection box 1702.

A large freshman beanie replica burns in the bonfire during the Moving Up Ceremony, 1926. University Photograph Collection box 1702.

From 1916 to 1934, freshmen at Iowa State College were required to wear “freshmen beanies” or “prep caps”  on campus. After suffering through a year of harassment that the caps brought upon them, freshman were quite happy to ditch them at the end of the year. Beginning in 1923, students held a mock-graduation, the Moving Up Ceremony, during VEISHEA celebrations, at which time seniors became alumni and everyone else moved up a grade. The freshmen burned their beanies in a roaring bonfire. By 1934, the caps were no longer worn and the moving up ceremony faded due to lack of interest.

We’re lucky to have a surviving beanie in the University Archives at ISU. It belonged to Robert W. Breckenridge. Robert saved his freshman beanie from 1918 instead of burning it, and it now resides in the archives.

Freshman beanie belonging to Robert W. Breckenridge, circa 1918. From University Archives Artifact Collection, 2002-189. It even has it's own fancy box and hat stand!

Freshman beanie belonging to Robert W. Breckenridge, from 1918. From University Archives Artifact Collection, 2002-189. It even has it’s own fancy box and hat stand!

More images of the Moving Up Ceremony can be found in the Student Life album on our Flickr page.

(Note: A correction was made to an earlier version of this post. The earlier version had misidentified a felt hat belonging to Iris Macumber (RS 21/7/228) as a freshman beanie. Oops! Freshmen beanies were required for men only. This hat shown above is a true example of the freshman beanie, and the photograph and information has been updated and corrected.)

Posted by: Kim | May 1, 2015

Happy 20th birthday Reiman Gardens!

Bird house in Reiman Gardens (RS 5/7/3/0/5, box 1, folder 1)

Bird house in Reiman Gardens (RS 5/7/3/0/5, box 1, folder 1)

 

Educate, enchant, and inspire an appreciation of plants, butterflies, and the beauty of the natural world.

– Reiman Gardens Mission Statement

Reiman Gardens turns 20 this year. The university’s old horticultural garden (est. 1914), the predecessor to Reiman Gardens, was greatly expanded and moved to its present location to serve as an attractive entrance to the Iowa State University campus. Construction began in 1994 and the garden was officially dedicated on September 16, 1995.

Reiman Gardens is the largest public garden in Iowa.

Read More…

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