NHPRC Update: New Discoveries

Khrushchev waving

Khrushchev waving to onlookers on campus. [University Photograph Collection, RS 00, Dignitaries and Other Notable Visitors, Boxes 11-15]

The New Year has begun, and the NHPRC grant project to ingest all of the Special Collections and University Archives finding aids continues to move forward. At the end of last year, we hit the milestone of getting every Manuscript Collection with a finding aid entered into our CuadraStar SKCA archival catalog database – nearly 600 finding aids in all. We have now moved on to the University Archives finding aids, and have raised the total to 800. It is exciting to see this number climb every day.

As a result, I have gotten the chance to read many of the finding aids as they go into the database. This has taught me quite a bit about SCUA’s collections, both in terms of how they relate to my own interests and about things that I previously knew nothing about.

I was a Russian major as an undergraduate, and so was interested to come across materials that document Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s Iowa visit in 1959. As part of his visit, Khrushchev toured the Coon Rapids, Iowa farm of Roswell Garst, as well as the Swine Nutrition Research Center on the Iowa State campus.

Garst had previously hosted a Soviet delegation on his farm as part of an agricultural exchange in 1955. The visitors had come to the United States to learn about agricultural technology that would be applied in the Soviet Virgin Lands Campaign to increase agricultural output in the Soviet Union. Garst later traveled to the USSR himself as part of a return delegation, and it was on this trip that he met Khrushchev and personally invited him to visit Iowa.

Typescript of Khrushchev's speech in Des Moines, Sept. 22, 1959

Typescript of a speech given by Khrushchev at a dinner in his honor, held at Hotel Fort Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa, September 22, 1959. [Garst Family papers, MS 579, box 43, folder 52]

Materials related to Khrushchev’s visit to Iowa can be found in the papers of Roswell Garst (RS 21/7/12), John Chrystal (MS 422), President James H. Hilton (RS 2/10), Damon Von Catron (RS 9/11/55) and the Garst Family (MS 579). The fiftieth anniversary of Chairman Khrushchev’s visit was marked by a 2009 celebration in Des Moines and Coon Rapids, information about which can be found in the Khrushchev Committee 50th Anniversary Event records (MS 615).  Further materials related to agricultural relations between Iowa and the Soviet Union can be found in the Garst Company records (MS 642), the Garst and Thomas Hybrid Corn Company records (MS 173), and the Charles J. Hearst papers (MS 3).

As someone new to the University, and to Iowa in general, this I have enjoyed learning more about local history. I am looking forward to learning more about the SCUA collections as this project continues, as well as to what researchers find once we launch the new archival catalog at the end of this year.

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This project has been generously funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).



A Welcome to Rachael Acheson, Our Assistant University Archivist

Rachael Acheson began work as the Assistant University Archivist in SCUA on January 8, 2018. Her work will center around documentation of student life at ISU, including the collection of current and historical records from student organizations and  archiving University and student-run websites and social media pages with Archive-It. She will also assist with more general processing, outreach, and instruction.

In August 2016, Rachael earned her dual master’s degree in English (MA) and Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of South Carolina, where she concentrated on Archives and Special Collections, which allowed her to indulge both her fascination with rare books and textual studies along with discursive interests in transatlantic literature. While in her graduate program, Rachael taught freshman English courses and interned with the oral history and rare books departments. Rachael also had the opportunity to complete a number of amazing internships with the university libraries and local archives, including one that involved preparations to host a travelling exhibit from the Folger Shakespeare Library, which featured a First Folio.

Immediately before coming to ISU, Rachael worked in Cedar Falls, IA, where she completed a 10-month temporary assignment as the Special Collections and University Archives Librarian at University of Northern Iowa.

Here are a few fun facts about Rachael:

    1. She is currently very much out-of-practice, but she plays the harp and began college as a Harp Performance major. Mary Foss, the principal harpist of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and also Adjunct Professor at ISU, Drake University, and Central College, was the first of her many excellent harp teachers. As a result, Rachael had the opportunity to attend an ISU masterclass with Catrin Finch, formerly the Royal Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, when Rachael had been playing for only five months. After serving as the principle harpist for her college orchestra for four years, Rachael also performed briefly with the Central Iowa Symphony.
    2. She has a pewter-gray cat named Sterling, who enjoys standing on her head in the early hours of the morning and watching tv.
    3. She is a huge nerd about children’s and Young Adult (YA) literature, collects illustrated editions of Frances Hodgson Burnett novels, and has met Maggie Stiefvater twice.
    4. She spent a large portion of her childhood in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and so has some history of her own with Ames and likes to think she is in the process of getting better acquainted with the state as a whole.

Rachael’s literary cat, Sterling, posing for the camera.

She is excited to be back in the area. We’re excited too!


“Do[ing] Their Bit”: Iowa’s Role in the Great War opening Wednesday, January 17!

This week and next we’re installing our next exhibition, “Do[ing] Their Bit”: Iowa’s Role in the Great War, which opens Wednesday, January 17. This exhibition commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the United States involvement in World War I. The exhibition will remain open through the spring semester.

Lorraine and the rest of the Printing Services team installing our window display (Photograph by Rachel Seale).

The opening reception is Wednesday, January 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m in 198 Parks Library. Guest speakers, Jack Lufkin and Mark Heggen will show and discuss, Deeds Not Words, their historic video about the World War I Black Officers Training Camp at Fort Des Moines. Jack Lufkin is the curator at the Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center.  Mark Heggen is an independent filmmaker and ISU alumnus.

"Do[ing] Their Bit": Iowa's Role in the Great War. Opening reception, January 17, 2018, 6:30 p.m.in 198 Parks Library. Refreshments courtesy of Iowa State University Diversity and Inclusion

Contact Rachel Seale for questions about the exhibition or the reception.


A Welcome to Rosalie Gartner, Our Lead Processing Archivist

Rosalie Gartner on vacation last summer in Scotland (courtesy of Rosalie Gartner).

Rosalie Gartner joined the SCUA team on November 15, 2017 as the Lead Processing Archivist. She moved here from Boston, Massachusetts, where she has lived for the past 6 years. Originally from Colorado, she moved to Boston to attend Simmons College, where she earned her MS in Library Science with a concentration in Archives Management. After graduation, she worked at Emerson College for several years, doing everything from course instruction to processing to records management.  In her free time, she enjoys reading (of course), sewing, and traveling. Despite the extreme cold, Rosalie is happy to be here! And we are super ecstatic to have her here!!


A Brief History of Iowa State Bowl Games — Check Out Our Football Programs!

Last week, the Iowa State Cyclones football team won the Liberty Bowl over Memphis, 21-20, in a game that went down to the wire. Longtime Iowa State football fans probably know that this was Iowa State’s thirteenth bowl appearance and only its fourth bowl victory. What longtime fans may not know is that the ISU Library recently scanned a selection of football programs from the collection held by the University Archives and those are now available to view and download from the Library’s Digital Collections!

Gold colored football program titled "Ames vs. Kansas Aggies Turkey-Day Game"

Program for the Kansas State versus Iowa State football game held on November 26, 1925. Though this isn’t from a bowl game it is an example of one of the earliest programs in the collection. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs,  RS 24/6/0/5, Box 1, Folder 2]

 The 1971 Sun Bowl was Iowa State’s first bowl game. Coached by Johnny Majors, the Iowa State team lost to LSU by a score of 15-33. The program for the game provides some short biographies of the coaching staff and the players. How else would I know that one of defensive tackle Tom Wilcox’s hobbies is scuba diving?

Football program for the 1971 Sun Bowl.

This football program is for the 1971 Sun Bowl between Iowa State and LSU. The game was held on December 18, 1971, in El Paso, Texas. This program was prepared for Iowa State University, but a version must have been made for LSU. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs, RS 24/6/0/5, Box 3, Folder 3]

The following year, Johnny Majors took the team to the 1972 Liberty Bowl. Iowa State came up just short in this contest against Georgia Tech, 31-30. The program for this game is little more than a brochure. Aside from a short recap of the 1972 season and a short biography of the coach, the most interesting part is looking at the roster, which includes height, weight, and age of each of the players.

Football program for the 1972 Liberty Bowl

This program for the 1972 Liberty Bowl is essentially a small brochure. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs, RS 24/6/0/5, Box 3, Folder 5]

 Earle Bruce took over the coaching reigns after Majors left Iowa State and within a few years had the team back into bowl contention. Bruce coached the Iowa State squad to the Peach Bowl in 1977, a loss this time to NC State, and to the 1978 Hall of Fame Classic against Texas A&M. Iowa State lost the game by a score of 12-28, but they came away with this snazzy program.

Program cover for the 1978 Hall of Fame Classic football game

Football program for the 1978 Hall of Fame Classic that pitted Iowa State against Texas A&M. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs, RS 24/6/0/5, Box 5, Folder 4]

It would be over two decades before Iowa State would make another bowl appearance. The 2000 Cyclones squad, coached by Dan McCarney, would finally do what no other squad had previously done—win a bowl game. The Cyclones defeated Pittsburgh 37-29 in the 2000 Insight.com Bowl. Unlike the 1972 Liberty Bowl Program, the program for this game includes biographies on most players and coaches and contains a slew of statistics and recent team history. At 116 pages, it is also nearly three times the size of any of the previous bowl programs.

Football program for the 2000 Insight.com Bowl

Football program for the 2000 Insight.com Bowl between ISU and Pitt. The game was held in Phoenix, Arizona, on December 28, 2000. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs, RS 24/6/0/5, Box 15, Folder 1]

Prior to 2017, the most recent bowl the Cyclones participated in was the 2012 Liberty Bowl, a game the Iowa State squad lost to Tulsa by a score of 17-31. Unfortunately, the University Archives does not have a copy of this program in its collections. If you have an extra copy of this program, or any other Iowa State athletics programs that you might be willing to donate, give us a call!

You can find dozens of football programs on the Library’s Digital Collections website. Of course, you are also more than welcome to visit the Special Collections and University Archives and view the entire football program collection. We would be happy to see you!


Rare Books Highlights: The Future is Now

Blish, James. Year 2018. New York, Avon, 1957. Call number: PS3503.L64 Y4x 1957b

Welcome to the future! You probably thought we were already well into the future, considering that we have already passed many science fiction milestones designating THE FUTURE with its array of wonders or horrific dystopias, such as 1984, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and even 2015, the future year that Marty McFly visits in Back to the Future Part II. (Where are our flying cars and *real* hover boards?) If that is the case, then I’m afraid you were missing one other important science fiction future date: Year 2018! by James Blish.

Illustration of Jupiter, a man in a space suit, and a bridge across an expanse of colorful swirls of gases.

Paperback cover of the book “Year 2018!” by James Blish, published 1957.

Year 2018! was released in 1957 in paperback. It was first published in hardcover in England a year earlier under the title They Shall Have Stars and is the first of Blish’s Cities in Flight series. In a foreword, Blish writes that “Avon Publications has kindly allowed me to second-guess this novel, however, so the present version differs somewhat from the British edition.” It is a dystopian novel, which the blurb on the back of the book sums up this way:

In the year 2018…

Man undertook the most amazing project in human history–a bridge on Jupiter!

In that frozen, raging, gaseous Hell, the Spacemen built a colossal, monstrous bridge out of sheer Ice IV–30 miles high, 8 miles wide, and ever growing in its incredible length.

What was the purpose of this fantastic project?

What was the secret that lurked behind the stars?

Only one man knew–SENATOR WAGONER of Alaska, who controlled the U.S. Space Flight Corps–and possessed the most tormenting knowledge in the Universe!

I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued! Maybe some new reading material to add to your 2018 reading list?

ISU Special Collections holds this title as part of the Margaret Young Science Fiction Collection.


#TBT Parks Library in the winter

Here is a #Throwback Thursday photograph of the Parks Library in the winter. This image depicts the entrance facing Morrill Road, which is no longer a working entrance.

black-and-white wintry scene showing students in coats exiting and entering the library.

Parks Library at Iowa State University, undated. (University Photographs, box 258).

 

Today is December 21, Winter Solstice, and currently we do not have any snow on the ground. According to today’s forecast, we are expecting a wintry mix, so stay warm & travel safe everyone!


Spotlight on the Presidents’ Papers – Adonijah Welch

President Adonijah Welch, undated (University Photographs, RS 2/1/A).

In light of the debut of Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) “Ask Adonijah” piece in the Iowa State Daily earlier this month, I thought I’d put a spotlight on Iowa State University’s first president, Adonijah Welch, and his papers. Here are earlier SCUA blog posts written about him or his collection:

CyPix: Iowa State’s First President, Adonijah Welch

Now online: President Welch’s address to first graduating class

For the Morrill Act’s 150th Anniversary: Now Online – Papers of Iowa State’s First President, Adonijah Welch

Welch’s papers document his life at the university and the university’s early history.

Here’s a fun, undated clipping found in the Adonijah Welch Papers that suggests his method of arranging the trees on campus were from scattering potatoes around and planting a tree where a potato fell:

Clipping from the Sunday Register, undated (RS 2/1, box 1, folder 1).

Whether or not that story is a tall tale, we will likely never know.  Nevertheless, it is an entertaining story and there are surely more treasures and hidden facts to discover in the Adonijah Welch papers; just stop by Special Collections and University Archives to see for yourself!

 


The Butter Cow Lady Comes to Ames

As the year comes to a close, it is not unusual to reflect upon the events of the past year and give thanks for the gifts that were received. This can be important for archivists to do as well. In fact, many archives, including this one, rely heavily upon the generosity of our donors. At Iowa State, faculty offer their teaching and research files, campus units transfer administrative records, and others donate cherished materials from when they or their loved ones were students at Iowa State.

I have met and worked with many people this past year and as I think about those experiences, there are several memories that come immediately to mind. One that stands out for me was actually initiated over a year ago when I received a phone call from the son of Norma “Duffy” Lyon. For those readers not familiar with that name, you would probably recognize her if I referred to her as the Butter-Cow Lady. For decades, Norma’s butter sculptures were the star attractions of the Iowa State Fair.

Norma Lyon sculpting a butter cow

This picture shows Norma “Duffy” Lyon sculpting the 1998 Iowa State Fair butter cow. (Norma Lyon papers, RS 21/7/280, unprocessed)

Norma passed away in 2011 and, after several years of contemplating what to do with the materials she left behind, the family made the difficult decision to donate them to the archives at Iowa State University. I met with the family last year to gather items belonging to Norma and learned about the woman whose materials were being given to our care. As I reviewed the donation, her son and his wife shared memories of Norma and related stories of Norma’s youth that they had heard over the years. Then, this past summer, the family donated additional materials. The collection is not a large one, but it does include a wide variety of items such as original artwork, sketchpads, photographs, clippings, and ephemera.

Norma showing a horse

Norma Stong as a college student showing a horse during the late 1940s. (Norma Lyon papers, RS 21/7/280, unprocessed)

One of the more interesting items donated was a binder of photographs. These photographs showed the entire process that Norma used to create the 1998 Iowa State Fair butter cow. Another wonderful piece in the collection is a book containing college ephemera from Norma’s time as a student at Iowa State. I discovered that she graduated in 1950 with a degree in animal science (one of the first women to receive that degree from ISU) and had a love of art. As a student she took classes from Iowa State’s sculptor-in-residence, Christian Petersen. After graduation, Norma was able to combine those two passions and do something wonderful with them. The collection is not yet open to researchers, but during the coming year it will be processed and prepared for people to view.

One of the great joys of this profession is to be able to share unique collections like Norma’s with the public. The staff here in Special Collections and University Archives takes a lot of pride in our work, but the work that we do would be impossible without the support of our donors. If you are curious about materials you have and whether they are appropriate for the archives, feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.