National Poetry Month: Ada Hayden

Ada Hayden in College pasture, 1926. RS 13/3/33, Box 4, Folder 4.

Ada Hayden in College pasture, 1926. RS 13/3/33, Box 4, Folder 4.

If you are from Ames, chances are you’ve heard of Ada Hayden. You’ve probably taken a walk through Ada Hayden Heritage Park, or you may have visited the Ada Hayden Herbarium on ISU campus. “But Poetry Month?” you may be thinking. “Ada Hayden?”

Hayden was born in 1884 in Ames, IA, and attended Iowa State College (University), where she worked closely with Professor of Botany Louis Pammel. She graduated in 1908 with a B.S. in Botany and later became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from Iowa State in 1918. She spent her career at ISC as an Assistant Professor of Botany and was named Curator of the Herbarium from 1947 until her death in 1950. As curator, she collected and preserved plant specimens, but she also had spent much time drawing many botanical illustrations and photographing plants in their native habitats. She spent much of her later career working for the preservation of the few remaining native prairie areas in the state, and Hayden Prairie in Howard County is named in her honor.

Rosa arkansana (Prairie Rose), Ada Hayden Digital Collection.

Rosa arkansana (Prairie Rose), Ada Hayden Digital Collection.

While she is best known for her work in prairie preservation, she also did quite a bit of writing. Most of her writings were articles on botany or prairie preservation, but in her Papers here in the University Archives is one rather lovely poem titled “The Iowa Rose.” It begins,

Beyond the Mississippi

Where the slow Missouri flows,

In the land of the Des Moines river

There blooms the Iowa Rose;

Not in the early springtime,

Not when the gold leaves fall,

But the summer’s radiant sunshine

The rose from the rosebud calls.

You can read the entire poem by clicking on the image below.

"The Iowa Rose" by Ada Hayden, undated. RS 13/5/55, box 1/folder 22.

“The Iowa Rose” by Ada Hayden, undated. RS 13/5/55, box 1/folder 22.

You can see slides of Hayden’s plant specimens in our Digital Collections. To see what else can be found in her papers, check out the collection’s finding aid.


CyPix: Wintertime Fun

Ski001

Students skiing during Winter Carnival, 1949. University Photographs, RS 22/7, Box 1670

‘Tis the season for cold and snow. We may not have any snow at the moment, but it will come. And when it does, some people will hole up inside as much as possible, and others will run outside to play in it. The people in the above photo chose the latter. Skiing was one of the many activities offered during Iowa State’s Winter Carnival, held in the school’s earlier days. This particular photo was taken during the 1949 carnival, held in late January. Other activities included toboggan races, ice skating, and tug-of-war… on ice.

Rather be inside? Stop by and explore any of our available collections while enjoying a great view of wintry campus in our reading room!


CyPix: Late Night Get-together

[Eight home management students catch up on the events of the day.] (1953)(University Photographs box 946)

[Eight home management students catch up on the events of the day.] (1953)(University Photographs box 946)

The University Photographer added this to the back of the above photograph:

Every evening just about 10, you might see a gathering just like this in each of the four home management houses on the campus. For this is the time to get together to talk over the days happening and have an evening snack.  Left to right, seated, are Bonnie Rae Kundel, home economics education senior; Thelma Roos, home economics education, senior, Holland; Phyliis Sliron, textiles and clothing senior, Chicago; Marcia Wagner, home economics education senior, Muscatine; Lois Wilson, Child development senior, Beresford S.D.; and Ruth Littlefield, house advisor. Standing, Eleanor Peterson, household equipment senior, Eagle Grove, and Doris Follett, home economics senior, Nevada.

To learn more about home management houses at Iowa State, check out the collections we have in record group RS 12/5 (Department of Family Environment) and the Home Management House Program administrative files (RS 12/5/5). We’ve also posted previously on home management “house babies” and the establishment of Domestic Economy program.


CyPix: Did you say archives?

October is American Archives Month, when archivists around the country spread the word about how exciting, informative, even life-changing archives can be. The two images today are from past events when the Special Collections Department invited people to get a deeper view of what archives are all about.

This first image shows the Special Collections Open House from 1971, only two years after the department opened. Visitors are viewing archival documents in display cases.

Special Collections Open House, October 31, 1971. University Archives Photograph Collection box 2053.

Special Collections Open House, October 31, 1971. University Archives Photograph Collection Box 2053.

The second photo is a little more recent, the History Day event from 2001, where students came from area schools to get the behind-the-scenes tour of what goes on in Special Collections and learn how to do archival research.

Students examining documents from archival collection during the Special Collections History Day, February 22, 2001. University Archives Photograph Collection, box 2047

Students examining documents from archival collections during the Special Collections History Day, February 22, 2001. University Archives Photograph Collection Box 2047.

Wondering how to do archival research yourself? Please check out the new Archives Overview LibGuide created by our department’s Digital Archivist, Kim Anderson! It answers questions like, What are archives? How do I find archival collections? and, How do I care for my own archives?

As always, we would love to see you in our department. Stop by and see us!


Alumni Spotlight: Fan-Chi Kung (1926)

Fan-Chi Kung studying in his room, undated. (RS 21/7/49)

Fan-Chi Kung studying in his room, undated. (RS 21/7/49)

Here in Special Collections we have a number of alumni scrapbooks and photograph albums. These materials provide insight to what it was like to be a student at Iowa State University across the decades. Fan-Chi Kung was a Horticulture student (B.S. 1926) originally from Beijing (then Peking). His scrapbook is full of pictures of himself and friends both on campus, around Ames, and travels around the United States.

“Days at Ames” – Fan-Chi Kung and friends posing in front of a house, possibly 410 Welch Avenue. (RS 21/7/49, undated)

Chinese students currently comprise about half of the international student population at ISU. Enrollment and admission statistics were not kept for international students during the time Kung attended, but we do know that ISU’s chapter of the Cosmopolitan Club started forming in 1907. The “Cosmo Club,” as it was known colloquially, was founded to “encourage friendship, respect and understanding among men and women of all nationalities.”

Cosmopolitan Club, 1924. (University Photographs RS 22/3, box 1617) [Bonus: there's some remnants of

Cosmopolitan Club, 1924. (University Photographs RS 22/3, box 1617)[Bonus: there’s some remnants of “Beat Drake” graffiti on the columns behind the group]

While at ISU, Kung was President of the Cosmopolitan Club and President of the Ames Chinese Students’ Club. He held international service roles as Secretary of the Chinese Association for Advancement of Science, American Branch, and the Agriculture Society of China, American Branch.

Kung was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1929. He is buried in the Iowa State University Cemetery. His grave marker reads “Above all nations is humanity,” the motto of the Cosmopolitan Club.


CyPix: Back to classes

Students waiting outside the bookstore during Freshman Days at Iowa State, 1954.

Students waiting outside the bookstore during Freshman Days at Iowa State, 1954. University Archives Photograph Collection, RS 7/2, Box 454.

Long lines at the college bookstore have been a hallmark of the start of term for many years. The fall semester just began yesterday here at ISU, so for the past week students have been moving onto campus, buying textbooks, obtaining ID cards, and many other tasks that frequently involve standing in line.

Here at Special Collections and University Archives, we wish you a good semester! Remember to check out our resources for your research papers and projects. Stop by and see us on the fourth floor of Parks library–we’ll be happy to help you find interesting things for your projects!


A computer picked my date: IBM computer dances of the 1960s

With the plethora of dating websites out there–OKCupid, Match, eHarmony, and even some more niche sites like FarmersOnly or Geek2Geek–you may think that the idea of having a computer match you up with a date developed in tandem with the internet age. Not so. At least since the 1960s, computer programmers have been working on algorithms to match people up. Take, for example, the IBM computer dances held at ISU in the 1960s.

The first dance was held October 12, 1963, in the ballrooms of the Memorial Union. It was sponsored by the Ward System, the residence organizations for off-campus students. As with online dating sites, students who wished to participate in the dance filled out long (120 questions) questionnaires in advance. Staff at the Iowa State Computation Center transferred the answers to punch cards that were fed into a computer for processing.

Students holding punch cards for the IBM Computer Dance in 1963.

Students holding punch cards for the IBM Computer Dance in 1963. From University Photographs Collection, box 1647.

According to one Des Moines Register article from October 4, 1963, “After basic sorting, according to male and female, short and tall, plump and thin, younger and older, the computer will consider such ingredients of compatibility as: What subjects each student likes to talk about; preferences in books, television programs and movies; their religion, politics, and family background; academic ability, dating preferences and personality traits” (from the Clair George Maple Papers, RS 6/2/12, box 5, folder 10).

The system gave each student three matches, the first match being the student’s “ideal partner” from the group of participants, and the dance was divided into three sessions, to allow all of the matches to meet.

And what did the participants think of the event? All-in-all, it got good reviews. According to an Iowa State Daily article from October 15, 1963, “Several WRA [Women’s Residence Association] and sorority social chairmen reported general pleasure expressed by girls attending the dance. Some girls have accepted dates with their matches; others said they enjoyed the evening but did not particularly care to continue the relationship” (from the Clair George Maple Papers, RS 6/2/12, box 5, folder 10). There were even reported to be four couples that got engaged as a result of the dance. (See image below.)

Newspaper clipping, likely from the Iowa State Daily from 1964, describing four engagements that came out of the IBM Computer Dance in 1963. From the Clair George Maple Papers, RS 6/2/12, box 5, folder 10.

Newspaper clipping, likely from the Iowa State Daily from 1964, describing four engagements that came out of the IBM Computer Dance in 1963. From the Clair George Maple Papers, RS 6/2/12, box 5, folder 10. [click for larger image]

And just like those who have sat through terrible online dates, there were some who complained about their IBM dance experience. Complaints ranged from incompatibility, to being paired with wallflowers, to personal jabs. Most notably, one male described his date as “‘not only built like an elephant but danced like an elephant.'”

As you might expect, such a novelty as computer-picked dance partners drew national attention, and the event was covered by The New York Times, Associated Press, United Press International, the Wall Street Journal, and Life magazine, as well as WOI-TV, Omaha TV, and ABC-TV.

After that much press, other colleges and universities across the country were eager to get in on the novelty, too, so the Iowa State Computation Center agreed to process the punched questionnaire cards sent in by other universities who wanted to hold their own computer dances.

A card sorter like the one shown here in the Iowa State Computation Center would have been used to sort the punch cards for the dance. From the University Photographs Collection, box 439.

A card sorter like the one shown here in the Iowa State Computation Center would have been used to sort the punch cards for the dance. From the University Photographs Collection, box 439.

For more on the history of the IBM computer dances, check out this Iowa State Daily article. Documentation of the dances can also be found in the Clair George Maple Papers (RS 6/2/12) (see box 5, folder 10 and map case items), newly processed at Special Collections and University Archives. Stop in and see us!


“Life in Iowa”

In 2002, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and ISU Philosophy Professor Nancy Bevin founded “Life in Iowa,” an undergraduate community-based internship and academic program that combined classroom study of Midwestern culture and identity along with experiential learning through internship, service, and community research in an Iowa community. The course focused on issues and concerns specifically related to the cultural and natural landscape of Iowa.

The program had several desired outcomes: 1) cultivating the personal, social, and ethical growth of students; 2) renewing Iowa’s leadership via encouraging students to stay in Iowa after graduation and preparing students for professional and civic life; and 3) fostering sustainable quality of life and ongoing partnerships between Iowa State University and communities in Iowa (Brochures, RS 16/5/5, box 1, folder 9. See also Leopold Center Competitive Grant Report M02-2003).

Diagram of 2002 Life in Iowa partner sites

“Life in Iowa Communities – Summer 2002” (RS 16/5/5, box 1, folder 4)

The Life in Iowa program supported ISU students via paid internships and work in a variety of areas. Each student had to complete 300 intern hours and 100 hours of community service during the 10 weeks of their summer placement. Some of the projects for 2003 involved:

CSA Life in Iowa participants with onions

Life in Iowa participants, L-R: Betty Wells (faculty mentor), Tim Landrgaf (One Step at a Time CSA co-owner), and Ann Holste (student participant), 2003 (RS 16/5/5 box 3, folder 2)

  • Organizing and running a fishing club for local youth (Adams County)
  • Revitalizing kestrel nest boxes (Green County)
  • Interviewing ESL students about their immigration/refugee experiences (Henry County)
  • Developing a website for a visitor center (Allamakee County)
  • Researching and describing historical artifacts (Montgomery County)
  • Coordinating a community garden (Dallas County)

“As you know, an important goal of this program is to encourage ISU graduates to stay in Iowa and build a future here. At the same time, we know that life presents each of us with a series of choices, many – if not most – of them unexpected, and so we have asked not for promises, but rather for newly explored possibilities of vocation and community, of leadership and service in Iowa. What I can say with certainty is that wherever these young persons someday will live will be made better for their presence…and that without exception, the communities where they lived and worked this summer will always welcome them home.” – from Nancy Blevin’s remarks at the “Life in Iowa Celebration,” September 8, 2002. (RS 16/5/5 box 1, folder 3)

A display of brochures.

An array of publications about the Life in Iowa program and its interns. (RS 16/5/5 box 1, folder 8)

By 2004, over 78 students had participated in the program in over 33 counties (“Life in Iowa” website). The program closed in 2007.

To learn more about the Life in Iowa program, see the Life In Iowa Internship Program Records (RS 16/5/5). Information about service learning and related initiatives can be found in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching Administrative Records (RS 06/10/03).


CyPix: Where did that bird go…?

Iowa State students on campus watching for birds, May 1925. University Photographs Collection, Box 608, Folder 2.

Iowa State students on campus watching for birds, May 1925. University Photographs Collection, Box 608, Folder 2.

These knickerbocker-clad Iowa State students from 1925 are scanning the trees for birds. The Iowa State College Catalogue for 1925-26 lists a course in “Bird Study” in the Zoology and Entomology Department. The class focused on “Identification, habits, and economic importance of Iowa birds. Birds of the vicinity will be observed under guidance.”

More photos of students engaged in wildlife study can be found in our Animal Ecology Flickr album.


Campus Humor: The Green Gander

On April Fool’s Day, 1915, a humor magazine was started on campus. The Green Gander was published by the men’s journalism honorary society, Sigma Delta Chi and included jokes and anecdotes that poked fun at prominent university and community figures. Perhaps needless to say, the magazine was a success. Because women weren’t allowed to work on The Green Gander, they started their own humor magazine, The Emerald Goose, which was also a hit. In 1922, the two magazines “married” and published under the Green Gander name.

Cover of the first issue of The Green Gander, April 1915.

Cover of the first issue of The Green Gander , April 1915.

Some examples of the humor in the earlier years of the magazine are as follows:

April 1915:

Waiter: “Sauerkraut, Hungarian goulash, Irish stew or French toast?”

Student: “Ham and eggs. I’m neutral.” (Reference to WWI)

Music Prof. (after recital): “Well, what do you think of my execution?”

Patron: “I’m for it.”

Homecoming issue, 1937:

“Higher Education: Learning to yawn with your mouth closed.”

The Green Gander was published quarterly until its last issue in April 1960. By the mid-1950s, the publication had become more risque, including “pin-up” style portraits of female students. It was still immensely popular with students, but the administration was less enthused. Complaints about its contents were submitted from off-campus individuals, and the Journalism Department was concerned about the lack of professionalism evident in the magazine by its students. Here are a couple of examples of the humor from these later editions:

December 1958 issue:

“I see you are not a gentleman,” scorned the woman on the street corner as the wind swept her skirts overhead. “No,” he replied, “and I see you aren’t either.”

“Love is blind so a fellow has to feel his way around.”

The November 1959 issue of the Green Gander. The cover format was new (and less comical) for this issue.

The November 1959 issue of The Green Gander. The cover format was new (and less comical) for this issue.

The editorial board made a change in 1959, and the November issue of that year had an entirely different – and more serious – tone. Topics in this issue included “Iowa State’s Cultural Opportunities,” “Marriage and College – How is it Done?” and “How to Make a Decision.” It still maintained a somewhat humorous slant, but nothing like before. Readers were not so fond of this new format and hung an effigy of the new editor on central campus. The April 1960 edition made another attempt at humor, but there was no recovery from that November issue. The publication was laid to rest in October 1960.

The final issue of The Green Gander, April 1960. One last attempt at humor.

The final issue of The Green Gander, April 1960.

Much of the information in this post was taken from here, where you can read more about it and Iowa State’s past traditions. Want to read The Green Gander for yourself? Stop in and ask to see some copies (dare I say, “have a gander” at them), call number LD2546 G74x. We look forward to seeing you!