About the State Historical Society > News > 2009

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release October 12, 2009

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Open House, “History for Lunch,” at Iowa City’s Centennial Building

State Historical Society offers public tours and lunch-time lecture Oct. 21

(IOWA CITY) – The public is invited to tour the State Historical Society of Iowa’s Centennial Building in Iowa City next week as part of a “Sharing Our Harvest” celebration.

SHSI will have an open house 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, at the Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue in Iowa City. Admission is free and open to the public.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to visit the Centennial Building and learn more about the State Historical Society’s resources,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson said. “Many thousands of Iowans visit the building every year for a variety of reasons, including genealogical and scholarly research.”

Visitors can peruse State Historical Library books, newspapers and genealogical resources, as well as view diaries, posters, maps, scrapbooks and other primary historical research resources on display from SHSI’s Special Collections.

In addition, editors of the scholarly journal, “The Annals of Iowa,” and SHSI’s popular history magazine, “Iowa Heritage Illustrated,” will be available to answer questions about these publications and Iowa history research projects currently underway.

Special tours of the Conservation Lab and rare materials will be offered at 11 a.m., noon, and 2 and 3 p.m., and visitors can also view an exhibition of historical images taken by A.M. “Pete” Wettach, an agricultural photographer from Mount Pleasant.

At noon, SHSI Interim Administrator and State Curator Jerome Thompson will deliver a “History for Lunch” lecture, “The Museum Curator and the Meskwaki.”

The lecture will focus on Edgar Harlan’s relationship with the Meskwaki Tribe in the early part of the 20th century. Harlan served as curator of the Iowa Historical Department from 1908 to1937, and championed the development of the State Museum collections.

His relationship with the Meskwaki Tribe helped him pioneer an early form of diversity training for Des Moines elementary school teachers known as the “Indian Life School.”

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The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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