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TOPApril-May 2010 

Iowa City SHSI Library Provides Valuable Resources for UI Students
The State Historical Society of Iowa Library and Special Collections in Iowa City often engages and involves students in its work, to the benefit of both.
For most University of Iowa students, seeking an internship can be daunting. But UI students enrolled in Museum Studies are able to contribute both to their learning and to SHSI by fulfilling their internship duties with SHSI. Three students-Nathan Pasker, Anne Simms, and Kate Sorofman-have spent the Spring semester working in Special Collections in Iowa City, contributing their time to improvements in the map collection, transcribing oral history interviews, and processing small archival collections.
Additionally, UI professor Laura Rigal, American Studies and English, challenged her students to investigate the cultural and environmental history of Ralston Creek, part of the watershed of the Iowa River. Using SHSI resources, these students will lead two public forums: Tuesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 29. Both forums will be 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Finally, Professor Linda Kerber of the History Department has engaged her undergraduate colloquium students in Iowa history research and hopes to unravel some of Iowa's "history mysteries." Her students will present their findings Monday, May 3, from 2:30-5 p.m. Seating will be limited at these events.
The SHSI Library and Special Collections is located in the Centennial Building at 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City. All events are free and open to the public, though seating is limited. Call (319) 335-3916 for more information. 
Governor Signs USS Iowa Museum Resolution

Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed a resolution April 12 to preserve the battleship USS Iowa and establish it as a tourist destination. The signing took place in the State Capitol near the USS Iowa model.
The Department of Cultural Affairs will oversee the 10-member committee to be appointed by the Governor. The committee will be charged with raising nearly $20 million, which will fund environmental preparation, educational program development and implementation, program launch, site restoration materials and more.
The Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square is the leading organization working to place the battleship USS Iowa ("IOWA") in the Naval Shipyard Mare Island, Vallejo, Calif., located in San Francisco Bay, just 30 miles from San Francisco. 

Nearly three football fields long, USS Iowa is one of the largest floating objects in San Francisco Bay. Once complete, visitors will be allowed to tour many areas of the USS Iowa as they walk the nearly 46,000 square feet of teak decks. Guests may visit USS Iowa's enormous engine rooms, tour her huge galley that fed 3,000 sailors a day, sit inside her sophisticated gunnery and fire control rooms and, of course, visit the huge guns that could hurl a 2,700 pound shell almost 24 miles. Everything about the battleship, with an armor belt over 16-inches thick, is enormous. A tour aboard the USS Iowa will be an exploration and learning experience powered by one of the most enduring, powerful and sophisticated ships ever conceived.
For more information on the project, visit www.battleshipiowa.org.
Top photo: Governor Chet Culver greets Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Director Patrick Palmersheim during the signing event.
Bottom photo: Governor Chet Culver signs the resolution surrounded by supporters.
Students Become "Experts" on Iowa History

For fourth grade teacher Josalynn Agnew, having students teach each other about Iowa history has been a lesson in learning.


It's called "peer teaching," and gets students involved in multiple projects with their peers and gives them an opportunity to teach among themselves, as well as to their parents and other adults. Students from Agnew's class at Des Moines' Monroe Elementary have been learning about Iowa history at the State Historical Building since early March.


Museum Education Coordinator Sarah Macht did extensive presentations with the class about each exhibit and how and why researching artifacts is important. Students then created posters about the mammoth, determined what physical and behavioral characteristics helped the animals of the prairie survive and created their own animals that could survive the elements of the prairie.


"The main project is having each student pick a study of interest in which they want to become experts," Agnew said. "Each student is currently working on a research paper about their topic and will create a project to show their learning. On April 30, we'll go back to the Historical Building and present our research on the stage to parents, museum staff, school staff, and each other."


Earlier this year, Agnew received a $500 grant to research the effect of peer teaching from the Hoenny Center for Research and Development in Teaching. Her goal for this project was to get the students excited about learning and to question the world around them. And it worked. The students are always excited to visit the Historical Building and energized when they leave. They are constantly asking questions and digging for more information, Agnew said.


"History was never my big subject, but this has really opened up my mind to it," said one student.


"I would recommend it to anyone, even adults," said another.


Not only does the class study history at the museum, they also hold reading and math classes (sometimes right in the center of the atrium). Parent volunteers help out as chaperones during museum visits.


"I love watching parents become involved in their student's learning as that is an aspect of teaching I normally don't get to see," Agnew said. "I also know several students are doing additional research at home with their parents as they come to school telling me what they learned the night before."   


"Everyone at the Historical Building has always given us the red carpet treatment as I stomp in with my fourth graders," she added. "They have not only shared their museum with us, but also their knowledge and expertise. In all my years of teaching, this is one of the most beneficial projects I have ever worked on. We all become students - parents and myself included - and learn from each other."


The students will present their work Friday, April 30, 2010, at noon in the auditorium of the State Historical Building at 600 E. Locust, Des Moines.



Celebrate Historic Preservation Month May 20-21

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), in partnership with the Clinton Historic Preservation Commission, Clinton County Historical Society and Preservation Iowa, will present two days of historic preservation workshops and a preservation awards ceremony May 20-21.


Reserve Thursday, May 20 for a State Historic Tax Credit Workshop from 8-11 a.m. and 1-5 p.m. Historic properties of all shapes and sizes can benefit from the State Tax Credit Program. This workshop will cover how to complete a state historic tax credit application.


Also, the annual awards ceremony will be Thursday from 11-11:45 a.m. The 2010 Certified Local Government grants and Cultural and Entertainment Districts will be announced, as well as Preservation Projects of Merit (State Historic Tax Credit Program) and Preservation at its Best Awards (Preservation Iowa).


Thursday concludes with a tour of St. Irenaeus Church in Clinton, and a reception at the Clinton County Historical Society.


"National Register In-Depth" will be Friday from 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Want to take advantage of all that Historic Preservation has to offer? The first step in preservation is getting a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This all-day session will take you through the process. A must-attend for those wishing to nominate a property! At the workshop, State Historical Society staff will help participants understand what it means to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, guide them in researching a historic property, explain the procedures for nominating a property to the National Register, and clarify each question on the registration form.


Unless otherwise noted, events will take place at the Ericksen Community Center, 1401 11th Avenue North in Clinton. Cost for May 20 is $20 (plus $10 for lunch, optional); and $35 for May 21 (plus $10 for lunch, optional). Registration for both days is $45, plus lunch fees. Registration forms are due May 6, 2010. For more information, contact Kathy Gourley at Kathy.Gourley@iowa.gov or (515) 281-3989.



2010 Marks 100th Anniversary of Powered Flight in Iowa

A new exhibit of State Historical Society of Iowa documentary collections opening soon in the State Historical Society of Iowa Library and Archives Reading Room will honor the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Iowa while highlighting aviation-related research materials in the SHSI collection.


The exhibit will feature holdings from the State Archives, Special Collections, and Historical Library. Included will be minutes and ephemera from the Iowa Aeronautical Commission; correspondence and aviation related documents from the papers of Governors Harding, Hammill and Beardsley; photographs; materials from the Gerbracht manuscript collection; and photocopied newsprint from the Historical Library's microfilmed newspaper collection. 


The exhibit will show what the State Archives, Special Collections and Historical Library have to offer any researcher who is interested in Iowa's rich history of flight. On May 10, 1910, a plane piloted by Art Hartman took off from a section of the Burlington Golf Club and became the first powered airplane to leave Iowa soil. For many years, the State Historical Museum has had on display three early airplanes: the Solbrig-Benoist (ca. 1917), the Curtiss Pusher (ca. 1911) and the Bleriot XI (ca. 1909). The "Wings Over Iowa" exhibit is located in the atrium of the building.


The State Historical Society of Iowa Library and Archives Reading Room is in the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The Reading Room is open 12:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday. More information is available at www.iowahistory.org.



Photo: On September 4, 1914, Lincoln Beachey raced his biplane around the Iowa State Fair racetrack against a Duesenberg auto driven by Eddie Rickenbacker, who later became a WWI Flying Ace. Beachey, flying as close as 10 feet to Rickenbacker's auto, agreed to circle the track four times to Rickenbacker's three, giving him a head start of one lap. Rickenbacker won the race. His three laps were clocked at 1:45 4/5, Beachey's four laps were clocked at 1:50. His airplane was a Beachey-Eaton Pusher powered by a Gnome 80 hp Engine.
Partnership Benefits Literacy Project
Perhaps the most unfortunate victims of those who are in the Polk County Jail often are those who had nothing to do with the crimes inmates committed.

Those victims are the children --­averaging 100 per month -- who come to the jail to visit parents, siblings and others who find themselves behind bars. To make those visits more positive and give children something to do during visits, The Ashcraft Project collects new and gently used books to provide to children who visit the jail.
The State Historical Society of Iowa partners with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa to promote The Ashcraft Project during History Through the Arts civil rights presentations.
The Ashcraft Project is named after the late Dave Ashcraft, a founding member of the Two Rivers Story Spinners and children's librarian at the Forest Avenue Library in Des Moines. He worked tirelessly to promote literacy among inmates at the Polk County Jail and to supply books for children to read when visiting the jail.

Donations of books (new or gently used) appropriate for ages 2-­10 are welcome. Cash donations also are needed and may be directed to Maureen Korte, (515) 281-4132 or Maureen.Korte@iowa.gov
How Historic Buildings are Green
"The greenest building is the one already built," or so goes the mantra for historic building preservationists who are increasingly implementing "green" or environmentally sensitive practices in sustainable design (or re-design). 
Paula Mohr, architectural historian and Jack Porter, preservation consultant in the State Historic Preservation Office, freelance designer and artist James Spiller and Scotney Fenton with RDG Architects, will present "How Historic Buildings are Green," Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the Flynn Mansion at Living History Farms. The topic is one of four in the Iowa Architectural Foundation's lecture series celebrating April as Architecture Month. 

Going "green" means things like how water is used to maintain the building, the materials used in production, the quality of air inside the building and how building "parts," including the building itself, are disposed of. In 2006, The National Trust for Historic Preservation initiated its Sustainability Initiative to help preservationists, environmentalists, policy makers, and the public understand preservation's value in fostering sustainable development. As part of its work under the Sustainability Initiative, the National Trust joined with several national organizations in 2006 to develop a national policy for the integration of sustainability and preservation.
"Historic preservation is vital to environmental sustainability," Mohr said. "The broad appeal of the green movement in the last few years particularly has created new opportunities for us to showcase how historic preservation, adaptive use and rehabilitation are the ultimate in 'recycling.'"
The Flynn Mansion itself is an example of sustainable design, 1870s style. This is evident in such features as on-site production of gas to provide lighting; a warm air furnace using locally mined coal, wood or other materials; hot and cold running water, fed from local springs as well as run-off storage in a cistern; and fresh air, ventilation and lots of natural daylight to promote good health. Oh, and it was also "off the grid," with no electricity, since electric lighting was not developed until the 1880s.
Mohr suggests these points to remember about the green aspects of historic preservation:
  • It is not a style. It has been and continues to be a characteristic of buildings independent of their internal or external features or appearance.
  • It is not size specific. Sustainable architecture can come in the form of a multi-story high-rise or a dwelling for a single individual.
  • It is not necessarily new. While the concept of sustainable architecture may be new, the buildings reflecting these principles are not new. 
  • Many buildings have been converted time to different uses to address changing needs without the use of additional resources. 
"How Historic Buildings are Green" is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.iowaarchfoundation.org or call (515) 244-1888.
Annals Gives Historical Perspective on Care for the Poor, Mentally Ill in Iowa
The Spring 2010 issue of The Annals of Iowa features articles about how Iowans cared for the poor and the mentally ill in the 19th century.
In "'Halt, Blind, Lame, Sick, and Lazy': Care of the Poor in Cedar County, Iowa, 1857-1890," Marilyn L. Olson, a clinical pharmacist at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, describes the administration and distribution of poor relief in Cedar County between 1857 and 1890. She shows how Cedar County officials sought to balance their legal obligation to provide adequate care for the poor with their obligation to local taxpayers for budgetary restraint. By covering support for the poor outside the poor­house as well as at the poorhouse itself, she reveals the broad networks of social support available in a nineteenth-century rural county.
In "'This Large Household': Architecture and Civic Identity at the Iowa Hospital for the Insane at Mount Pleasant," Jane Simonsen, assistant professor of history and women's and gender studies at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., relates the architecture of the Hospital for the Insane in Mount Pleasant - and the evolution of that architecture over the course of the 19th century - to Iowans' understanding of the nature of mental illness and to their ideas about home, family, gender roles, domestic virtues, and institu­tional authority. 
A review essay compares two new books about African American migration to the Midwest in the 19th century. The usual set of book reviews and notices includes reviews of books about the Dakota conflict, Iowa's railroads, Iowa's one-room schoolhouses, main street hotels, Frank Lloyd Wright, Swedish American women, farm women (1910-1960), Mexican migrant workers in Michigan and Minnesota, and Mexican veterans of war from Silvis, Ill.

To receive the Annals of Iowa as a benefit of membership, upgrade to the Heritage Circle level. To order a single copy of this issue, or to subscribe, call Deb Pedersen at (319) 335-3916 or e-mail deb-pedersen@uiowa.eduand ask for the Spring 2010 issue of The Annals of Iowa.

Digitized Farm Newspapers Available Online

The University of Illinois Library houses one of the world's premier collections of agricultural newspapers and now provides digital access to this historically significant material. "Farm, Field and Fireside," a repository of digitized farm newspapers, offers digital facsimiles of farm newspapers published in the U.S., mainly within the Midwest.
There is no charge to use the online repository located at http://www.library.illinois.edu/dnc/fff/. Anyone with access to the Internet can browse the newspapers by date or search by keyword across articles, advertisements, and photo captions. In addition, individual articles can be printed, downloaded, or e-mailed.
"Farm, Field and Fireside" is a project of the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library at Illinois. To date, the repository contains more than 230,000 pages of farm newspapers, with another 70,000 pages in the works. More titles will be added to the repository as funding becomes available.
Farm newspapers were instrumental in the formation of rural public opinion and in connecting farmers to broader social and economic currents in American life. More than 75% of Midwestern farmers subscribed to one or more agricultural papers in 1913, yet this rich source material remained largely hidden from scholars until now.
Newspaper titles currently available:
  • Berkshire World and Cornbelt Stockman (1910-1926)
  • Better Farming (1913-1925)
  • Farmers' Review (1879-1918)
  • Farmer's Voice (1898-1913)
  • Farmer's Wife (1906-1939)
  • Farm, Field and Fireside (1884-1906)
  • Farm, Field and Stockman (1885-1887)
  • Farm Home (1899-1920)
  • Farm Press (1906-1913)
  • Illinois Farmer (1856-1864)
  • Lancaster Farming (1955-1981)
  • Prairie Farmer (1841-1923)

In preparation:
  • Banker Farmer (1913-1927)
  • Chicago Packer (1907-1946)
  • Chicago Livestock World (1902-1917)
  • Western Rural / Western Rural and American Stockman / National Rural (1868-1900)
"The Washingtons of Sulgrave Manor" Film Screening May 11

The Des Moines Borough of the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Iowa will host a preview of the new documentary "The Washingtons of Sulgrave Manor" Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Wakonda Country Club in Des Moines.
Sulgrave Manor is located in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, and is an Elizabethan manor house built on monastic land bought by Lawrence Washington from Henry VIII in 1539. Lawrence's great-great-grandson John settled in Virginia in 1656 and John's great-grandson George became the first President of the United States of America.
A reception will follow the film. Suggested donation is $25 to benefit The Friends of Sulgrave Manor. RSVP to Kristine Winber, kristinewinber@mac.comor (515) 720-5361. 
Save America's Treasures Grant Applications Due May 21
Save America's Treasures (SAT) is now accepting grant applications for 2010. Grants are awarded for preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts and nationally significant historic structures and sites.
Grant amounts range from $25,000 to $700,000 to conserve collections and from $125,000 to $700,000 for historic property and sites projects. All the awards must be matched 1:1. Complete guidelines, applications and information, as well as a database of previous Save America Treasure's awardees, can be found at the National Park Service.
Deadline for applications is May 21, 2010. All applicants must register on Grants.gov to apply to this program.
PHOTO NOTE: In honor of Mother's Day May 9, the photo at the top of this month's newsletter depicts members of the Iowa Congress of Mothers promoting their agenda at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Des Moines, Iowa. 1899. In May, 1900, the National Convention for the National Congress of Mothers was held in Des Moines. The Congress of Mothers organization later became the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). Special Collections, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines.
In This Issue
Iowa City SHSI Library Provides Valuable Resources for UI Students
Governor Signs USS Iowa Museum Resolution
Students Become "Experts" on Iowa History
Celebrate Historic Preservation Month May 20-21
2010 Marks 100th Anniversary of Powered Flight in Iowa
Partnership Benefits Literacy Project
How Historic Buildings are Green
Annals...Gives Historical Perspective on Care for the Poor, Mentally Ill in Iowa
Digitized Farm Newspapers Available Online
"The Washingtons of Sulgrave Manor" Film Screening May 11
Save America's Treasures Grant Applications Due May 21
Photo Note
SHSI Calendar of Events
April 18: Rededication of the Kimball Organ at the Union Sunday School, Clermont. Call (563) 423-7173 for information.
April 21: "Pieces of Home, History & Art" Historical Discovery Discussion, 11:45 a.m., State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust, Des Moines. Participants are encouraged to bring a "treasure" from home that typifies their family, a moment in history or a piece of art with special meaning. Free. Bring your own lunch. Call Susan Jellinger at (515) 281-6897 for details.

April 26: National History Day in Iowa Senior and Youth divisions, State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust, Des Moines.

April 27 & 29: "The Cultural and Environmental History of Ralston Creek," 9:30-10:45 a.m., Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City.
May 3: "Iowa History Mysteries," 2:30-5 p.m., Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City.
May 3: Iowa Community Cultural Grants applications due.

May 3: National History Day in Iowa Junior Division, State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust, Des Moines.

May 20: Iowa Cultural Trust Sustainability Challenge Grant applications due.


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