smithsonianlibraries
smithsonianlibraries:

We hope tonight* you will stay off tumblr long enough to catch the entirely new Camelopardalids meteor shower, which promises be a good one. Comet dust from 209P/LINEAR, sloughed off 200 years ago in its orbit around the sun is due to enter our atmosphere and provide us a remarkable show. That is provided you find somewhere with clear skies away from sources of light.
Sidereus Nuncius, sometimes called Starry Messenger, is a short work by Galileo Galilei in 1610—or almost 200 years before 209P/LINEAR laid the groundwork for tonight’s show. Above is the verso of Galileo’s drawings of the Pleiades star cluster, which makes an exceptional background for our shooting stars. The edition is available for view online in our Heralds of Science collection, a set of books donated to the Smithsonian Libraries by noted book collector and founder of the Burndy Library, Bern Dibner. Our Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology is named in his honor.
Make Galileo proud.
(*Just fyi: this was originally posted on May 23, 2014—the “tonight” we were referring to. Hoping this slight edit will help with any confusion and unnecessary time away from tumblr. The International Meteor Organization has a calendar of meteor showers, if you’re interested.)

smithsonianlibraries:

We hope tonight* you will stay off tumblr long enough to catch the entirely new Camelopardalids meteor shower, which promises be a good one. Comet dust from 209P/LINEAR, sloughed off 200 years ago in its orbit around the sun is due to enter our atmosphere and provide us a remarkable show. That is provided you find somewhere with clear skies away from sources of light.

Sidereus Nuncius, sometimes called Starry Messenger, is a short work by Galileo Galilei in 1610—or almost 200 years before 209P/LINEAR laid the groundwork for tonight’s show. Above is the verso of Galileo’s drawings of the Pleiades star cluster, which makes an exceptional background for our shooting stars. The edition is available for view online in our Heralds of Science collection, a set of books donated to the Smithsonian Libraries by noted book collector and founder of the Burndy Library, Bern Dibner. Our Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology is named in his honor.

Make Galileo proud.

(*Just fyi: this was originally posted on May 23, 2014—the “tonight” we were referring to. Hoping this slight edit will help with any confusion and unnecessary time away from tumblr. The International Meteor Organization has a calendar of meteor showers, if you’re interested.)

Binding Photo Shoot.

Thomas de Ke[m]pis De imitatione Christi [et] de contemptu omniu[m] vanitatu[m] mundi : de interna [con]uersatione, de interna locutione Christi ad animam fidelem, [&] cum quanta reuere[n]tia Christus sit suscipiendus. It[e]m Johannes Gerson De meditatione cordis.  Arg[e]n[tinae] impressus : [Johann Prüss], Anno D[omi]ni Mcccclxxxix [1489].

BV4820  .A1 1489 

Contemporary blind decorated calf over wooden boards by the Benedictine Monks at St. Maxim’s Abbey at Trier. Triple rule outer frame and central diaper pattern, interstices with lions rampant, paschal lambs, goats, double-headed eagles, fleur-de-lys, quatre- and cinquefoils, blind ruled spine, brass clasp and catch.

Images of the inside will follow tomorrow.

The Floral Keepsake for 1850 features 46 plates of colored engravings.  Each flower is its own chapter and features flower lore, practical planting knowledge, and botanical description.  The keepsake also includes several poems and an index of the flowers and their associated meaning. The editor, John Keese, was both an amateur poet and bookseller.  I can only imagine that his love for the content and the object would have inspired him to work on this project.

-Jillian P.

AY11 .F53 1851

iowawomensarchives

iowawomensarchives:

Today - July 28, 2014 - is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. We’re marking the occasion by remembering Iowa women whose lives were shaped by the war.

Louise Liers, World War I nurse, by Christina Jensen

On June 28th, 1914, Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip. One month later, war broke out across Europe between two alliance systems. Britain, France, Russia, and Italy comprised the Allied powers. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire constituted the Central powers. As war raged abroad, the U.S. wrestled with the politics of neutrality and intervention. In April of 1917, President Wilson was granted a declaration of war by Congress. The United States thus officially entered the conflict alongside Allied forces.

One such woman was Clayton-native Louise Marie Liers (1887-1983), an obstetrics nurse who enrolled in the Red Cross and served in France as an Army nurse. 

Before her deployment, however, Liers was required by the American Red Cross to submit three letters “vouching for her loyalty as an American citizen.” All nurses, regardless of nationality, were similarly required to provide three non-familial references testifying to this effect. While questions of loyalty and subversion are exacerbated in any war, America’s domestic front was rife with tension driven by geography, class, and ethnicity that raised fears and stoked national debate in the years leading up to America’s engagement in the Great War.

Arriving in 1918, Liers was stationed in the French town of Nevers where she treated wounded soldiers.  During this time Liers wrote numerous letters home to her parents and brother describing her duties and conditions of life during the war.

In a letter to her brother, featured below, Liers described her journey to France from New York City, with stops in Liverpool and Southampton.

When Liers arrived in 1918, Nevers was only a few hours away from the Allied offensive line of the Western Front.  She was assigned to a camp that served patients with serious injuries and those who required long-term care.  Liers noted in a 1970 interview that, by the end of the war, as fewer patients with battle wounds arrived, her camp began to see patients with the “Asian flu,” also known as the 1918 influenza outbreak that infected 500 million people across the world by the end of the war.

In letters home, and in interviews given later, Liers described pleasant memories from her time in service, including pooling sugar rations with fellow nurses to make fudge for patients.  Nurses could apply for passes to leave camp and Liers was thus able to visit both Paris and Cannes.  In an interview Liers recalled that, serendipitously, she had requested in advance a leave-pass to travel into town for the 11th of November, 1918. To her surprise, that date turned out to be Armistice Day, and she was able to celebrate the end of the war with the citizens of Nevers.

Along with her cheerier memories, however, Liers’s papers also describe the difficulties of caregiving during war.  She described Nevers as a town “stripped of younger people” due to the great number of deaths accrued in the four years of war.  In later interviews Liers offered many accounts of the grim surroundings medical staff worked under, from cramped and poorly equipped conditions, to unhygienic supplies, such as bandages washed by locals in nearby rivers, which she remembered as “utterly ridiculous from a sanitary standpoint…they were these awful dressings. They weren’t even sterilized, there wasn’t time.”  Due to the harsh conditions and limited resources, nurses and doctors gained practical knowledge in the field. Liers recalled frustrating battles to treat maggot-infected wounds before the nurses realized that the maggots, in fact, were sometimes the best option to keep wounds clean from infection in a field hospital.

On a grimmer note, Liers wrote to her parents the following:

As I have told you before, the boys are wonderful- very helpful. When I see their horrible wounds or worse still their mustard gas burns or the gassed patients who will never again be able to do a whole days work- I lose every spark of sympathy for the beast who devised such tortures and called it warfare- last we were in Moulins when a train of children from the devastated districts came down-burned and gassed- and that was the most pitiful sight of all.

By the time the “final drive” was in motion, Base Hospital No. 14 was filled with patients to nearly double capacity, and doctors and nurses had to work by candlelight or single light bulb. Liers’ wartime service and reflections suggest a range of emotions and experiences had by women thrust into a brutal war, remembered for its different methods of warfare, inventive machinery, and attacks on civilian populations. 

Liers worked in France until 1920, and her correspondence with friends and family marks the change in routine brought on by the end of the war.  With more freedom to travel, Liers and friends toured throughout France, and like countless visitors before and after, Liers describes how enchanted she became with the country, from the excitement of Paris to the rural beauty of Provence.

Following the war, Liers returned to private practice in Chicago, and later Elkader, where she was regarded as a local institution unto herself, attending over 7,000 births by 1949.  She was beloved by her local community, which gifted her a new car in 1950 as a sign of gratitude upon her retirement.

Louise Lier’s World War I scrapbook and other items from the University of Iowa’s World War I collections will soon be available in Iowa Digital Library.

Want more? Visit the Iowa Women’s Archives! We’re open weekly Tuesday-Friday, 10:00am to noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

A list of collections related to Iowa women and war can be found here.

New Videos!  

#2 The Game’s Afoot

and #3 It’s a First Edition of Pride and Prejudice!!!

From UISpecColl’s visit to Bauman Rare Books, Colleen and Patrick chat with Rebecca Romney (also seen appraising rare books on The History Channel’s Pawn Stars) about life, the universe, and everything.  

From the BBC Sherlock to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Colleen and Rebecca Romney analyze the lasting power of favorite characters like Sherlock and Lizzie Bennet that thrive through fan works and adaptations (with a nod to the great work over at OTW).  Rebecca flashes her nerd credentials, and we hug a first edition of Pride and Prejudice, while lamenting 19th century pulp paper in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

(Photo is first edition of Pride and Prejudice from Bauman Rare Books).

Did you miss video #1?  We went Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice and Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali.

As Autumn draws closer, roasting marshmallows should be on everyone’s to-do list.  It turns out this delicious activity is a fairly old tradition.

Uncle Wiggly and his forest friends can be found roasting marshmallows in this children’s book published in 1922.  Although the fire gets a little out of hand, the author doesn’t miss the opportunity to teach an important lesson on fire safety, and provide us with some insight into gender roles in the 1920’s.

As for a marshmallow roasting experience that doesn’t end in fiery disaster, the photo above shows some students roasting marshmallows over a fireplace in Currier Hall, a residence hall here at the University of Iowa.  Currier Hall was built to accommodate more female students at the university, and continues to serve as a popular residence hall for undergraduate students of both genders. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure there are no longer any working fireplaces. 

For more photos like the one above, feel free to browse the Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes Collection located on the Iowa Digital Library’s website.

Garis, Howard Roger.  Uncle Wiggily’s fishing trip, or, The good luck he had with the clothes hook ; and How the Pip and Skee were stuck by the chestnut burrs ; also The good time at the marshmallow roast. New York: Charles E. Graham & Co., c1922.

PZ5.G1565 U5312 1922.  (UISpecColl also has a copy from 1920).