History of the Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) started on Christmas Day in 1900 as an alternative to hunting during the holiday events. Typically, family and friends would gather for a large Christmas Hunt, bringing in whatever they could as a sort of competition. Frank M. Chapman suggested to his friends that maybe this year, instead of hunting,…

Happy 165th Birthday to Althea Sherman!

Althea Rosina Sherman was born October 10th, 1853 to Mark Bachelor Sherman and Melissa Clark Sherman in Farmersburg Township, Iowa. Althea’s home was built by her father in the middle of the prairie, where she and her four siblings would live for about 20 years until they decided to build a home closer to the up…

Celebrating World Animal Day with the birds of Iowa!

October 4th is World Animal Day, a world wide holiday celebrating our furry and feathered friends from across the globe. Originally founded by Heinrich Zimmermann in 1925 to celebrate and bring awareness to the lives of the animals around us. World Animal Day is always celebrated on October 4th, as it is also the day…

Darwin Core Part 2: Scientific Observation

  Darwin Core  This is Part 2 in my series of posts (Part 1 here) about how we use the metadata standard Darwin Core to describe the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union (IOU) rare bird documentation forms. We discuss how bird observation information in our collection is turned into scientific data These are forms that people submit…

A Glimpse of the Past Through the Eyes of Ornithology.

The history of photography can be traced back much farther than one might imagine. During the 17th century, “magic lanterns” were a frequent pastime for many members of society. Hand painted images on glass plates could be held in front of a candle or other light source, and would result in the image being projected…

Collection Additions: John Vincent Atanasoff

In May of 2018 work was completed to add materials to the John Vincent Atanasoff digital collection. The additional items include materials documenting his work on the Atanasoff–Berry Computer (ABC) (primarily correspondence and photographs which weren’t online previously), as well as a selection of his notes and draft materials relating to his invention ideas beyond the ABC. …

Congratulations Harrison!

Our own Harrison Inefuku has just been recognized nationally for his contributions to the archival profession! Harrison is this year’s Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award recipient. This award recognizes early-career archivists who have made substantial contributions beyond their own institution, demonstrated leadership in the profession, and who have been proponents of outreach and advocacy…

Project Launch: Ada Hayden Online Exhibit & Digital Collection

May 29th of this year marks 100 years after Ada Hayden graduated as the first woman to receive a PhD from Iowa State. Who was Ada Hayden?  She was a botanist, educator, ISU faculty member, ISU alumna, ecologist, illustrator, photographer, and, as she may be best known for: staunch advocate for prairie preservation. The list…

Project Launch: Sarah Underwood digital collection

The newly digitized Sarah Underwood papers are now available online through our Iowa Connections page.  As Kim Anderson described in a previous blog post which focused on Underwood’s experiences with being a new mother, her papers are a revealing window into the life of a mid-19th century woman living in eastern Iowa. Primarily containing Underwood’s…