CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 27, 2001
Libraries exhibits diaries, other effects of notable
IOWA CITY, Iowa --
The University of Iowa Libraries has on exhibit, now through May 11, diaries,
journals, travel narratives and other personal accounts created over the past
200 years by some well and lesser known Iowans who have impacted the state's
"Personal Histories: An Exhibition of Diaries, Journals,
and other Biographical Efforts" is free and open to the public in the special
collections department, located on the third floor of the Main Library.
The exhibit also contains commonplace books and other
autobiographical efforts that reveal information about Jay Norwood "Ding"
Darling, a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist at the Des Moines Register, and
UI football player and Heisman Trophy winner Nile Clark Kinnick, Jr.
Several other persons and biographical efforts profiled include: B.H. Shearer,
editor and publisher of the Columbus Gazette (Iowa) from 1909 to 1970, and
a 1933 travel diary by Iowa author Ruth Suckow, who then was at work on "The
Folks," her most ambitious novel, says David Schoonover, curator of rare books
at the Libraries.
Diaries on exhibition at the Libraries include:
-- Jay N. Darling, Sketchbook, Russia 1931
(Two volumes). Darling was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist at the Des
Moines Register during the first half of the 20th century. In 1931 Darling
went to Russia, then to the Soviet Union to "see what it was all about." What
he saw there he put into a book, "Ding Goes to Russia," New York: Whittlesey
-- Nile Clark Kinnick, Jr., Diary, 1943. Kinnick
(1918-1943) is the most famous UI football player and a member of the famed
"Ironmen" team of 1939. He won the Heisman Trophy that year and was elected
to Phi Beta Kappa.
-- John Siegmund Schramm, "A Short Description
of My Voyage from Plech to Bremen to America," a translation by Erich Funke,
late UI professor of German. Schramm left his Plech, Bavaria, home for the
U.S. Eventually he settled in Burlington, Iowa.
-- Brainard Hayes Shearer, Diary.
-- Ruth Suckow, Travel diary (one volume).
-- George Marion Shearer, Diaries (three volumes).
Shearer, a soldier in Company E, 17th Regiment Iowa Infantry, volunteers during
the Civil War. Shearer was taken prisoner in Georgia in 1864 where he was
held until his release in 1865.
-- James F. Adams, "Reminisces of the Past
Fifty Years." An exploration of the Story County author's spiritual life with
particular emphasis on intoxication and tobacco use.
-- James Chamberlin, Daybooks, 1852-1890 (five
volumes). Chamberlin was a Johnson County farmer, member of the county's board
of supervisors, a school board member, and a justice of the peace.
-- Vinnie Ream Hoxie, Composition book, circa
1857. Hoxie produced a famous and life-sized marble statue of Abraham Lincoln
that sat on display in the U.S. Capitol rotunda, and a statue of former Iowa
Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood.
-- Harriet Wickham, Commonplace book, 1799-1838.
Wickham's commonplace book was a personal journal in which quotable passages,
literary excerpts, and comments were written. The book contains poems by Robert
Burns, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Cowper.
-- Charles Wood Irish, Diaries, (30 volumes).
Woods was an engineer and surveyor and child from a prominent Iowa City family.
He helped in the first attempt to build a railroad across the state in the
-- Henry C. Laybourn, Journal, 1864-1865 (one
volume). Laybourn served as a second lieutenant and captain in the Civil War
in the 24th Iowa Infantry, Company B. He attended Cornell College and later
became a farmer and banker before being elected secretary of the Vicksburg
Military Park Association in 1895.
For additional information about this exhibit, contact
the special collections department at (319) 335-5921.