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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 18, 2003

UI Libraries Exhibit Spotlights A Century of The Hawkeye Yearbooks

Photo: 1959 Hawkeye cover

The 100-year history of The Hawkeye annual student yearbook will be celebrated in "Fleeting Are the Shadows: A Century of Yearbooks at the University of Iowa" now on exhibit in the University of Iowa Main Library's North Exhibit Hall.

The Hawkeye was first published in 1892 and, with the exception of a few years in the 1970s, published until 1992, annually chronicling the lives of UI students and faculty. David McCartney, archivist in the UI Libraries' Special Collections Department, said yearbooks provide a unique look into the lives of young Americans at any given point in the country's history.

"They capture a feel for student life during those periods and while it's not an official record of the university during that time, it's a useful tool for giving us an idea of certain aspects of student life, such as fashion, lingo and humor," said McCartney.

He said the Special Collections Department has copies of every issue of the yearbook, and they are the single most popular resource in the collection. The people who want to read them are doing more than just research, he said. They are frequently checked out for casual reading by such people as alumni who just want to remember their own student days, or by current students who want to see what the university was like during an earlier time.

Eventually, The Hawkeye fell victim to student apathy, the same fate that has befallen many yearbooks at colleges and universities across the country. The last issue, published in 1992, had fewer than 70 pages and McCartney said publishing even that much was a struggle.

The display will include copies of The Hawkeye, as well as other items that illustrate past eras, such as a Kodak Brownie camera, a 1930s-era manual typewriter and a record player from the 1950s.

The display in the North Hall will be open during regular Main Library hours: 7:30 to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 2 a.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,