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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 2, 2007

UI Libraries Presents 'Love in the Stacks' Collection

In celebration of Valentine's Day, the University of Iowa Libraries is unlocking the archives to expose love letters, love poems, and other romantic artifacts from the university's collections of rare books, manuscripts, and ephemeral publications.

Librarians from Special Collections, University Archives, and Iowa Women's Archives will discuss highlights from their holdings at a presentation titled "Love in the Stacks," which will be held in Room 2032 of the Main Library at noon on Feb. 14. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public.

A corresponding online exhibit of additional artifacts, including a collection of antique valentines, is currently featured on the UI's Iowa Digital Library website,

Staff from Special Collections and University Archives will be presenting materials such as editions of the poetry of John Donne, the manuscript notebooks of Iris Murdoch, fine press editions of romantic artwork, film scripts, and the work of romance writer and Iowa author Leigh Michaels.

"Many forms of love are expressed in the materials lurking on the shelves in Special Collections, and sometimes the most ordinary looking objects have remarkable stories behind them," says Greg Prickman, special collections librarian.

The online exhibit pulls together items from the libraries' existing digital collections, which feature such diverse materials as early 20th century scrapbooks of Iowa girls and women, the editorial cartoons of political satirist Ding Darling, and award-winning short fiction from the University of Iowa Press.

"With the Iowa Digital Library, our goal is to increase access to the university's rare, unique, and locally published materials," says Jen Wolfe, metadata librarian for Digital Library Services. "IDL's integrated collections, structured descriptions, and full-text search capability allow for resource discovery across disciplines and formats. The Valentine's Day collection is a fun example of the way a simple query can generate unexpected combinations that could inspire new ideas and new scholarship. Plus it seemed like a good excuse to throw a party."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,; UI Libraries: Kristi Bontrager, public relations coordinator, 319-335-5960. Writer: Kristi Bontrager