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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 26, 2007

UI Museums Host Programs On History, Animals

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History and Old Capitol Museum will host a series of educational programs at 3 p.m. each Sunday in February.

On Feb. 4, the Old Capitol Museum will begin a new series of stories and activities on Iowa's early history for young visitors and their families. The first Adventures in History program will look at the wonders and dangers of winter for Iowa's Native Americans and pioneer settlers. On Feb. 18, the topic will be African American heritage, with upcoming topics covering Iowa's state constitution, the Civil War, May Day celebrations, and circuses traveling through Iowa. Each program will start in the museum's Discovery Center, and will last between 60 and 90 minutes.

Meredith Johnson, a UI sophomore majoring in art history with an emphasis in studio art, is selecting activities and stories for the Adventures in History program as part of her semester-long museum studies internship.

The Adventures in History program was inspired the Iowa Youth Diaries Project exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum that premiered in December 2006. This permanent exhibit, found in the museum's ground floor Discovery Center, showcases an exceptional collection of young Iowans' diaries from the 1850s to early 1900s, found in the Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Special Collections, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and other libraries across Iowa.

The Museum of Natural History continues its Sunday Stories program Feb. 11 and 25 at 3 p.m. with stories about the wild world of animals found in Iowa. The "Animal Tales!" storytime program will be led this semester by UI student and Museum of Natural History volunteer Mary Esdorn, who is majoring in elementary education. Stories are chosen each week around a central theme and are aimed at elementary aged children. Take-home activities and information based on the theme for that day are also provided.

The Museum of Natural History will also have a Groundhog Day activity table Feb. 1 to 4 during regular hours. Visitors can learn about the history of Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) and the animal that this tradition centers around. There will be fun, hands-on activities to do in the Museum, such as coloring projects and scavenger hunts, as well as information and activities to take home available at the curiosity table in the Iowa Hall lobby.

From Feb. 8 to 11, the Old Capitol Museum will also have an activity table with information on Valentine's Day in the first floor rotunda. Visitors can learn about the holiday, which began to flourish in the United States during the 19th century, and decorate their own 1800s valentine.

All activities are free and open to the public. Sunday Stories and Adventures in History are ongoing through the end of the semester.

For more information on Museum of Natural History programs, contact Sarah Horgen, 319-335-0606 or For more information on Old Capitol Museum programs contact Elisa Ewing, education and outreach coordinator, Old Capitol Museum, 319-335-3591, For museum hours, see and

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,; Program: Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606 or and Elisa Ewing, Old Capitol Museum 319 335-3591 or

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

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,