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Spotlight on Local History

Irving B. Weber Days

May is National Historic Preservation Month. Celebrate locally with Irving B. Weber Days, a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Johnson County's vibrant history. Weber Days is also an opportunity for the Iowa City Public Library to work with great community partners like the Johnson County Historical Society, Iowa City Host Noon Lions Club, Friends of Historic Preservation, University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & University Archives, Old Capitol Museum and the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History.

For more information about Irving Weber see Iowa City's Irving Weber: A Biography by Lolly Parker Eggers (Trafford Publishing, 2006)

Be sure to visit the Library Channel's Iowa City Local History section to stream some Irving Weber videos, and check out the Iowa City and Johnson County historical resources in the Iowa City Public Library.

Participate in Weber Days activities at the Johnson County Historical Society. For more information call 319.351.5738, or go to their website at

Weber Days 2014 Events

WOW-Weber on Wednesday: Annual Irving Weber History Lecture - History of Transportation in Iowa

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 7:00 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Leighton Christiansen, Librarian at the Iowa Department of Transportation, will present the Irving Weber Annual Lecture "A Journey in Transportation:The Iowa DOT Centennial and Iowa Transportation History Highlights" The story of transportation in Iowa starts nearly 12,000 years ago, with nomadic peoples roaming the area. 2,500 years ago rivers became transportation routes for trade. Transportation remained human and animal powered until the 1800s, when the first steam boats plied Iowa's navigable rivers. Now Iowa is home to transportation by highway, water, air, public transit, rail, and trail, much of it build, maintained, or overseen by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). This year the DOT celebrates 100 years of connecting the people of Iowa to each other, and the world.

Weber Days FHP History Tour 2014: College Green Park: Covered Wagons to Tornadoes

Saturday, May 10, 2014 2:00 p.m.
Meeting Room A

From rough-n-tumble wilderness days in 1839 through a 21st century tornado, exciting places have persisted in Iowa City. Using colorful images and favorite stories, local history buff Bob Hibbs highlights College Green park just east of the downtown where an affluent neighborhood grew expensive homes and first Iowa governor Robert Lucas owned a spring providing mineral water for hot baths, where a "female academy" floundered in the park and the Iowa governor's mansion was sited, but never built. A twister visited in 2006, leveling some structures while sparing others. Now, College Green grows new trees among welcoming neighbors who offer a home May 11 tour to benefit Friends of Historic Preservation.

WOW-Weber on Wednesday: How East Iowa City Came To Be

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 7:00 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Presented by Dr. Thomas Schulein. You may be familiar with a large empty lot on Friendship Street where a large brick factory once stood. W. F. Main had a vision for a small "factory town" on the outskirts of Iowa City. This entity, really a rural subdivision, became a reality in 1900, with some lofty aims set by this entrepreneur. When development of the land did not go quite as planned, some interesting marketing tactics were used. This presentation will trace the history of early manufacturing concerns in the neighborhood and describe the suburban development of "East Iowa City" up to the present.

WOW-Weber on Wednesday: Caring for Keepsakes

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 7:00 p.m.
Meeting Room A

What do you do with that family memento or keepsake? Emily Shaw, Digital Preservation Librarian at the University of Iowa Libraries will talk about caring for your collections at home. Have a question about something? Bring it, or stop by to ask about it, and preservation staff from the UI libraries, archives, and museums will be on hand for consultation. Note: No appraisals will be done.

WOW-Weber on Wednesday: ScanIt! @ ICPL - Local History

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 5:00 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Do you have old photographs of Iowa City or Johnson County? Family photos that have recognizable locations or buildings in the background? Would you like to turn them into digital images and donate a copy to our Digital History collection? During ScanIt! events, Librarians will be here to teach you how to scan, and storage media (CDs) will be provided. Appointments are one hour each, and registration is requested. Drop-ins will be accommodated if space permits. To register call the Library at 356-5200.

On Display @ ICPL

April 1-May 31, 2014
Digital History Project Photo Display
Photo display on T Walls of digitized photos from the Digital History Project's scanning days. The pop-up display cube will also be used to display books about genealogy and family archive preservation..

For more information, vist the Digital History Project website.