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CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: mary-geraghty@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

UI libraries opens new exhibition about Mississippi River

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A new exhibition at the University of Iowa Libraries examines the influence of the Mississippi River through literary examples and other materials from the UI Libraries collections. "The Life and Landscape of the Father of Waters" opens Monday, June 8 in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library and is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs through September 1998.

The Mississippi River has shaped the lives and attitudes of all those who have lived in its valley, and through them, much of the character of our nation. It has a life and a personality of its own, and this exhibit explores the various facets of this life and personality. The Mississippi serves as geographical boundary and as a means of transport, as a battleground and a road to opportunity.

Surveys of the history and the geography of the river form major portions of the exhibit. The river will be viewed in terms of its ongoing role in the history of our country from immediately prior to the European exploration, through the age of steamboats, floods, earthquakes, to its place in today's world.

The River has also played a significant role in literature, especially the writings of Mark Twain, and in art, music, and poetry. Accounts of explorers, from those of the first Europeans to encounter the river to those of the modern travelers, provide varied responses to the river.

The materials used in the exhibition are drawn primarily from the Main Library and from the Libraries' Special Collections, with additional materials from the art, engineering, law, geology libraries and the Rita Benton Music Library.

The exhibition was prepared by Grace Fitzgerald, Joyce Barker, and Christine Bellomy, assisted by Pam Spitzmueller and Anna Embree from the department of conservation. For more information, contact the UI Libraries Administrative Offices at (319) 335-5867.

6/5/98