CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 14, 2001
Librarian Bob McCown honored with lifetime achievement
University of Iowa manuscripts librarian Bob McCown
has received the Petersen/Harlan Award, given to a single recipient each year
by the State Historical Society of Iowa for lifetime achievement in the preservation
of Iowa history.
McCown has spent over three decades gathering historical
personal papers and records of value for the study of Iowa history. Among
those papers he helped secure for the UI Libraries are the papers belonging
to UI alumna Mary Louise Smith, who in the mid-1970s became the first woman
to chair the Republican Party.
McCown said he wrote to Smith over a series of years
as she progressed in her career with additional responsibilities with the
Republican Party. He was able to secure Smith's personal papers, as well as
those from former Iowa Governor and U.S. Senator Harold Hughes, among others.
McCown has spent his entire 31-year career in the
UI Libraries' special collections department, first as manuscripts librarian,
charged with the collection, organization, preservation, and making available
for research the personal papers of Iowans and other records of historical
interest. He served as head of the special collections department from 1986
to 1997 before returning to the position which he now holds.
McCown also served on the Iowa Historical Records
Advisory Board from 1989 to 2000. The board, made up of archivists, historians
and members of the general public, advises the Society on maintaining various
historical records, including newspapers, county records, private collections
and other artifacts.
McCown will transition from phased to full retirement
in November 2001.