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3Search, Our New Discovery Tool


With our new discovery tool 3Search, you can now explore 3 sets of resources at the same time:

  • Grinnell's Collections (including the library catalog, Digital Grinnell, and the College's archives and manuscript collections),
  • WorldCat, and
  • More than 20 article databases from EBSCOhost. 

3Search is based on VuFind, an open source library search system developed at Villanova University.

What's New at the Libraries

A Familiar Face Returns to the Libraries

Karla Landers joined us as a library assistant in Acquisitions and Serials department in December 2013.

Karla has ten years of library experience, working previously in Burling Library (Serials, Acquisitions, Government Documents, and Circulation), Iowa State University Parks Library (Stacks Management), and at North Polk Community Schools (West Elementary Library Associate). She has a B.A. in Elementary Education with reading endorsement from Wartburg College. 

3Search, Our New Discovery Tool

Use 3Search to explore 3 sets of resources at the same time:

  • Grinnell's Collections (including the library catalog, Digital Grinnell, and the College's archives and manuscript collections),
  • WorldCat, and
  • More than 20 article databases from EBSCOhost.

3Search is based on VuFind, an open source library search system developed at Villanova University.

New Databases

American Indian Histories and Cultures
A wide-ranging digital resource presenting a unique insight into interactions between American Indians and Europeans from their earliest contact right up to the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. Includes manuscripts, artwork and rare printed books, photographs and newspapers.
Des Moines Register Online (Nov. 2002-present)
Historical Chicago Tribune (1849-1986)
A great source for tracing the development of Chicago and the Midwest, and to study subjects as diverse as politics, architecture, social reform and art.
LGBT Thought and Culture
An online resource of books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day.
National Newspapers Expanded
Now includes Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post and USA Today.
Oxford Classical Dictionary, 4th edition
Covers all aspects of the classical world from literature and history to religion, science, and archaeology; contains many thematic entries on subjects relevant to the 21st century such as nationalism, race, gender, and ecology.
Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History
The more than 450 entries help readers develop a richer framework for understanding the social experience of Americans throughout history.
Sage Education Journals Subject Collection
Online access to 69 Education journals published by Sage
Sage Psychology Journals Subject Collection
Online access to 69 Psychology journals published by Sage

To access these databases, please visit Libraries Databases A-Z list.

Open Access @ Grinnell College

On Monday, 15 April 2013, the Grinnell College Faculty voted in favor of a resolution presented by the Open Access Task Force, committing themselves to expanding access to their forthcoming scholarly articles. According to the resolution, faculty give Grinnell College permission to disseminate worldwide and without cost through the Digital Grinnell repository, any scholarly articles published in peer-reviewed journals after April 15. The resolution also encourages faculty and staff to make their syllabi and other curricular material and other scholarly publications freely available through Digital Grinnell. 

The resolution is modeled on one adopted by the Harvard University of Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2008 and by over 50 colleges and universities in the United States, and many more abroad, since then. It recognizes that digital technologies can expand access to learning and scholarship in ways not possible with a paper-based publishing system, for the benefit of learners across the world and the scholarly authors as well.

Over the summer, the Libraries and the Dean's Office will develop practical guides to help faculty implement the resolution. Questions may be directed to Richard Fyffe, Librarian of the College. Read more about Open Access at Grinnell College.


Grinnell College Libraries Join Central Iowa Collaborative Collections Initiative

Grinnell College, Drake University, Central College, Simpson College, and Grand View University have formed the Central Iowa Collaborative Collections Initiative (CI-CCI) to ensure the availability of scholarly materials held by the cooperating institutions through analysis of duplication, long-term agreements to retain designated copies within the consortium, coordination of future acquisitions, and agreements for expedited delivery and sharing of collections.

An analysis of duplication among the five collections is currently under way, focusing on materials published before 1991 and showing few or no circulations. The analysis will lead to agreements among the five institutions regarding titles that each library will retain for at least the next ten years, allowing the other libraries to discard those titles if they choose to. Some libraries will begin discarding copies  soon. At Grinnell, no decisions have been made regarding discarding copies, and no systematic discards will be conducted without faculty consultation.

The CI-CCI agreement will give Grinnell and other libraries greater flexibility to manage collections and space over the next few years. This is one of many efforts supporting that goal. At Grinnell, we also have talked with faculty about other initiatives, including:

  • continuing conversion of print journal subscriptions to online subscriptions, and
  • purchasing e-book editions rather than print editions for selected monographs.

In addition, Grinnell is leading a separate conversation among Iowa libraries regarding coordinated retention of print journal volumes that are reliably available online.

Over the long term, this shared initiative will allow participating libraries to:

  • free space for pressing local and institutional needs, such as student study space, learning commons, classrooms, etc.;
  • develop a shared collection-development approach that will allow the participants to make better use of acquisitions dollars by eliminating duplicate book purchases since the collections will be shared;
  • offer a greater depth of materials.

Additionally, the collaboration lays the groundwork for further collaboration among the participants.

Academic libraries across the country are forming regional collaboratives to share print collections, reduce duplication, and ensure preservation of the scholarly record.


Journeys of Wonder: from Curiosity to Insight

This exhibition of books from Special Collections highlights the exploration of new territories, the discovery of new plants, animals, and objects (many of which found their way into Wunderkammer), and the scientific knowledge that ultimately arose from close observation of artifacts and natural phenomena.  Curated by Catherine Rod and Chris Jones, with Chase Booth ’16 and Sam Dunnington ’14. Poster designed by Stephanie Porter '14.  

Burling Library, First Floor and Burling Gallery, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 - FEBRUARY 14, 2014

This is a companion exhibit to the Faulconer Gallery exhibition, From Wunderkammer to the Modern Museum 1606-1884, drawn from the collection of Florence Fearrington.

Journeys of Wonder brochure cover

100 Years of Fall Sports

For many Grinnellians, coming back to school means coming back to athletic competition. As the fall season ends, the Library's Iowa Room offers a historic look at more than one hundred years’ worth of Grinnell’s finest fall teams.

Programs like football and cross country boast over a century of activity, while others, like the woman’s field hockey team, have come and gone. Stop by soon to check out a slice of Grinnell’s athletic past.

The exhibit was curated by Sam Dunnington ’14.

The Grinnell Beowulf in Digital Grinnell


Release party: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, Rosenfield Center Room 101

The Grinnell Beowulf is a translation and teaching edition of the Old English poem.

Six students — Eva Dawson ’14, Emily Johnson ’14, Jeanette Miller ’14, Logan Shearer ’14, Aniela Wendt ’14, and Kate Whitman ’14 — worked with Tim Arner, assistant professor of English, to translate Beowulf into readable and poetic modern English.

Initially envisioned as a group MAP (Mentored Advanced Project), this project provided a great opportunity for the students to produce an edition designed for an undergraduate audience.

The edition includes over 165 annotations that accompany the text, as well as introductions to the poem and the translation process.

Caleb Neubauer ’13 provided illustrations.

The Grinnell Beowulf has just been published in print by Grinnell Press and online by Digital Grinnell.

Digital Grinnell hosts a wide and growing variety of materials created by Grinnell College students, faculty, and staff, as well as selected material that illuminates the College’s history and other activities. Materials in Digital Grinnell are accessible, searchable, and visible to the world.

By sharing students’ scholarly work with the larger community, The Grinnell Beowulf in Digital Grinnell will contribute to enhancing "the free, open exchange of ideas" that is part of Grinnell College’s core values. 


John G. Orvis 1909 Scrapbook

Scrapbook-making was a popular tradition in the late 19th to mid-20th century. It’s a great way to see how past Grinnellians  commemorated their time here — revealing not so much the official or stereotypical image of the times, but the silly, sincere side that reminds us that they weren’t so different from us back then.

The scrapbook of John G. Orvis 1909 focuses on the sports culture at the time — including nicknames like Tin and Dink and a contract the men of 1909 drew up requiring one another to “establish hilarity… provide for the common jollification… and secure the blessings of a royal good time to ourselves and our class.” The scrapbook also shows what students did in their spare time, from exploring the railroad tracks to picnicking in the grove or at Arbor Lake.

Stop by the Special Collections and Archives reading room to discover other hidden gems in the scrapbook collection!

Stephanie Porter '14 curated the exhibit..

Wonder, Culture, and the Scientific Method


Panel: 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, Bucksbaum Center Faulconer Gallery
Panel: 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, Bucksbaum Center Faulconer Gallery

A “Wunderkammer,” or room of wonders, was at once a study, a laboratory, and a social space wherein people collected oddities and were inspired to learn more through the cognitive emotion “wonder.” Two panels with Grinnell College faculty investigate the concept of wonder and its manifestations in culture and science.

On November 19 the panel on “Wonder and Culture” will explore how wonder infused and shaped cultural expression in the early modern period.

Speakers are: Vance Byrd, assistant professor of German; Vanessa Lyon, assistant professor of art history; and Catherine Rod, special collections librarian and archivist of the College.

On November 21, “Wonder and the Scientific Method” integrates the seemingly subjective concept of wonder with the development of science as we came to know it. Panelists include: James Lee, assistant professor of English; Tammy Nyden, associate professor of philosophy; and Joshua Sandquist, assistant professor of biology.

Both panels take place in Faulconer Gallery, 641-269-4660.