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Exploring the Image

Michael W. Lemberger spent his life documenting the history and ordinary people of southeastern Iowa, through his own photographs and by collecting images produced by other photographers in the area. In 2017, his entire collection of 1.5 million images -- his own work and the materials he collected -- will be donated to the University of Iowa Libraries, Special Collections Department, for permanent archiving.

Through a historic and innovative collaboration between the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa, the materials in The Lemberger Collection will be made available both in person and on line. The University of Northern Iowa will share curated images through Fortepan Iowa ( http://www.fortepan.us ), a pilot project to share high-resolution images under Creative Commons licensing.

Education is a major focus of The Lemberger Collection, particularly the education of Iowa students about the history of their state. To that end, a small sampling of images are shared here for the use of students in a new program called EXPLORING THE IMAGE. Students from kindergarten through 12th grade are encouraged to choose a photo and create a project based on that image -- for example, writing a fictional story, studying architecture, interviewing an older relative about memories, creating an art project, or revisiting the location and photographing what currently exists at that site.

 

PRE-REGISTRATION FORM

 

MORE EXPLORING THE IMAGE PHOTOS

Tent and three wagons -- 1932

Part of Grant Wood's Stone City art colony

Boy climbing into ice wagon, 1932

Part of Grant Wood's Stone City art colony

Woman painting, 1932

Part of Grant Wood's Stone City art colony

Union Depot, 1800s

Steam engine in front of Ottumwa depot

Railroad handcar, date not known

C.B. & Q Railroad crew

Trains Collide

January 15, 1888: head-on collision between two steam engines four miles west of Ottumwa

Steam Calliope

Circus parade, Centerville Iowa, 1890s

Railroad Bridge, before 1899

From downtown Ottumwa to Dain Manufacturing

Amelia Earhart, 1936

Photographed at the Ballingall Hotel, Ottumwa

Newsboy, 1958

Waiting for newpapers to be dropped off for delivery

John F. Kennedy, 1960

The future president arrives at the Los Angeles Coliseum to give his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention

Man steps on Moon, 1969

Taken at the moment astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the surface of the moon.

Rails into sunset, 1970s

Storm clouds over railroad tracks near Ottumwa

Man welding rails, 1970s

Railroad worker welding rails

Cigarette lighter, 1970s

A worker stops to light his cigarette with a blow torch

POW returns

Blakesburg soldier Harold Johnson returns home after being held as a POV in Vietnam

Helicopter rescue

National Guard helicopter rescues a semi driver stranded by flood water

Generating station

Steelworkers put the last beams into place on Ottumwa Generating Station in Chillicothe, Iowa

Amtrak passengers

Passengers wait to board an Amtrak train in Ottumwa

Coal train, 2005

Burlington Northern Railroad, taken from an overpass near Ottumwa

End of the line

Monroe County railroad tracks removed, leaving only the right of way

Boy with fishing net, 1970s

After undesirable species invaded the Ottumwa lagoons, making a massive fish kill necessary

Buggy in street, 1890s

Showing off a new buggy and team

Ottumwa buses

Ottumwa's city buses lined up on a snowy evening to take commuters home

Chihuahua car accident, 1970s

Putting a traumatized pet on the stretcher with his injured owner

East Main in snow, 1970s

Shoppers take in downtown Ottumwa

East Main Telephoto

Looking westward from Green Street, a view compressed by a long telephoto lens

Ottumwa Fire Station, 1970s

Ottumwa's fire trucks lined up outside the new central fire station at Fourth and Wapello

H. H. Fleer Blacksmith, 1800s

Located at 207 W. Main from at least 1879 to 1900

Gayno Smith manhunt, 1962

Searching southeast Iowa for mass murderer Gayno Smith

Gayno Smith manhunt, 1962

Searching southeast Iowa for mass murderer Gayno Smith

Gayno Smith manhunt, 1962

Searching southeast Iowa for mass murderer Gayno Smith

Ottumwa Heights College fire, 1957

On the site of Indian Hills Community College

Main Street, 1906

East Main Street looking westward from Green Street

Man on bicycle, date not known

Riding along the railroad tracks near Market Street

Market Street, 1955

Looking northward on Market Street from the river

Market Street, 1800s

Looking northward on Market Street from the river

Rowing in the Des Moines River, 1800s

Two men rowing a shell in the river

Air Force General, 1965

The Air Force Chief of Staff gets a briefing about an Air Force plane, the F4C

Defeated basketball player, 1960s

After Walsh High School lost a state tournament game

Drenched fireman, 1970s

Fighting a fire at Niemeyer Paper on Market Street

Continental Airlines crash, 1962

Searching the wreckage of a crashed airliner near Unionville, Missouri

Continental Airlines crash, 1962

Searching the wreckage of a crashed airliner near Unionville, Missouri

Going swimming, 1970s

A creative means of transport

Swimming lagoon, 1970s

Summertime at the swimming beach located in Ottumwa Park

Video games, 1970s

Illustrating the popularity of arcades and the status of Ottumwa as Video Game Capital of the World

Traffic jam, Main Street, 1970s

Looking westward on East Main Street from Market Street, right before the start of urban renewal.

MORE EXPLORING THE IMAGE PHOTOS

 

contact bkorders @ mchsi.com (without spaces)                    copyright Michael W. Lemberger