Back in December, I wrote about my summer project of organizing and uploading the proceedings of the International Conference on the Epidemiology and Control of Biological, Chemical and Physical Hazards in Pigs and Pork (Safe Pork) conferences for Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Now, I am back to write about another project I undertook for the College of Veterinary Medicine—albeit a much smaller one. After completing Safe Pork, I picked up work for a campus student journal, the Iowa State University Veterinarian. Beginning in the Fall semester of 1938 and up until the Spring of 2001, the students of the College of Veterinary Medicine published a veterinary student journal for the CVM community, which was the first of its kind in the nation when it began as “The Veterinary Student”. In 1950 (vol. 12) the journal’s name changed to “Iowa State College Veterinarian”, and in 1960 (vol. 22) the name changed for a final time to “Iowa State University Veterinarian”.
The Iowa State University Veterinarian was originally part of the ISU Digital Collections. The project to migrate the journal to the DR was begun by our systems support specialist, Susan Knippel, and I then picked it up in mid-October of last year. Compared to the Safe Pork undertaking, this project was very similar to some of the first projects I had as a new student-assistant at the DR. On the one hand, it had been started by someone else and given to me to allow them to pursue other projects (like work I had done for the Farm Progress Reports). On the other hand, the nature of the work was also similar to earlier projects of mine, which consisted of uploading files and inserting metadata article by article, rather than in batch-form as I had done for each volume of the SafePork series. Although the timeframe of the journal articles I worked with was far greater than that for the SafePork series (over thirty years and issues for “Iowa State University Veterinarian” compared to ten volumes over some twenty years for “Safe Pork”), this most recent job was far less labor-intensive in that most of the grunt work (splitting PDFs, creating and event-community site, etc.) had already been accomplished.
In working with the Iowa State University Veterinarian project, I have taken glances into many fields of research and practice which I could have never imagined; these ranged from companion animal oncology to issues of reproduction in llamas, and many other topics. Truthfully though, this is nothing less than what I would expect from my job here. For as long as I have worked with the Digital Repository, my horizons have been broadened by working with disciplines as varied as creative writing, agronomy, and materials science. I never quite know what I’ll run into when I take up a new project in this department, and the excitement and anticipation of that may be the most exciting thing about this job. As always, I’d like to thank my department coordinator Harrison Inefuku and my supervisor Hope Mitchell. I also want to thank Susan Knippel for starting this project, and I want to thank all of the veterinary students who for decades edited and curated their student journal.
Benjamin Spick is a junior in Anthropology and Religious Studies. He began working with the Digital Repository in November 2012.