Important to remember Nancy Drew's Iowa roots; Dinosaur exhibit at University Museums draws large crowds

May 1, 2005
Contact: 

Barbara Lounsberry, UNI professor of English, (319) 268-0502 or Barbara.Lounsberry@uni.edu
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-6728
Kay Thuesen, public affairs coordinator, UNI Museums, (319) 273-2188

Important to remember Nancy Drew's Iowa roots















'It's all well and good the world is celebrating Nancy Drew's 75th anniversary as the most popular fictional teen detective in the world, but what about her Iowa creator's 100th birthday also taking place this year?' asks Barbara Lounsberry, professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. Lounsberry is traveling the state to remind Iowans that both Nancy and her creator are Iowa heroines.















Nancy Drew is a publishing phenomenon just as a great as Harry Potter, according to Lounsberry. Since the appearance of 'The Secret of the Old Clock,' in 1930, more than 200 million copies of Nancy Drew mysteries have been sold and she's been translated into 27 different languages. In honor of her 75th birthday, publishers have come out with the first-ever Nancy Drew graphic novel and a whole new Nancy Drew series in which Nancy talks to the reader in first person.















'Iowa's Mildred Augustine created Nancy Drew's admirable character and personality when she was 25,' Lounsberry explains. 'She wrote 23 of the first Nancy Drew mysteries and gave many of her own traits to the Iowa sleuth.'















However, Augustine was forced to sign contracts swearing to keep secret her authorship of the mysteries, and for 50 years kept her promise. Augustine was born July 10, 1905 in Ladora, Iowa, and died in 2002 at the age of 97 still writing her newspaper column called 'On the Go.'















Lounsberry says Augustine clearly made Nancy Drew an Iowa detective, for in the first mystery she wrote, 'Like a true daughter of the Middle West, Nancy Drew took pride in the fertility of her state and saw beauty in a crop of waving green corn as well as in the rolling hills and the expanse of prairie land.'















Publishers have tried to hide Nancy's Iowa roots, Lounsberry explains: 'That's why we need to reclaim and honor her -- and her creator.'















Contact:















Barbara Lounsberry, UNI professor of English, (319) 268-0502 or Barbara.Lounsberry@uni.edu















Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-6728















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Dinosaur exhibit at University Museums draws large crowds















In a little less than eight weeks, 28,000 visitors have been to see the exhibit 'A T. rex Named SUE,' hosted by the University of Northern Iowa Museums, and on display at the Cedar Falls Utilities building located at 1326 Waterloo Road. This figure includes 9,000 children who have come on school field trips. Another 4,000 school children are scheduled to visit SUE during May. Visitors have come from more than 20 states and eight foreign countries.















More than 350 volunteers have helped staff the exhibit, with each person giving a minimum of 15 hours to the project. 'We calculate that more than 7,000 volunteer hours will be needed throughout the run of the exhibition, in addition to our staff hours,' said Kay Thuesen, public affairs coordinator for the UNI Museums.















The life-sized replica of SUE, the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered, was created by The Field Museum, Chicago, and made possible through the generosity of McDonald's Corporation. The exhibition includes hands-on and interactive learning stations that accompany the 42-foot-long articulated cast skeleton of SUE. In addition, visitors can get an eye-level view of the massive skull and touch models of SUE's 12-inch long teeth. The UNI Museum has a second exhibit at 3219 Hudson Road called 'Dinos 101.' This exhibit includes additional information about dinosaurs including real fossils and replicas. There is no admission fee to visit the UNI Museum.















SUE ticket prices for adults are $6, children (4-15 yrs.) are $3, children (3 and under) are free. Regular hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m to 4 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.















Regular hours at the UNI Museum are Monday through Friday 9 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4 pm.















Contact:















Kay Thuesen, public affairs coordinator, UNI Museums, (319) 273-2188















Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-6728