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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Bohumil Shimek Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1890-1937
Creator: Shimek, Bohumil (1861-1937)
Extent: 5.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0036
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: University of Iowa professor of botany. founder of the Iowa Lakeside Biological Laboratory and the university herbarium. His papers include field notes pertaining to geology and flora of many Iowa counties.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Box 4

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The Papers of Bohumil Shimek were transferred to the University Archives from the Dept. of Geosciences. The photographs in box 4 were donated as Accession 2005-87 by David A. Konvalinka. The field notes comprising boxes 5-7 were received as Accession 2010-62 from the Dept. of Biology.

Preferred Citation: Bohumil Shimek Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney
Email: david-mccartney@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/archives

Bohumil Shimek was born in Shueyville, Iowa, on June 25, 1861. His parents emigrated from Bohemia to the United States for political reasons in 1856. Shimek's mother died when he was five years old, and he grew up poor in Iowa City. In 1883, Shimek received his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at the State University of Iowa and worked in Iowa City as a surveyor after graduation. He taught at Iowa City High School from 1885 to 1888, then taught zoology at the University of Nebraska for two years.
 
Thomas H. Macbride, head of the SUI Botany Department in 1890, lured Shimek back to Iowa City to instruct botany classes. In 1902, he took his masters degree at SUI. Shimek helped establish the Lakeside Biological Laboratory in 1908, and served as curator of the herbarium and chairman of the department. He traveled the state of Iowa to collect botanical and geological samples for his research and for deposit at the University. Shimek made many contributions in the area of conservation, as well as botany, geology, and zoology. Bohumil Shimek died January 30, 1937.

The Papers of Bohumil Shimek include published material and field notes taken by Shimek, assessing geological and botanical features of Iowa counties and other areas of the Midwest around the turn of the twentieth century. The collection also includes a set of his articles, both published and unpublished, arranged alphabetically by title.
Folder, "Shimek, Bohumil," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection, University Archives (RG 01.15.03)
"Professor Shimek to Be Honored at Commencement Luncheon." University of Iowa News Bulletin, 7 no. 5 (May 1932): 1-4, illus. Shimek's reminiscences of UI, 1870s-1880s.
Conard, Rebecca. Places of Quiet Beauty: Parks, Preserves, and Environmentalism. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1997. 382 pp., illus., map, tables, notes, bibliog.
"Bohumil Shimek." Iowa Academy of Science Proceedings 44 (1937): 31-33, illus.
Conard, Henry S. "Notes for a Biography of Bohumil Shimek." Iowa City, 1947. 76 pp.
Loehwing, Walter F. Bohumil Shimek. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1947. 36 pp., illus. In "Centennial Memoirs".
Loehwing, Walter F. Bohumil Shimek, a Golden Anniversary. Iowa City, 1932. 39 pp.

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