The University of Iowa Special Collections (UISpecColl) maintains a robust presence on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr (boasting over 46,000 followers), and on YouTube (over 500 subscribers).
In Spring 2015, UISpecColl debuted a new YouTube series, “If Books Could Talk”, which was a collaboration between Special Collections librarian Colleen Theisen (host of the program), history PhD candidate Heather Wacha (lead writer), and music librarian Katie Buehner (director and editor). The series examined the materiality of seven medieval manuscripts, including two music manuscripts, in imitation of several successful YouTube educational series. A rigorous production process leveraging available tools and software allowed this collaborative project to flourish and expand to include guest collaborators, such as University of Northern Iowa musicologist Alison Altstatt. There were positive outcomes including the incorporation of the videos into exhibits and course curriculum and the digital “reassembly” of leaves from a disassembled music manuscript.