Inside Spencer: the KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Groundhog Day Edition

January 29th, 2015

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 1,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Groundhog Day is next Monday. What type of weather will we face on Mount Oread over the next six weeks?

Photograph of Students walking along Jayhawk Boulevard in the snow, 1936-1937

Students walking along Jayhawk Boulevard in the snow, 1936-1937.
Duke D’Ambra, photographer. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Snow 1936-1937 Prints: Campus:
Areas and Objects: Snow (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of flowers along Jayhawk Boulevard, 1930s

Flowers along Jayhawk Boulevard, 1930s.
Old Fraser Hall, located approximately where “New” Fraser Hall
stands today, is in the background. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Flowers 1930s Prints: Campus:
Areas and Objects: Flowers (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

 

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Once upon a Time… in Spencer

January 26th, 2015

Last week you met Mindy Babarskis, now she highlights some illustrations from one of the volumes in Spencer’s Children’s Books Collection.

Spencer Research Library houses around 7,000 children’s books,  and many of these are folk tales and fairy tales. This immediately brings the Grimm Brothers’ European tales to mind, but did you know that A.L. Grimm also published tales from the Middle East and Asia? Here’s a beautifully bound and illustrated edition of Tales from the Eastern-Land by A.L. Grimm, translated from the German by H.V.

Cover of Tales from the Eastern-Land (1852), featuring an image of a gold Buddha Table of Contents of Grimm's Tales from the Eastern-Land

Gold stamped Buddha image on the front cover and the table of contents (with an old and lonely flower petal) in Spencer Research Library’s copy of A. L. Grimm’s Tales from the Eastern-Land,  Illustrated by J.B. Sonderland. London: H.G. Bohn, 1852. Call Number: Children 6035.  Click images to enlarge.

Illustration of a Djinn from Grimm's Tales from the Eastern-Land.

I bet you’ve never seen a djinn portrayed quite like this; not the friendly big blue spirit depicted by Disney. Illustration by J. B. Sonderland in A. L. Grimm’s Tales from the Eastern-Land, 1852. Call Number: Children 6035.  Click image to enlarge.

Illustration of a fainting woman in Grimm's Tales from the Eastern-Land

It wouldn’t be a book from the 1800’s without a fainting woman. Sadly, she forgot her smelling salts. Tales from the Eastern-Land, 1852. Call Number: Children 6035. Click image to enlarge.

Interesting architecture in an illustration from Tales from the Eastern-Land.

The architectural details in this image are wonderful; take some time and study the background of Sonderland’s illustration. Tales from the Eastern-Land, 1852. Call Number: Children 6035. Click image to enlarge.

Illustration from "The Three Trials" in Tales from the Eastern-Land

Here’s an emotional moment from “The Three Trials” in Tales from the Eastern-Land, 1852. Call Number: Children 6035. Click image to enlarge.

Mindy Babarskis
Public Services Library Assistant

Throwback Thursday: Presidential Edition

January 22nd, 2015

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 1,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

President Obama’s speech at KU today has generated much excitement on campus and in Lawrence, so we’re taking a look back at some past presidential visits to the area.

 

Photograph of President Theodore Roosevelt in Lawrence, 1903

Photograph of President Theodore Roosevelt in Lawrence, 1903

President Theodore Roosevelt visited Lawrence, but not the university, in May 1903.
The Kansas University Weekly noted that “the students made a good showing Friday afternoon when
President Roosevelt visited Lawrence. The old ‘Rock Chalk, Jay Hawk, K. U.’ could be heard
above all the other shouting.” University Archives Photos. Call Number: Taft Filmstrips:
Theodore Roosevelt, 10,596/10,597. Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of President Harry S Truman, 1960

Photograph of President Harry S Truman, 1960

Former President Harry S Truman gave a speech before KU’s model UN in 1960.
During this visit he also examined historical Kansas materials at Watson Library (top),
the precursor to Spencer’s Kansas Collection. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/19 Harry S Truman: Visitors (Photos). Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, 1978

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, 1978

Former President Gerald Ford at the dedication of Green Hall, which houses
KU’s School of Law, February 1978. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/19 Gerald Ford Prints: Visitors (Photos). Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of President Jimmy Carter, 2003

Former President Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the
Dole Institute of Politics, 2003. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/19 Jimmy Carter: Visitors (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of President George H. W. Bush, 1972

Photograph of President George H. W. Bush, 1972

Future President George H. W. Bush visited KU in April 1972, during the time he was the
United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Lawrence Journal-World Photo Collection, University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG LJW 0/19 George H. W. Bush: Visitors (Photos). Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of President Bill Clinton, 2004

Photograph of President Bill Clinton, 2004

Former President Bill Clinton talking with former Senator Bob Dole (and KU Chancellor
Robert Hemenway) and examining exhibits at KU’s Dole Institute of Politics, 2004.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/19 Bill Clinton: Visitors (Photos). Click images to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Meet the KSRL Staff: Mindy Babarskis

January 21st, 2015

This is the second installment in what will be a recurring series of posts introducing readers to the staff of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Joining us in October 2014, Mindy Babarskis is Spencer’s newest team member; she’s a Public Services Library Assistant and the Supply Coordinator for the library.

Photograph of Mindy Babarskis at the Spencer reception desk

Library Assistant Mindy Babarskis where you’ll find her most often: Spencer’s reception desk.

Where are you from?
I’m from Berkley, Michigan, but I was living in Tallahassee, Florida, before I moved to Lawrence.

What does your job at Spencer entail?
I oversee the reception desk at Spencer. This means I am the first point of contact for patrons and visitors. I make sure they feel welcome and help them register to enter the Reading Room. Besides reception, I’m also responsible for ordering office supplies for the library and maintaining the staff schedule for reference desk duty. Also, I’m currently being trained on providing reference assistance to researchers in the Reading Room.

How did you come to work in special collections and archives?
I have my Master of Library and Information Science degree, and I’ve previously worked in public and academic libraries. I also have a bachelor’s in history, so this library and its collections fascinated me. Therefore, I applied for this position and they decided to hire me!

What is the strangest item you’ve come across in Spencer’s collections?
There are a lot of interesting items in Spencer, but one of the strangest to me is an open letter written to President Ronald Reagan from our Wilcox Collection. In this letter the author is berating Reagan for being too old and falling asleep during Cabinet meetings. I just found that to be an odd reason to be angry at Reagan.

What part of your job do you like best?
I love interacting with visitors and discovering where they’re from and what brought them to Spencer Library. Some people have fascinating stories! Two of my favorite patrons were a couple of researchers from Mexico City who were using our Griffith collection and specifically studying our documents from Guatemala. They were here for two weeks during the winter and got to experience snow for the first time! It was wonderful to see how invaluable our collections are to people around the world.

What are your favorite pastimes outside of work?
I’m a voracious reader. Lately, I’ve been heading back to my roots and catching up on science fiction and fantasy classics. I also love to bake and garden, although unfortunately I’m without a garden right now.

What piece of advice would you offer a researcher walking into Spencer Research Library for the first time?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure you give yourself enough time for research. I think most people underestimate the research process and how time-intensive it is. Luckily, there is always a reference librarian at the desk to help you navigate the process, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.

Mindy Babarskis
Library Assistant and Supply Coordinator

Throwback Thursday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Edition

January 15th, 2015

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 1,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

We’re sharing this week’s photograph in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which will be celebrated next Monday. By 1986, seventeen states had official King holidays. However, January 20th of that year – the date of the KU march shown in the picture below – marked the first nationally-observed holiday commemorating Dr. King’s birthday.

Photograph of a Martin Luther King, Jr. march, 1986

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march, 1986. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1986 Prints: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

For more information about the history of the holiday’s creation, see the King Center’s chronology of the “Making of the King Holiday.” Don Wolfensberger’s essay “The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday: The Long Struggle in Congress,” presented for a 2008 seminar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, provides more a detailed history.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Brian Nomura
Public Services Student Assistant