Inside Spencer: the KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: First Snow Edition

December 18th, 2014

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!

For a snowy day on Mount Oread, here’s an 1896 view of KU’s campus similarly covered by a light snowfall.

Panoramic view of Spooner, Blake, Fraser, and Snow Halls, 1896

Looking south, a view (from left to right) of Spooner, old Blake, old Fraser, and
old Snow Halls, 1896. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/P 1896 Prints:
Campus Panoramas (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Brian Nomura
Public Services Student Assistant

Kansas Christmases Past

December 18th, 2014

Several archival collections in our Kansas Collection contain images showing Christmas scenes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We’ve selected a few to show here; we hope they help get you in the holiday spirit!

Photograph of a room interior with Christmas tree, 1896

Room interior with Christmas tree and presents, 1896.
Leavenworth Public Library Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 72.
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Louise and Margaret Walbridge at the Christmas tree, circa 1897

Louise and Margaret Walbridge sitting under the Christmas tree
with their toys, Profile Ranch, Russell County, Kansas, circa 1897.
Louis Chester Walbridge Collection. Call Number: RH PH 21. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of 7th Battery dining hall set for Christmas Dinner, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1906

7th Battery dining hall set for Christmas dinner, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1906.
Joseph Judd Pennell Photograph Collection. RH PH Pennell. Click image to enlarge.
Image also available online as part of Spencer’s digital collections.

Photograph of Douglass Grade School, Manhattan, Kansas, Christmas 1945

Douglass Grade School, Manhattan, Kansas, Christmas 1945. James E. Butler Collection.
Call Number: RH MS-P 507. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of John A. Hodge with his grandson, Johnnie L. Hodge, Christmas 1949

John A. Hodge with his grandson, ten-year-old Johnnie L. Hodge, Christmas 1949.
The pair are examining Owen Wilson’s new “knockdown” electric train cars.
Photograph by Dowdal H. Davis, son-in-law. Dorothy Hodge Johnson Collection.
Call Number: RH MS-P 549. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of the winner of Christmas decoration contest, Topeka, Kansas, circa 1950s

Winner of Christmas decoration contest, Topeka, Kansas, circa 1950s. Photograph by Joe Douglas.
Joe Douglas Collection. Call Number: RH PH 90. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Christmas decorations on Massachusetts Street at 7th, Lawrence, Kansas, undated

Christmas decorations on Massachusetts Street at 7th, Lawrence, Kansas, undated.
Lawrence Photo Collection. Call Number: RH PH 18H. Click image to enlarge.
Image also available online as part of Spencer’s digital collections.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Fall Finals Edition

December 11th, 2014

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!

Good luck to KU students as they wrap up the Fall 2014 semester today and take final exams next week!

Photograph of students studying, 1950s

Christmas decorations brighten this study session, 1950s. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/0 1950s Prints: Student Activities (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

For additional pictures of KU students poring over their work, see also our blog entry from earlier this year, “KU Students Studying Hard, 1950-1985.”

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Brian Nomura
Public Services Student Assistant

Throwback Thursday: Campanile Edition

December 4th, 2014

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!

Sunday marks the seventy-third anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, so this week we’re showing early images of KU’s Memorial Carillon and Campanile, a bell tower with a set of bells built to honor members of the university community and alumni who served or died in World War II. You can learn more about the memorial’s design and construction on the KU History website.

Photograph of the campanile under construction, 1950

The campanile under construction, 1950. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/8 1950 Prints: Buildings: Campanile (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of the campanile under construction from across Potter Lake, 1950

View of the campanile under construction from across Potter Lake, 1950.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/8 1950 Prints:
Buildings: Campanile (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of men unloading the bells, 1951

Unloading the bells, 1951. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/8 AR Prints: Buildings: Campanile (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of the campanile, 1960s

The campanile during the 1960s. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/8 1960s Prints: Buildings: Campanile (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Brian Nomura
Public Services Student Assistant

Hanging Around at Spencer

December 1st, 2014

An unused stretch of wall space on the first floor of Spencer has become the new home to about fifty paintings formerly housed in the Kansas Collection and University Archives stacks. Following a visit to the collection storage area at the Spencer Museum of Art, Conservation Services staff installed a similar gridwall panel system.

.Hanging storage at Spencer Library    Hanging storage at Spencer Library

Left: Wall space for hanging storage. Right: Installation of gridwall panels.

The panels are much like ones found in retail stores for displaying merchandise. They come in a variety of lengths and widths, which make them very adaptable to the existing environment in which they are placed. The walls on which the panels were mounted were a bit less cooperative, as evidenced by the number and wear on the bits used in drilling process.

Hanging storage at Spencer Library

Large collection of drill bits used during the installation process.

Staff first attached painted wooden boards to the wall to reinforce the plaster surface. This also ensured that the hooks used for hanging the gridwall panels could be accurately fixed in place.

Hanging storage at Spencer Library

Installed gridwall panels.

Once the installation was complete, staff fastened d-ring hangers with short, pan-head wood screws to the frames or stretcher bars on the verso of the paintings. Although a few of the paintings were already equipped with hooks and wires, it was deemed more secure and stable to use the d-ring hangers for hanging on the panels. The use of a d-ring on each side of the frame/stretcher bar allows the painting to be hung from a pair of hooks. In this manner, the painting will not slide from side to side as it would when hung on a wire over a single hanger.

Hanging storage at Spencer Library   Hanging storage at Spencer Library

Left: Attaching d-rings to painting stretcher bar. Right: Painting with d-ring attached to hook, then to panel.

The paintings were then arranged salon-style, using the panel space as efficiently as possible. The paintings are now much easier to page for patrons. This is also a better storage environment for the items, as they are no longer standing on one side of their frame/stretcher bar or resting against one another.

Hanging storage at Spencer Library  Hanging storage at Spencer Library

Left: Paintings hung in place. Right: Tyvek drapery to protect paintings from dust and light.

As a final preservation strategy, the paintings have been draped in Tyvek. This material, best known for its application in house construction, is an excellent, light-weight covering to protect the paintings from dust and abrasion. In addition, we created a visual map of all the paintings to aid in paging them for patrons with the least disruption to the Tyvek drapery.

Roberta Woodrick
Assistant Conservator
Conservation Services