Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

KU Anniversaries: A Cause for Celebration

July 23rd, 2014

As the University of Kansas approaches its 150th anniversary in the fall of 2015, one might be wondering how the university celebrated its previous milestones. For more recent anniversaries there was a trend of looking to the future, while the earlier ones looked to the past. What path will this anniversary follow? My guess would be a little bit of both, but only time will tell.

The Quarter-Centennial: 25th Anniversary 1890/91

KU celebrated 25 years of its history with a gathering of alumni, school and state officials, and the publication of a book (two practices that would continue for most anniversaries). The book, written by M.W. Sterling, sold for $1.00 and covered several aspects of the university’s first 25 years. One memorable section recalled some practical jokes. During commencement a grinning skeleton descended from a hole in the rafters, dancing and shaking to the band’s music. On its toe was stuck a piece of paper that read the Latin word ‘prex’. What does ‘prex’ mean you may ask? The faculty.

The Semi-Centennial: 50th Anniversary 1915/16

The 50th anniversary for KU fell during international warfare, with the United States on the brink of joining the battle. This would not be the last time that KU’s anniversary would come during a World War; only 25 years later for the Diamond Jubilee the world would be at war again. With funding restricted and bigger issues to handle, the university senate understandably decided the $4,000 price tag for a celebration in May 1916 would not be possible. Chancellor Strong said the celebration would be postponed until “ways and means” could be provided. However, the following year would prove just as restrictive and the celebration never came to be.

The Diamond Jubilee: 75th Anniversary 1940/41

Following the lack of celebration 25 years earlier, KU made up for it in a grand, five-day celebration in 1941 that took three years of planning. This included a university-wide exposition, the reopening of Dyche Museum (now the Museum of Natural History), the publication of Across the Years on Mount Oread by Robert Taft, with over 300 photographs of the campus from the previous 75 years, a song contest, symposiums, class and group reunions, dinners and entertainments which included a Coronado Entrada and Kansas Cavalcade. To make sure that the returning alumni would feel right at home again on campus, 60 young women dressed in 1866 period gowns to help visitors around campus. Plus, old fashioned hitching posts were erected and the main mode of transportation was by horse and carriage.

Photograph of representative members of the previous 75 classes at the November 9th conclave. Photo of One of the 60 young women dressed in appropriate 1866 period fashion.

Representative members of the previous 75 classes at the November 9th conclave (left) and One of the 60 young women dressed in appropriate 1866 period fashion (right). University Archives. Call Number: RG 0/6 (Photos), 1941. Click to enlarge.

Women posing in a section of the diorama in the newly reopened Dyche Museum, 1941 Photograph of a group of women showing off the horse-drawn carriages and hitching posts used for the celebration.

Some of the ladies posing in a section of the diorama in the newly reopened Dyche Museum (left); A group of women showing off the horse-drawn carriages and hitching posts used for the celebration (right). University Archives. Call Number: RG 0/6 (Photos), 1941. Click to enlarge.

Photograph of a participant in the Coronado Entrada on campus overlooking the football stadium.

A participant in the Coronado Entrada on campus overlooking the football stadium. Call Number: RG 0/6 (Photos), 1941. Click image to enlarge.

Centennial: 100th Anniversary 1965/66

To be expected, the centennial celebration was a multi-day affair just like the 75th (minus the historical gowns and hitching posts). Whereas the previous anniversary celebrated the past, this one looked to the future and was highlighted by the Inter-Century Seminar, “Man and the Future.” The seminar brought together great intellectuals who discussed and lectured on the challenges of the next one hundred years. On the other hand, Clifford S. Griffin undertook a massive compilation of the past 100 years of history in his book: The University of Kansas, A History. While thoroughly covering KU’s history, Griffin kept in mind the Centennial’s theme of “progrediamur” (let us progress) and discussed the possibilities of the university’s future.

Photograph of medallion designed by Elden Tefft, for the 1966 centennial.

Designed by Elden Tefft, the medallion showcases the Lawrence campus silhouette along the bottom. The column on the left is composed of 26 symbols: three Jayhawks; a salamander, trilobite, bee and others denote scientific accomplishments; the wheat and sunflower for Kansas; 10 points of the star signify the nine schools and college. Call Number: RG 0/5 (photos): 1966

Photograph of the official dinner for the Inter-Century Seminar, 1966

The official dinner for the Inter-Century Seminar. Call Number: RG 0/5 (photos): 1966

Quasquicentennial: 125th Anniversary 1990/91

In response to the Centennial’s Inter-Century Seminar, the 125th anniversary hosted a similar session, “Looking forward: KU and the Challenges of the Future”. The participants took into account what was predicted 25 years earlier and offered their opinions. According to one prediction from the 1966 seminar by Arthur C. Clarke, British scientist and science fiction writer, man will have established a permanent base on Mars by 2066. That doesn’t sound as crazy now as I’m sure it did just 25-50 years ago.

JoJo Palko
University Archives Intern

Creating Authority: Printing with Anglo-Saxon Type

July 17th, 2014

This week’s post comes from Amanda Luke, a recent KU graduate and a Reference Specialist at Watson Library.  Amanda is currently working toward her Master of Library Science (MLS) degree at Emporia State University.

There is a special connection between Anglo-Saxon typeface and the religious controversy that defined late sixteenth-century England. With the Church of England only decades old and tensions between Catholics and Protestants higher than ever, church officials sought to establish ties between the new Church and earlier English history. One connection manifested itself through church manuscripts from the Middle Ages. Some of these religious texts appeared in Old English, the “vulgar” or common tongue of the Anglo-Saxons, who occupied England before the Norman conquests in the eleventh century. Matthew Parker (1504-1575), Archbishop of Canterbury, was the one of the earliest proponents of Anglo-Saxon scholarship. Parker hoped that having these Anglo-Saxon manuscripts translated and printed would lend legitimacy to the new Church through ties to early English religious doctrine.

Parker’s chief interest lay in a series of Latin and Old English texts by Ælfric, an abbot who lived circa 950 – 1010. Copies of these documents had been found at the Worcester and Canterbury cathedrals (Evenden 81). These texts, which Parker’s secretary John Joscelyn likely translated, touched on the subject of the Eucharist and seemed to challenge the Catholic belief in transubstantiation, or the literal transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ (Evenden 81). This rejection of Catholic doctrine was vital for Parker because it provided evidence that the current Catholic thinking was not always present in England.

Image of the title page of A Testimonie of Antiquitie (1566) Legend discussing Old English Characters in John Joscelyn's edition of AElfric's A Testimonie of Antiquitie (1566)

Left: Title page; Right: Old English characters explained.  From: Aelfric, Abbot of Eynsham. A Testimonie of Antiquitie
ſhewing the auncient fayth in the Church of England touching the ſacrament of the body and bloude of the Lord
[…].
London: Iohn Day, [1566?]. Call Number: Clubb A1566.1 Click images to enlarge.

To disseminate this claim he employed a London-based Protestant printer named John Day for an unprecedented task: the development of a typeface which included all of the special characters present in the Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. The development of this Anglo-Saxon type, often just called Saxon type, was an enormous financial risk for Parker. It was estimated by modern scholar Peter Lucas that the typeface would have cost the vast sum of £200 to create (Evenden 82). The typeface which Day cast was 16 point, or slightly smaller than a great primer, a 17 point type (Clement 209). It contained fourteen lower and ten upper case Old English characters not found in the Latin alphabet (see above). It is fascinating to note the several forms of the diphthong “th” in the alphabet (eth ð and thorn þ), as well as the presence of a symbol for the word “and.”

The earliest book containing the Anglo-Saxon typeface was printed by John Day in 1566 at Parker’s request. The volume was titled A Testimonie of Antiquitie ſhewing the auncient fayth in the Church of England touching the ſacrament of the body and bloude of the Lord here publikely preached, and alſo receaued in the Saxons tyme, aboue 600. yeares agoe, and was attributed to Ælfric, the author of the text that influenced Parker. As its long title suggests, this text is a translation of an Easter sermon which touches on the communion. It was especially important to Parker because it supported his mission to legitimize the doctrines of the Church of England. The creation of the Saxon typeface to accompany the translation was, according to scholar Richard Clement, a means of further legitimizing obscure texts. He writes, “Parker’s men began to examine the manuscripts and were impressed by the visual impact of the Anglo-Saxon texts which almost jumped off the page and proclaimed their antiquity and authority to the reader” (Clement 206). Use of the Saxon typeface also helped to differentiate the Old English text from the Latin and English used in the book.

Clubb_A1566_1_f35_withred

Passage on the transubstantiation (with red underlinings added). Aelfric, Abbot of Eynsham. A Testimonie of Antiquitie …].
London: Iohn Day, [1566?]. Call Number: Clubb A1566.1  Click image to enlarge.

In the image above, the volume is opened to folio 35, which contains a central moment in the Easter sermon. A printed note in the margin reads “No transubstantiation,” highlighting one of the major doctrinal connections Parker was trying to make between the historical church and the Church of England. The text in Saxon type appears on the left, and the translation appears on the right. Even if you cannot read Old English, words such as “blode” and “Christ” can be made out (see the words underlined in red).   Thus the facing page format supported the preface’s claim that everything in the translation was true and accurate.

The use of the Saxon typeface in A Testimonie of Antiquitie opened the door for the expansion of Anglo-Saxon scholarship.  To explore the subject further, visit Spencer and use its Clubb Collection of Books Printed with Anglo-Saxon Type.

Amanda Luke
KU Alumna and Reference Specialist, Watson Library

Works Cited

Clement, Richard W. “The Beginnings of Printing in Anglo-Saxon, 1565-1630.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America.91.2 (1997): 192-244. Print.

Evenden, Elizabeth. Patents, Pictures, and Patronage: John Day and the Tudor Book Trade. Burlington: Ashgate, 2008. Print.

 

A Brief History of the Shane-Thompson Photography Studio

July 11th, 2014

Spencer Research Library’s Kansas Collection is home to the Shane-Thompson Photograph Collection, which documents a fascinating family of photographers and the images they took of the town and its residents. The studio was successful for seventy-five years, despite a tragic event that should have ended it.

Photograph of Captain James Boucher Shane

James Boucher Shane. Shane-Thompson Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 500. Click image to enlarge.

James B. Shane was born in Kentucky in 1840. In the early months of the Civil War he enlisted as a sergeant in the Union 16th Regiment, Kentucky Infantry. Shane served until July 1865 despite suffering serious injuries during the Atlanta Campaign of 1864: his hearing was significantly damaged by his close proximity to cannonade and he lost a leg after a rifle ball shattered his left knee.

After the war, Shane returned to Kentucky, intending to resume his legal studies. Quickly discovering that his severe hearing loss would put him at a serious disadvantage in the courtroom, he had to abandon law as a career. Having read many accounts of westward expansion, Shane left Kentucky and headed to Kansas in 1866. He eventually settled in and around what later became Dickinson County, living there for twelve years and at various times farming, teaching school, working for the railroad as a land agent, and holding various elected positions in local government.

Photograph of James Shane's railroad photography car

James Shane’s railroad photography car. Shane-Thompson
Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 500.
Click image to enlarge.

In 1878 Shane moved his family to Lawrence, Kansas, to provide his ten children with access to better schools. The following year, Shane spent three weeks with a specialist in Chicago, receiving treatments for his worsening hearing loss. The doctor had several framed photographs of famous men displayed on his office walls, and this gave Shane the idea to have his picture taken. While visiting with the photographer, Shane took an interest in the work of photography and paid the photographer $50.00 for two weeks of lessons. By the end of this time, Shane was hooked. He gave the photographer $200.00 to purchase a photography “outfit” for him and then bought a railroad car for $100.00 to use as his gallery. He returned to Lawrence with a new profession, although unfortunately his hearing was no better.

Photograph of a train depot in Lawrence, Kansas

Train depot in Lawrence, Kansas. Shane-Thompson Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 500. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of a Salvation Army group

Salvation Army group. Shane-Thompson Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 500. Click image to enlarge.

Shane took his railroad car photo gallery around northeast Kansas and into Iowa. Eventually his wife wanted him stay closer to home, so he parked the car on Massachusetts Street in north Lawrence and bought a house on Louisiana Street. When his business outgrew the railroad car, Shane traded it for a gallery at 829 Massachusetts Street, where Brown’s Shoe Fit is today. It appears that business was quite good because within a few years Shane opened two other galleries in Lawrence, including one at 615 Massachusetts, which currently houses Quinton’s Bar and Deli. Shane also built a little processing shed made of corrugated iron next to the building at 1009 Massachusetts (now Louise’s Bar). He used this shop to re-touch and develop negatives.

 Photograph of a train wreck

Train wreck. Shane-Thompson Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 500. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Lawrence, Kansas, police officer Sam Jeans

Lawrence, Kansas, police officer Sam Jeans.
Shane-Thompson Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 500. Click image to enlarge.

Shane was working in his processing shed on the morning of February 25, 1902. He was taking a break and standing in the entrance of the shed when two local young men out on their lunch break walked by. They said something to Shane and he believed it to be taunting. He had lately been having quite a bit of trouble with local boys taunting and bullying him. In an attempt that Shane said was meant to scare these two, he raised the revolver he kept in his pants pocket and fired, believing he would shoot over their heads. His arm caught on the bar of the awning that covered the doorway, and the bullet hit Edgar Katherman in the back. The young man fell face forward onto the sidewalk, killed instantly, his hands still in his pockets. It is unknown if Katherman had been one of the boys picking on Shane.

Photograph of Juno Belle Shane Thompson

Juno Belle Shane Thompson. Shane-Thompson
Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 500.
Click image to enlarge.

Two weeks after Shane’s arrest, his daughter Juno Belle returned to Lawrence from Virginia to operate the gallery. She was a photographer, too, and a graduate of the Illinois College of Photography. She had been employed in a studio in Virginia that, according to a write-up in the March 8, 1902, Daily World announcing her arrival back in Lawrence, was one of the leading studios in that state.

Photograph of Herbert Thompson

Herbert Thompson’s senior picture in the
KU Jayhawker yearbook, 1910. University Archives.
Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1910. Click image to enlarge.

While her father was being held without bail, Juno Belle ran the studio alone. She continued to do so after he was convicted and sent to the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing. Herbert Thompson became her business partner after their marriage sometime around 1907, and she taught him all she knew about photography. Together they ran the studio until Herbert’s death in 1929, after which Juno Belle again ran the studio alone until her death in 1953.

In prison, Shane was a model prisoner and put in charge of the photography studio. He was sentenced to hang, but the punishment was never carried out. In late 1912, at the age of nearly 72, his health began to decline. His daughters Myrtle, Vara, Neva, and Ella successfully petitioned the governor for their father’s parole. Shane was eventually pardoned in August 1913. He lived in Abilene with his brother for several months before returning to Lawrence, where he lived in the Savoy Hotel. He died there on December 28, 1913.

Photograph of the Eldridge Hotel, Lawrence, Kansas

Eldridge Hotel, Lawrence, Kansas. Shane-Thompson Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 500. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of a Native American family

Native American family. Shane-Thompson Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 500. Click image to enlarge.

Considering that Shane, Juno Belle, and Herbert Thompson operated a photography business in Lawrence for seventy-five years, and given the number of photographs and negatives in the current collection, it is believed that the Library does not have all of the photos ever taken by the studio. The collection contains photographs of Lawrence businesses, schools, events, activities, portraits and groups made by Capt. Shane, but the bulk of the collection consists of portrait photography by Juno Belle and Herbert between 1903 and 1923.

Kathy Lafferty
Public Services

World War I and KU: A Reflection on the 100 year Anniversary

July 3rd, 2014

June 28, 2014 marked the unofficial 100 year anniversary of the beginning of World War I. On that day 100 years ago, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated. That tragic moment put into motion the dominoes that would fall one month later, resulting in a war that would last four years and forever change the course of history. As the world looks back on this event, I wanted to find what connections the University of Kansas had to the Great War. Simply put: there are a lot. For this entry, I will focus on the beginnings of KU’s involvement with the war. From the Student Army Training Corps (SATC)—a forerunner of the ROTC on campus—to the first American army officer killed, KU becomes forever linked with the Great War.

Student Army Training Corps barracks, KU Campus. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Call number 0.22.89.

Overview of the SATC barracks that were constructed on campus. The barracks cost $180,000 and helped house the influx of 2,500 soldiers. University Archives, call number 0/22/89 1918. Click image to enlarge.

Student Army Training Corps classes, KU Campus. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Call number 29.0.

Group of SATC classes pose in front of Fowler Shops with the instructors in the center. Classes included carpentry, machinery, auto shop, blacksmith, telegraphy, and radio. University Archives, call number 29/0 1918.
Click image to enlarge.

The University of Kansas Graduate Magazine issues during 1917-1919 offer valuable insight about campus life before, during, and after the United States joined the war. One topic of contention was the SATC. Wanting to make itself fully available for the service of the country, while also still providing quality education to its students, the university administration struggled to produce a compromise. The result was a majority of War Department approved courses combined with a required course on “war aims” to understand the multitude of causes of the conflict. The photographs below are just a sampling of what these courses, including Red Cross classes for women, looked like on campus almost 100 years ago.

McCook Field, KU Campus. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Call number 29.0.

SATC Commander Scher talks with a group at McCook Field in 1918.
University Archives, call number 29/0 1918. Click image to enlarge.

Telegraphers. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Call number ksrl_ua_29.0_telegraphers_1918

SATC telegraph class members practice wigwagging (sending messages by moving two flags according to a code) on the University’s campus. University Archives, call number 29/0 1918. Click image to enlarge.

Of the 9 million war casualties, 129 were KU men and women. Of those 129, Dr. William T. Fitzsimmons was the first American army officer killed in the war. Fitzsimmons was born in Burlington, Kansas, graduated from the University of Kansas in 1910, and received his M.D. in 1912. A lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corps, he was stationed in France at an allied hospital base. On the night of September 4, 1917, Fitzsimmons’ unit was bombed by airplanes. His death saddened and shocked the university community, bringing what seemed like a distant war immediately closer to home.

William T. Fitzsimmons. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Call number 0.22.54.

Portrait of William T. Fitzsimmons, the first KU (and American) officer to be killed in World War I.
University Archives, call number 0/22/54 1918. Click image to enlarge.

JoJo Palko
University Archives intern