Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Quixotic in any language: Don Quixote at Spencer

September 28th, 2015

Over four-hundred years ago, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra conceived of one of the most enduring characters of western literature: a gentleman who, upon reading too many chivalric romances, determined to go into the world as Don Quixote and practice the art of chivalry.

The first volume of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha was published in 1605, to immediate success. The book was quickly translated into many languages; Spencer Library houses many translations of this seminal work.

After the success of Don Quixote, Cervantes turned his attention to writing other works, particularly Novelas ejemplares and Viaje al Parnaso. However, in 1614, a spurious sequel to El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha appeared in print, by a rival writing under the assumed name of Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda. In response, Cervantes penned the authorized Don Quixote sequel, Segunda Parte del Ingenioso Cavallero Don Quixote de la Mancha, which appeared in print in late 1615. In honor of the four-hundredth anniversary of the publication of the second and final volume featuring Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, please enjoy some images of the gentleman knight as depicted through the ages and in different translations.

Image of Don Quixote, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

The knight errant: Frontispiece of Don Kichote de la Mantscha (Frankfurt, 1669). Special Collections, Call Number Cervantes X6. Click image to enlarge.

Image of Don Quixote, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

The dreaming hidalgo: Frontispiece and title page of The history of the renowned Don Quixote de la Mancha (London, 1749). Special Collections, Call Number Cervantes X3 v. 1. Click image to enlarge.

Image of Don Quixote, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

Acting chivalrously: Frontispiece and title page of Leben und Thaten des weisen Junkers Don Quixote von la Mancha (Leipzig, 1780). Special Collections, Call Number Cervantes Y110 v. 3. Click image to enlarge.

Image of Don Quixote, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

Fighting windmills: Frontispiece and title page of Den Tappre och Snillrike Riddaren Don Quixotes af Mancha Lefverne och Bedrifter (Stockholm, 1818). Special Collections, Call Number Cervantes Y49 v. 1-2. Click image to enlarge.

Image of Don Quixote, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

Reading chivalric romances: Frontispiece and title page of Histoire de Don Quichotte de la Manche (Paris, 1853). Special Collections, Call Number Cervantes Y45. Click image to enlarge.

Whitney Baker
Head, Conservation Services

Throwback Thursday: Postcard Edition

September 24th, 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 6,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Some of the images of campus in our photograph collection are actually postcards. The one shown below includes a message from KU student Frank Joste to his mother. If you’ve ever arrived at school for a new semester and realized that you forgot something at home, you can appreciate Frank’s predicament!

Postcard, North Entrance, Kansas State University, 1910

Postcard showing the North Entrance to KU, 1910.
The buildings, from left to right, are Spooner Library, old Blake Hall,
old Fraser Hall (mostly obscured) and Dyche Hall. We highlighted a
photograph with a similar view, from 1896, last December. Click image to enlarge.

Postcard back, North Entrance, Kansas State University, 1910

 On the back of the postcard is student Frank Joste’s message
to his mother, mostly pertaining to a razor strap left at home.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/P 1910 Prints:
University General: Campus Panoramas (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Campus aerial, 1920s

Campus aerial, probably taken in 1923 or 1924.
The red line, from right to left, roughly shows the view featured
on the postcard. The four buildings that can be seen are indicated, too.
Watson Library and Strong Hall had not yet been built in 1910,
but they are also marked on the photograph, as points of reference.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/A 1920s Prints:
University General: Campus Aerials (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Frank Lewis Joste (1884/5-1964) was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, to Martin (circa 1847-1916) and Miranda Caldwell (circa 1848-1938) Joske. Frank’s father was a German immigrant, army veteran, and long-time guard at the Leavenworth federal penitentiary. Frank studied engineering at KU from 1907 to 1911. Although he never graduated, he put his education to good use, apparently spending his entire career working as an engineer for Southwestern Bell, first in St. Louis and then in Fort Worth. Frank married Bertha May Martin (1889-1985) around 1917; the couple had one son, Martin William Joste (1917-1978).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Meet the KSRL Staff: Angela Andres

September 21st, 2015

This is the fourth installment in what will be a recurring series of posts introducing readers to the staff of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Joining the Conservation Services unit in Summer 2015, Angela Andres is the new Assistant Conservator for Special Collections.

Photograph of Angela Andres

Angela hard at work in the conservation lab.
Click image to enlarge.

Where are you from?
My hometown is Belvidere, IL (the north central part of the state, near Rockford), but I came to Lawrence from New York City, where I’d lived for ten years. In between I lived in California, Philadelphia, and Madison, WI.

What does your job at Spencer entail?
I treat and preserve materials in Spencer’s collections to ensure their availability to both present and future library patrons.

How did you come to work as a conservator?
As a graduate student in library school, I had a work-study job in my school’s conservation lab. I had a background in studio art and book arts, and I realized that conservation was a field where my hand skills and my interest in library service could be combined.

What do you like most about being a conservator?
I greatly enjoy solving the unique problems presented by each treatment and project. Academic library collections are so diverse that every day is different and there is always something new to learn in the process of treating such varied materials.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a conservator?
There are many types of conservators and different paths to a conservation career, but I’d suggest starting at the website of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), the national professional organization. There’s a section called “Become a Conservator” that is a great starting point.

What piece of advice would you offer a researcher walking into Spencer Research Library for the first time?
Just ask! The staff at Spencer are so friendly and will be happy to help you discover Spencer’s collections.

Angela M. Andres
Assistant Conservator for Special Collections

Achievement of a Dream: The Birth of the University of Kansas

September 18th, 2015

Achievement of a Dream: The Birth of the University of Kansas, Spencer Library’s newest exhibit, opened on September 11, 2015.

The exhibit, developed in conjunction with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the University, was curated by University Archivist Rebecca Schulte and Assistant Archivist Letha Johnson, with assistance from KU 150 Research Archivist JoJo Palko. It highlights original documents, photographs, and memorabilia that tell the story of the early years of the University from its beginnings in 1865 to the turn of the twentieth century. Exhibition items include Chancellor John Fraser’s Civil War-era Union lieutenant’s uniform and sword, early student activity photographs, and the diploma of KU’s first graduate, Flora Richardson. Whitney Baker, Head of Conservation Services at KU Libraries, and Angela Andres, Library Preservation Assistant, provided display support and conservation guidance.

Photograph of Flora Richardson

Flora Richardson, valedictorian of KU’s first graduating class (1873).
University Archives Photos. Call Number: P/ Richardson, Flora: People (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

List of degrees conferred, 1873

“Degrees Conferred. Commencement 1873, on Examination, Class of 1873.”
University Archives. Call Number: LD 2693 .U55 1873.
Click image to enlarge. See more documents from KU’s first
commencement
at Archives Online, part of KU ScholarWorks.

There had been many female students at the University of Kansas since it first opened in 1866 as a preparatory school, but only one has the double distinction of first graduate and class valedictorian: Flora Richardson. Flora graduated with the first class in 1873, earning a Bachelor of Arts. At commencement she spoke at length on the “Uses of Superstition.” She argued that superstition, though allegedly “hurtful to man’s progress,” actually furthered intellectual inquiry by inspiring reverent curiosity about the world. The speech was a success; the Daily Kansan Tribune lauded her performance, declaring that “the young lady came forward tastefully and elegantly attired in white, and delivered her oration in a firm, though pleasant voice.”

Flora’s remarkable collegiate career included joining the Oread Literary Society and being a founding member of the Kappa chapter of the “I.C. Sorosis” sorority, which in 1888 changed its name to Pi Beta Phi. She even created KU’s first entomological collection, a 140-specimen group including everything from cockroaches to walking sticks, as a pupil of Professor (and later Chancellor) Francis Huntington Snow.

 Image of Flora Richardson's KU diploma, 1873

Flora Richardson‘s diploma from the University of Kansas, 1873.
This was the first diploma ever awarded by KU.
Generously loaned to University Archives from Flora Richardson’s family.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Flora’s diploma, the first ever awarded by KU, is now on display at Spencer Research Library as part of Achievement of a Dream: The Birth of the University of Kansas. The exhibit is free and open to the public in the Spencer Exhibit Space, located on the library’s third floor. The library is open Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm; during the fall and spring semesters, when KU classes are in session, it is also open on Saturday, 9:00am to 1:00pm. For other closings and hours during semester breaks and holidays, see our Exception Dates.

JoJo Palko
KU 150 Research Archivist
University Archives

Throwback Thursday: Marching Jayhawks Edition

September 17th, 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 6,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Photograph of the KU Marching Band sitting on the sidelines at a football game, 1924-1925

Members of the KU Marching Band (Marching Jayhawks) on the sidelines
at a football game, 1924-1925. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 22/1/m 1924/1925 Prints: Fine Arts:
University Bands: Marching Band (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants