Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Have a Dreadful Halloween!

October 31st, 2016

Here are some spooky penny dreadfuls from our Special Collections to help you get into the Halloween spirit! Come into Spencer Research Library and take a look at the rest of our sensational tales from Victorian England.

First page of the penny dreadful titled The Old Witchcrafts by Robert and William Chambers probably published in 1854 in London and Edinburgh. Special Collections, B1229.

First page of the penny dreadful titled
The Old Witchcrafts, with illustration.
Written and published by Robert and
William Chambers, London and Edinburgh, circa 1854.
Call number: B1229. Click image to enlarge.

First page of the penny dreadful titled The Vampire, or, the Bride of the Isles. Published by G. Purkess circa 1853. Special Collections, B1239

First page of the penny dreadful titled
The Vampire, or, the Bride of the Isles,
with illustration. Published in London by
G. Purkess, circa 1853.
Call number: B1239. Click image to enlarge.

First page of the penny dreadful titled The haunted forest, or, The demon raftsman. Published in London by G. Purkess circa1853. Special Collections, B1251.

First page of the penny dreadful titled
The Haunted Forest, or, the Demon Raftsman,
with illustration. Published in London by
G. Purkess, circa 1853.
Call number: B1251. Click image to enlarge.

Mindy Babarskis
Reference Specialist
Public Services

Flashback Friday: Feline Friend Edition

October 28th, 2016

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 29,500 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

We’re sharing a bonus photograph this week in honor of National Cat Day, which is celebrated annually on October 29th.

Photograph of a KU student with a cat, 1975-1976

A KU student and his cat, 1975-1976. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 56/0 1975/1976 Prints: Housing (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Throwback Thursday: Apparition Edition

October 27th, 2016

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 29,500 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

In honor of Halloween, this week’s photograph shows a spooky shadow haunting The Outlook, the home of Jabez and Elizabeth Watkins that became the Chancellor’s Residence in 1939. (From 1894 to 1939, the chancellor lived at 1345 Louisiana, located at the northwest corner of 14th and Louisiana streets. Douthart Scholarship Hall currently occupies that location.)

But, two notes on the back of the photo provide a logical explanation for the apparent apparition. The first one reads: “Mrs. Watkins’ front hall, looking into dining room. Her niece from Louisiana was taking a time exposure [photograph] and I thought I could walk through without its showing, but I did (in line with dining room arch). Gary Bennett, 1924.” In reply, someone else has written “So you thought a ‘slip thru’ would not show – ‘I told you so.'”

Photograph of The Outlook interior, 1924

Interior view of The Outlook with a shadowy figure, 1924. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/11/i 1532 Lilac Lane 1924 Prints:
Campus: Buildings: Chancellor’s Residence Interior (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

The Home Stretch: Wrapping up treatment of Summerfield D544

October 24th, 2016

Earlier this year, I wrote here about the treatment of Kazania na niedziele calego roku [Sermons for Sundays of the Whole Year], 1683, by Pawel Kaczyński. In those posts, I discussed the beginning and middle stages of the treatment, and at long last it is time to report on the completion of this lengthy project.

Shortly after the last post was published, I finished sewing the volume. The next steps were to round and back the book (gently hammering the book in a press to create its rounded spine and raise the shoulders along the spine), add linings to the spine, and sew endbands at the head and tail. Finally, I placed the book into a case of stiff handmade paper.

Summerfield D544 during treatment. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Clockwise from upper left: Completed sewing; rounding and backing the volume; a completed endband; the volume in its paper case, under weight. Click image to enlarge.

Just to rewind a little, here’s what the book looked like a year ago when it was brought to the lab:

Summerfield D544 before treatment. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Summerfield D544 before treatment. This is a view of the back of the volume, which had no binding, showing the fragment of manuscript pasted to the cords. The fragment is mostly concealed by layers of delaminated board.

In addition to treating the volume itself, I also cleaned, mended, and housed the manuscript fragment, written in what is thought to be Old Church Slavic, that had been used as binder’s waste on the back of the book. I did minimal stabilizing mends to this piece; the paper is fairly strong, but the media on this fragment is highly water-soluble, so I was careful to place mends very selectively so as not to disturb the fragile media. I mounted the fragment in a double-window mat, which in turn sits inside a simple mat board folio. In this folio I also included before-treatment images of the volume for researchers’ and curators’ reference, and for use in teaching.

Summerfield D544 after treatment. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Manuscript fragment after treatment.

The new binding for this volume is a conservation paper case. It is not intended to be a historical reproduction – for we have no way of knowing how the book was originally bound – but rather an aesthetically sympathetic binding that will integrate well with its mates in the Summerfield collection, and, most importantly, can be safely handled.

Summerfield D544 after treatment. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Summerfield D544 after treatment, in a handmade paper case.

The finished volume and the manuscript fragment are housed together in a cloth-covered drop-spine box. It is one of the great rewards of this job to be able to return to the stacks an item that had once been inaccessible, knowing that it can now be used and enjoyed by visitors to Spencer.

Summerfield D544 after treatment. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Item in box.

Angela Andres
Special Collections Conservator
Conservation Services

 

Throwback Thursday: Alumni Welcome Edition

October 20th, 2016

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 29,500 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

It’s Homecoming week at KU, and a sentiment expressed in 1925 still rings true today: “Welcome grads, we’re glad you’re here!”

Photograph of a Homecoming welcome sign, 1925

Homecoming welcome sign in front of Old Fraser Hall, 1925.
Old Snow Hall, which was located roughly in the area that is now
Watson Library’s front lawn, is in the background. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/1 1925 Prints: Student Activities: Homecoming (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants