Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Exhibition Snapshot: Sumner High School, Kansas City, KS

February 27th, 2017

Spencer Research Library’s current exhibition, Education: The Mightiest Weapon,” highlights African American school experiences in the state of Kansas, focusing primarily on the period before 1955.  In the coming days we’ll feature a longer post on the exhibition, but today we share an image and a label to whet your appetite. “Education: The Mightiest Weapon” is on display in Spencer Library’s gallery space through May 18th, 2017.

Sumner High School, Kansas City, KS

Sumner is a child not of our own volition but rather an offspring of the race antipathy of a bygone period. It was a veritable blessing in disguise—a flower of which we may proudly say, “The bud had a bitter taste, but sweet indeed is the flower”

Photograph of Students in Chemistry Classroom, 1930s, Sumner High School, Kansas City, KS

Chemistry Classroom, 1930s, Sumner High School.  Sumner High School Collection. Call #: RH MS-P 1137.
Click image to enlarge.

In 1905, the Kansas State Legislature passed a law exempting Kansas City, Kansas from the state law prohibiting racially segregated public high schools. Reluctantly, the Governor of Kansas E. W. Hoch signed the bill, but persuaded the majority of Kansas City, Kansas voters to construct a new high school building for African Americans at no less than $40,000 and to be as well-equipped as the existing Kansas City, Kansas High School. Determined to overcome the inequities of racial segregation, the teachers, students and community members of Sumner High School strove to develop a tradition of academic excellence. They countered the local school board’s proposals for an emphasis on manual training courses by implementing a curriculum that emphasized college preparatory classes at Sumner.  By 1914, Sumner was a member of the prestigious North Central Association of Secondary Schools. Until the 1970s, the majority of African American students attending the University of Kansas were graduates of Sumner High School.

Sumner closed in 1978 under a federally mandated plan for racial integration of schools in Kansas City, Kansas.

Deborah Dandridge
Field Archivist and Curator, African American Experience Collections

Throwback Thursday: Baseball Team Edition

February 23rd, 2017

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 34,500 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

This week’s photograph was selected in honor of the KU baseball team‘s 2017 season, which started last week.

Photograph of the KU baseball team, 1894

Members of the KU baseball team, 1894. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/12 1894 Prints: Athletic Department: Baseball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

 

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

President Eisenhower: Abilene’s Greatest Son

February 20th, 2017

Abilene, Kansas is a small city of under 7,000 people, but it managed to produce one of the most influential U.S. presidents. The only president to come from Kansas, Dwight D. Eisenhower served 8 years in the office from 1953-1961. Here he worked ceaselessly to deescalate the cold war and poured his energies into working towards world peace. But before he became the 34th President of the United States, Eisenhower served as the commanding general of the U.S. troops in Europe during World War II. After Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945, then General Eisenhower returned to his hometown of Abilene. Here at the Spencer Research Library, as a part of our Kansas Collection, we have General Eisenhower’s Homecoming train brochure signed by the man himself and the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle issue reporting on his historic return. If you’re interested in learning more about our nation’s only president from Kansas, check out this great entry in the Kansas Historical Soceity’s Kansapedia, book a trip to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, or come visit us here at Spencer Research Library!

Eisenhower homecoming train brochure and menu front cover, signed by Dwight D. Eishehower. Kansas Collection, call number: RH MS 1345 Box 9 Folder 35.
Eisenhower homecoming train brochure and menu front cover, signed by Dwight D. Eisehower.
Papers of Harry Darby, Kansas Collection, call number: RH MS 1345 Box 9 Folder 35. Click image to enlarge.

General Eisenhower homecoming train seating chart and menu, call number: RH MS 1345 Box 9 Folder 35.
General Eisenhower homecoming train seating chart and menu, Papers of Harry Darby, Kansas Collection,
call number: RH MS 1345 Box 9 Folder 35. Click image to enlarge.

"Abilene's Greatest Son Comes Home", Abilene Reflector-Chronicle front page, June 22, 1945, Spencer Research Library.

“Abilene’s Greatest Son Comes Home”, Abilene Reflector-Chronicle front page
from June 22, 1945. Kansas Collection, call number: RH H319. Click image to enlarge.

"Ike is at Home", Abilene Reflector-Chronicle front page from June 22, 1945. Kansas Collection, call number: RH H319.   Continuation of "Ike is at Home", Abilene Reflector-Chronicle page 6 from June 22, 1945. Kansas Collection, call number: RH H319.
Article discussing General Eisenhower’s arrival by train titled “Ike is at Home”,
Abilene Reflector-Chronicle front page and page 6 from June 22, 1945.
Kansas Collection, call number: RH H319. Click images to enlarge.

"Eisenhower Calls Friends to Realize Responsibility in United Effort for Peace", Abilene Reflector-Chronicle front page from June 22, 1945. Kansas Collection, call number: RH H319.

Article describing the speech given by General Eisenhower to Abilene residents titled “Eisenhower Calls Friends to Realize Responsibility in United Effort for Peace”, Abilene Reflector-Chronicle front page from June 22, 1945.
Kansas Collection, call number: RH H319. Click image to enlarge.

Mindy Babarskis
Reference Specialist
Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Beat Baylor Edition

February 16th, 2017

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 34,500 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

We’re excited about Saturday’s game against Baylor. Rock Chalk!

Photograph from the KU men's basketball game against Baylor, 1966-1967

A scene from KU’s game against Baylor during the
1966-1967 season. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/13 1966/1967 Games Baylor:
Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The game shown in this photo apparently took place at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, December 10, 1966. KU won, 68-56.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Goin’ Courtin’ at Spencer Research Library

February 14th, 2017

There is so much uncertainty in the world of dating and relationships. Countless questions abound: Am I interested in this person? Who should make the first move? How soon is too soon to talk to the other person after a date? Should you play it cool and aloof or be more earnest about conveying your feelings for someone? How long should you wait to define the relationship or discuss being exclusive with your partner? Does wanting to have that discussion make you seem needy or confident? The list goes on and all of your friends, all of the dating articles available to you, and every show on television seem to have conflicting opinions. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a guidebook – a collection of dos and don’ts when it comes to dating so you would know what to do or expect? Well, look no further than the collections at Spencer Research Library!

Book chapter, "Etiquette of Courtship and Marriage," 1896

First page of the chapter entitled “Etiquette of Courtship and Marriage.”
Social Life; or, The Manners and Customs of Polite Society by Maud C. Cook.
Kansas City, Mo.: S.D. Knapp & Co., 1896. Call Number: C23427. Click image to enlarge.

Published in 1896 in Kansas City, Missouri, Social Life; or The Manners and Customs of Polite Society by Maud C. Cook is just one of several 19th and early 20th century etiquette books housed at Spencer. In addition to the etiquette of courtship and marriage, Social Life also details the proper etiquette for everything from correspondence to childcare and so much more. While some of the content may no longer be directly applicable in today’s society, many of the tenets regarding courtship and marriage are rather insightful.

“Intuition, our own selfhood, is nature’s highest teacher, and infallible; and tells all by her ‘still, small voice within,’ whether and just wherein they are making love right or wrong.”

Modern translation: Trust your instincts. No one knows you better than you know yourself. From choosing a partner to guiding the progression of your relationship, if something feels wrong, trust that feeling.

Book illustration, "A Polite Escort," 1896

Illustration, “A Polite Escort,” in Social Life; or,
The Manners and Customs of Polite Society
by Maud C. Cook, 1896.
Call Number: C23427. Click image to enlarge.

“Again the young lady who willfully, knowingly, deliberately draws on a man to place hand and heart at her disposal simply for the pleasure of refusing him and thus adding one more name to her list of rejected proposals is utterly unworthy the name of woman.”

Modern translation: Be kind. Don’t lead someone on or pretend you have feelings for them when you don’t. Be honest about your feelings and intentions, whatever they may be.

“Differences must needs arise, which cannot be adjusted too soon.”

Modern translation: Communicate. Address problems and differences calmly and in a timely manner. If something has upset you, speak up, just do so respectfully.

Book illustration, "Declined with Regrets," 1896

Illustration, “Declined with Regrets,” in Social Life; or,
The Manners and Customs of Polite Society
by Maud C. Cook, 1896.
Call Number: C23427. Click image to enlarge.

“She should never captiously take offense at her fiancé’s showing the same attention to other ladies that she, in her turn, is willing to accept from other gentlemen, and she should take the same pains to please his taste in trifles that he does to gratify her slightest wish.”

Modern translation: Don’t be hypocritical when it comes to your partner’s actions. It is unfair for you to be upset over behavior that is similar to your own.

“See or correspond with each other often. Love will not bear neglect. Nothing kills it equally. In this it is most exacting. It will not, should not, be second in anything. ‘First or nothing,’ is its motto.”

Modern translation: It is not a badge of honor to ignore someone, especially if you care about them. Spend time with the one you love and do your best to stay connected.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Emily Beran
Library Assistant
Public Services