Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Basketball Game Watch Edition

March 10th, 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 23,200 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

March Madness is one of our favorite times of the year, and we’re excited to spend many hours in the next few weeks watching the Jayhawks in the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments. Rock Chalk!

Photograph of KU fans watching basketball in the Memorial Union, 1951-1952

KU basketball fans watching the NCAA championship game in the
Memorial Union, 1952. Kansas defeated St. John’s, 80-63.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/66/13 1951/1952:
Student Activities: Sports: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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

Collection Feature: Daniel Vanderslice Collection

March 7th, 2016

The Daniel Vanderslice collection from the Kansas Collection was recently treated in the Stannard Conservation Laboratory. Every item in the collection was thoroughly surveyed, and select papers underwent treatments such as tear mending, tape removal, and humidification and flattening.

Daniel Vanderslice led a colorful and varied life. Born in Pennsylvania in 1799, he was apprenticed in 1820 as a papermaker in Chester County, PA. In 1822, he joined an expedition in the lead mines in northwestern Illinois, but by 1825 had moved to Kentucky and eventually became a partner in the Great Crossings paper mill with General William Johnson, nephew of U.S. Vice President Richard Johnson. Mr. Vanderslice was a trusted town leader, serving as postmaster and owner of the Kentucky Sentinel in Georgetown, KY. His ardent work in the Democratic party and perhaps friendship with the Johnsons led to his appointment as special agent for the removal of Chickasaws in 1837 from Memphis to Fort Coffee, in present-day Oklahoma.

RH MS 136.1.7 list

List of Chickasaw Indians on the S.B. Itasca and the S.B. Liverpool. Kansas Collection, call number RH MS 136.1.7. Click image to enlarge.

Between 1853 and 1861, he was appointed by President Franklin Pierce as General Agent for the Great Nemaha Indian Agency that managed the activities of the Chickasaw, Iowa, Sac and Fox, and Kickapoo tribes. The collection includes administrative papers relating to these tasks.

RH MS 136.4.12 payroll   RH MS 136.4.9b school

Left: Pay Roll, Sac and Foxes of Missouri, April 1861, RH MS 136.4.12. Right: Plans for school house and teacher’s dwelling to be erected on the Iowa Reservation, 1860, RH MS 136.4.9b. Kansas Collection. Click images to enlarge.

A supporter of the Democratic Party, Mr. Vanderslice was a member of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention that in 1857 penned a document with aims to allow legal slave holding in Kansas when it became a state. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Kansas voters later rejected the proposed constitution, and Kansas entered the Union as a free state on January 29, 1861.

Document from the Daniel Vanderslice Collection, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library, RH MS 136.3.1 convention_1

Document titled, “Democratic Convention,” 1857, RH MS 136.3.1. Click image to enlarge.

Whitney Baker
Head, Conservation Services

Throwback Thursday: Commons Fire Edition

March 3rd, 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 23,200 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

A dramatic event occurred at KU just after 7:00pm on this date in 1943: the Commons – a one-story frame building located at the southwest corner of Jayhawk Boulevard and Sunflower Road, neighboring Watson Library – burned to the ground.

An article on the front page of March 4th University Daily Kansan reported that “firemen, aided by sailors, fought to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the campus by the high southeast wind.” According to the UDK, “a bus driver reported last night that the blaze from the burning building could be seen as far as Tonganoxie. Citizens and farmers from miles around got into their cars and headed for the campus.”

Photograph of the Commons fire, 1943

The Commons on fire, March 3, 1943. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/12 1943 Negatives: Campus: Buildings: Commons (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Aerial photograph of the Commons, 1940s

The Commons in the 1940s; Watson Library is located just off the left side of the photo.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/12 1940s Negatives: Campus: Buildings:
Commons (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

According to an article about “lost” campus buildings in the March 1982 issue of Kansas Alumni, the Commons housed a cafeteria from 1921 until 1927, when the Kansas Union’s first cafeteria opened. The building then was then home to offices for the Jayhawker yearbook and the Stenographic Bureau, and the University Orchestra had a practice room. The Anatomy department established offices and began holding classes in the building in 1932.

The University Daily Kansan reported on the Commons fire for at least two days. Here are excerpts from the paper’s coverage.

March 4th: “The officer of the day at the Naval Training school turned in the fire alarm. The fire was reported to him by Tom Lydon, yeoman third class, who was in charge of the gangway desk. The alarm was turned in at 7:05 and according to Lydon the first fire truck arrived at 7:15 and the second at 7:20…By the time the fire trucks had arrived the fire was out of control.”

March 4th: “The greatest loss of an individual probably was suffered by Dr. H. C. Tracy, professor of anatomy, who lost much of his life work, and nearly all of his personal library, one of the finest medical libraries in the world. This loss of books is irreplaceable.”

March 4th: “Because much of the valuable equipment had been placed in the fire-proof vault the damage was not nearly as high as it could have been. Nearly all of the department’s microscopes had been placed in the vault, along with priceless slides, drawings, instruments, and models.”

March 4th: “Medical students stood guard last night over the still-steaming vault where equipment valued at thousands of dollars was stored. Upon examination this morning the equipment was found to be intact.”

March 4th:”The cadavers on the main floor of the building have been moved to the basement of Lindley hall. Workmen are cleaning the wreckage that is covering the tanks in which approximately fifty cadavers are supposedly in excellent condition. These cadavers have not been used by medical students and were being stored in these underground tanks. As soon as the wreckage is removed the bodies will be moved to the basement of Lindley hall.”

March 4th: “Of the 225 University Library books in the medical library in the Anatomy building, only 12 were salvaged this morning, according to Charles M. Baker, director of University libraries. The loss of over 200 anatomy books in the fire was estimated by Mr. Baker to be at least $3000. Many of these books which were lost cannot be replaced now.”

March 5: “Snow and cold weather have stopped workmen from completing the job of removing debris from the ruins of the Anatomy building.”

March 5th: “A further search through the ruins raised the total damage nearer to $50,000 than the $35,000 first reported.”

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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