Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Flashback Friday: Bonus Olympic Edition

August 12th, 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 28,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Yesterday’s post focused on members of the KU men’s basketball squad who played on the U.S. men’s basketball team at the 1952 Summer Olympics. With women’s basketball also underway at the 2016 Olympics, today’s post focuses on Lynette Woodard, who played basketball at KU from 1978 to 1981. Twice a member of the United States Olympic team, she was captain of the 1984 squad that captured the gold medal in Los Angeles – the first gold medal in U.S. women’s basketball history.

Photograph of Lynette Woodard wearing her Olympic gold medal

Lynette Woodard with her Olympic gold medal from the
1984 Los Angeles Olympics. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/20/13 Lynette Woodard:
Athletic Department: Women’s Athletics: 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

Throwback Thursday: Olympic Edition

August 11th, 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 28,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Men’s basketball is underway at the 2016 Summer Olympics, so this week we’re sharing photographs of the U.S. men’s basketball team that played in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. Team USA consisted of fourteen members: seven players from KU’s 1952 championship squad plus five members of the Amateur Athletic Union‘s Peoria (Illinois) Caterpillar-Diesels and two members of the Phillips 66ers. KU head coach Phog Allen was an assistant coach for the Olympic team.

Photograph of "Welcome NCAA Champs - On to Helsinki" banner, 1952

Olympic banner stretched across Massachusetts Street at Seventh, 1952.
This view is looking south; the Eldridge Hotel is on the right.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952:
Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the USA Men's Olympic team, 1952

Members of the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team, 1952.
Assistant coach Phog Allen is standing on the far left.
The seven KU players are kneeling in the front row; from left to right they are
Dean Kelley, Charlie Hoag, John Keller, Bob Kenney, Bill Hougland,
Bill Lienhard, and Clyde Lovellette. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952: Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the USA Men's Olympic team on podium, 1952

The 1952 U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team won the gold medal, defeating the USSR
(also known as the CCCP) 36-25. Uruguay won the bronze. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952: Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The Crimson and Blue Handbook describes KU’s road to the Olympics.

[Phog] Allen had recruited his 1951-1952 team members with the promise that they would be the squad to represent the United States in the ’52 Olympics…

[After winning the national championship in 1952], KU went back to Kansas City to face the Springfield Missouri State Teachers [1952 NAIA champion; now Missouri State University] in the first round of the Olympic playoffs. The Jayhawks won 92-65, establishing a new single-game scoring record. The NIT champion, LaSalle, was next, and KU won 70-65 in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden as [Clyde] Lovellette scored 40 points.

The win over LaSalle had assured the Jayhawks of placing seven players on the Olympic squad, and KU met the AAU champion Peoria Caterpiller-Diesels in the Olympic finals to determine who would coach the team in Helsinki. Peoria won in the final eight seconds when Howie Williams, a former Purdue guard, hit a short jumper to break a 60-60 tie. Peoria coach Warren Womble was named the Olympic coach, and Phog Allen was named an assistant.

Allen had kept his promise.

Learn more about the Jayhawks who were members of the 1952 Olympic basketball team and other KU basketball players and coaches who have been involved with U.S. Olympic teams.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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

“Books That are Helping Us to Know Our Country”: The American Guide Series

August 10th, 2016

With the end of summer, and the start of school just around the corner, perhaps you are thinking about squeezing in just one more road trip. Maybe you’d like to explore a state you’ve never been to, or get to know the one you’re in a little better. You’ll need a good, concise guidebook for the journey, one with interesting facts and historical information, as well as reliable maps and tourist information. To start with, you might consider consulting the American Guide Series. Although they were published from the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, they still provide excellent background information to get you started, although you’ll probably want to get an up-to-date map.

Image of title pages for American Guide Series volumes on Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas

American Guide Series for Missouri (1941), Colorado (1946), Nebraska (1939),
and Kansas (1939). Call Numbers: RH C9550, RH C11457,
RH C11415, and RH C11429. Click image to enlarge.

When Franklin Roosevelt became our 32nd president in 1933, the biggest national issue he and his administration had to contend with was the country’s severe economic depression, then in its fourth year with no end in sight. The plan they came up with to address this predicament became known as the New Deal, and it put in place a series of programs created by Congress and by presidential executive order to provide relief, recovery, and reform, all aimed at getting people back to work and the national economy on its feet again. The Works Progress (later Projects) Administration (WPA) was the largest of the New Deal agencies.

Fold-out map of Kansas from the American Guide Series for Kansas, 1939.

Fold-out map of Kansas from the American Guide Series volume on the state, 1939.
Call Number: RH C11429.Click image to enlarge.

One of those WPA projects was the agency called the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP). Begun in 1935 and ending in 1943, the FWP, at its peak, employed approximately 6,600 unemployed writers, editors, researchers, historians, art critics, archaeologists, geologists, cartographers, and clerical workers. They produced more than 276 books, 701 pamphlets, and 340 other publications, such as articles, leaflets, and radio scripts. The most popular of these works was the American Guide Series. Each state, through the FWP, hired staff to create a guidebook that contained information about the state’s history, cities, landmarks, and historic sites; the culture of its people; and the geology and geography of the land. Each guidebook also contained a detailed highway map, usually folded up at the back of the book. In addition to the states, guidebooks were created for the territories (except Hawaii) and large cities, such as Washington, D.C. and New York. Some states, including Kansas, were able to create guidebooks for a few of their towns, as well. For their time, there is also a surprising amount of information about minority populations in the guidebooks, although often stereotypical and exploitative. The goal of the guidebooks was to familiarize Americans with their own state and country and to keep them in the United States on their vacations, where their tourism dollars were most needed.

Title page of American Guide Series for Washington, D.C., 1937

Title page of American Guide Series for Washington, D.C., 1937.
Call Number: RH C3424. Click image to enlarge.

Title pages for American Guide Series for Leavenworth and Larned, Kansas

Title pages for American Guide Series for Leavenworth (1940) and Larned (1938), Kansas.
Call Numbers: RH C4787 and RH C4999. Click image to enlarge.

Describing the Series, Harry Hopkins, federal relief administrator, perhaps said it best when he noted:

The American traveler gets into his automobile and travels for four days…and has the conviction that there is nothing of interest between New York and Chicago. Outside of a few highly advertised [sites]…he isn’t conscious of what America contains, of what American folk habits are. Americans are the most travel-minded people in the world; but their travel is two percent education and 98 percent pure locomotion. Speeding through towns whose chain stores look as if they had been turned out on an assembly line, the American motorist is unaware of the infinite variety and rich folklore of the American scene…For the first time, we are being made aware of the rich and varied nature of our country…By producing books that are helping us to know our country, the Writers’ Project helps us become better acquainted with each other and, in that way, develops Americanism in the best sense of the word.

Sources:

Hobson, Archie. Remembering America: A Sampler of the WPA American Guide Series. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Shortridge, James R. The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1984.

Stewart, Catherine A. Long Past Slavery: Representing Race in the Federal Writers’ Project. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 2016.

Kathy Lafferty
Public Services

Flashback Friday: Cowboy Band Edition

August 5th, 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 28,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Photograph of the KU Cowboy Band in front of a bandstand, 1941-1942

KU Cowboy Band in front of a bandstand, 1941-1942.
Note that the bass drum says “University of Kansas Band.”
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 22/1/m 1941/1942 Prints:
Fine Arts: University Bands: Marching Band (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of the KU Cowboy Band on a race track, 1941-1942

KU Cowboy Band on a race track, 1941-1942. The image is stamped on back
“R. R. Doubleday, 2523 Ave. A, Council Bluffs, Iowa,” indicating that this picture
was probably taken by renowned rodeo photographer Ralph R. Doubleday.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 22/1/m 1941/1942 Prints:
Fine Arts: University Bands: Marching Band (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

A Lawrence Journal-World article from October 27, 1942, described the Cowboy Band.

The cowboy band, made up of the topflight members of the University of Kansas band, which has played at fairs and rodeos the past two summers is fast growing into a permanent organization at the University, Russell L. Wiley, band director, said today…

The summer trips for the group, which dresses in cowboy boots, big hats and crimson or blue silk shirts, are apparently over for the duration but there are strong possibilities that they will hit the big rodeo circuit in a big way when the war has ended.

Last year the group played for the Sydney, Ia., rodeo, one of the big wild west shows of the country. As a result of that engagement they now have been approached by the management of rodeos including the famous Frontier Days at Cheyenne, Wyo., Madison Square Garden, the Boston Garden, the Empire State fair, Billings, Mont., Fortuna, Calif., and Midland, Tex. Bids have come for the group to play at the Ft. Worth Livestock show and the Little Rock, Ark., Livestock show.

Because Neodesha, Kan., two summers ago, found itself in desperate need of a small band organization to furnish music for its rodeo and called Wiley for help, the band was organized.

The type of music played and the scintillation of its arrangement appeals to both the brilliant young musicians, who formed the organization, and the public, who heard it each day for three hours at rodeos and clamored for more.

In scarcely 18 months the Cowboy band has been developed into a distinct organization with a repertoire of about 115 numbers. Last summer it had been booked for five weeks, but this schedule was set aside in large part because of the war and the cancellation of many fairs and rodeos.

At Sidney the band hit its stride. The members played a total of nearly six hours a day, and yet the youth and vigor of its membership showed no evidence of fatigue. The last numbers of the day’s program were given with the elan of an opening performance.

The group developed a reputation as a singing band and a little humor is injected now and then as well as the singing of popular songs like “Jingle Jangle” and “The Last Roundup.”

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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

Conserving Scrapbooks: A Unique Conservation Challenge

August 1st, 2016

I have spent this summer as the second Ringle Summer Intern in the Stannard Conservation Lab at the University of Kansas. My internship focused on a collection of 41 scrapbooks held by the University Archives. The project involved developing a survey tool, surveying the collection, identifying items for treatment, treating some items, and rehousing/housing modification all of the scrapbooks. Most of the books dated from the early 1900’s. They showcase student life leading up to and in the early stages of World War One. This insight into student life at a very interesting and volatile time, especially as we come to the 100 year anniversary of the United States entering the war, is why the Archives uses these materials as teaching tools with undergraduate students. The scrapbooks also include very interesting objects, like firecrackers with the line written next to them, “We shot up the house.” I was unable to discover which house they were talking about but I have no doubt they would have been in serious trouble for doing that today! From a conservation perspective these firecrackers required some consolidation and I discovered one of the fuses is still in place!

 Piece of hardtack from 71/99 McIntire scrapbook. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Firecrackers in a scrapbook compiled by Emery McIntire, after treatment. Call number 71/99 McIntire. Click image to enlarge.

 

For more information about the project please see the story published in the Lawrence Journal-World in July: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/jul/04/century-old-ku-student-scrapbooks-pose-preservatio/

And for some video footage of the treatments please see the coverage from 41 Action News: http://www.kshb.com/news/region-kansas/ku-working-to-preserve-former-students-scrapbooks

I came into the project most excited about the problem-solving aspects of working with scrapbooks and I was not disappointed. Many conservators greatly enjoy the problem-solving we get to do every day to determine the correct treatment for objects. For conservation purposes scrapbooks are exceedingly complex and complicated objects. Usually they are made of cheap materials and contain a variety of attachment methods. This means that once they make it to a conservator’s bench they are normally quite fragile. The binding may be failing, the support paper is usually brittle, and the various types of attachment—glue, tape, staples, pins—may have partially or completely failed. Given all of this, determining the most appropriate treatment is not always an easy task.

For the scrapbooks I treated I came across two main problems: What is the most efficient way to mend the innumerable tears to the support pages? What is the best way to conserve objects found in the scrapbooks? Some of these objects include firecrackers, a Red Cross bandage, and a 100 year old piece of hardtack.

 71/99 Harkrader, Florence scrapbook. University Archives, Spencer Research Library. 71/99 Harkrader, Florence scrapbook. University Archives, Spencer Research Library.

Red Cross bandage in a scrapbook compiled by Florence Harkrader, before and after treatment. Call number 71/99 Harkrader. Click images to enlarge.

 

I found that the most efficient way to repair all the tears—averaging around 10 tears per page—was to use a remoistenable repair paper. I made this using a 10gsm tengujo Japanese paper and a 50/50 mix of wheat starch paste and methyl cellulose. Once this was dry I was able to score it into many different sized strips to fit the various sized tears I was repairing.

Of the two objects mentioned the bandage was the easier to conserve. It is pinned to the support page and can swivel a bit on the pin allowing it to extend beyond the edge of the book. This means that there are some creases and frayed areas that have developed over time. To conserve it I repositioned it to sit inside the edges of the book and flattened out the creases.

The hardtack required creative problem-solving. It had a number of problems. It was coming unstuck from the support paper, had a number of cracks, and has writing on it. The ink means that any organic solvent-based consolidant could not be used. Additionally, it was desirable to keep the hardtack on the page, rather than removing it and storing it separately. In the end it was decided to remove the page from the scrapbook (the book was already disbound and is not being rebound) and to store it in its own enclosure within the same box as the scrapbook. The hardtack was re-secured to the page using a very dry wheat starch paste. The page was put in a float mount and support pieces were made with cutouts for the hardtack on one side and a dance book on the other. All of this was then sandwiched between pieces of corrugated board with ties attached. This created a housing that will both protect the page and aid in flipping the page from one side to the other.

Piece of hardtack from 71/99 McIntire scrapbook. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library Piece of hardtack from 71/99 McIntire scrapbook. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Page from Emery McIntire’s scrapbook, featuring a piece of hardtack, before and after treatment. Call number 71/99 McIntire. Click images to enlarge.

 

Piece of hardtack from 71/99 McIntire scrapbook. University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Detail of the hardtack. Call number 71/99 McIntire. Click image to enlarge.

This project allowed me to hone my skills in many areas of conservation. My project will allow for these scrapbooks to be accessed and stored more safely going forward. I highly recommend stopping by Spencer Research Library, calling one or two to the reading room, and losing yourself in KU’s past!

Noah Smutz
2016 Ringle Conservation Intern