Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Card Game Edition

December 28th, 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 34,800 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

It’s National Card Playing Day! Follow the lead of the KU students in this week’s photograph and celebrate with a game or two.

Photograph of KU students playing cards, 1900

KU students playing cards, 1900. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/0 1900 Prints: Student Activities (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Holiday Lights Edition

December 21st, 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 34,800 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Wishing all of our researchers, visitors, donors, friends, and supporters the merriest of holidays!

Photograph of Hoch Auditorium with holiday lights, 1954

Hoch Auditorium with holiday lights, 1954. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/33 1954 Negatives: Campus: Buildings: Hoch Auditorium (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Spencer Research Library will be closed from December 23rd through January 1st.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

“Happy Christmas to All and to All a Good Night”

December 19th, 2017

To help celebrate the holidays, we’re sharing Clement Clarke Moore’s poem The Night Before Christmas (originally published in 1823 as A Visit from St. Nicholas) as illustrated by two copies of the text in Spencer’s collections – one from 1896 and the other from the early 1900s. The version of the poem used here comes from a 1920 edition, also in the library’s holdings.

Image of The Night Before Christmas, cover, 1896

The Night Before Christmas, or, A Visit of St. Nicholas
by Clement Clarke Moore, 1896.
Call Number: Children E39. Click image to enlarge.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

Illustration from The Night Before Christmas, circa early 1900s

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore,
undated, circa early 1900s. Call Number: Children E40.
Click image to enlarge.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

Illustration from The Night Before Christmas, 1896

The Night Before Christmas, 1896.
Call Number: Children E39. Click image to enlarge.

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

Illustration from The Night Before Christmas, circa early 1900s

The Night Before Christmas, undated, circa early 1900s.
Call Number: Children E40. Click image to enlarge.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedlar just opening his pack.

Illustration from The Night Before Christmas, 1896

The Night Before Christmas, 1896.
Call Number: Children E39. Click image to enlarge.

His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was white as snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and twist of head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

Illustration from The Night Before Christmas, circa early 1900s

The Night Before Christmas, undated, circa early 1900s.
Call Number: Children E40. Click image to enlarge.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team he gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT

Illustration from The Night Before Christmas, 1896

The Night Before Christmas, 1896.
Call Number: Children E39. Click image to enlarge.

Meredith Huff
Public Services

World War I Letters of Forrest W. Bassett: December 11-17, 1917

December 18th, 2017

In honor of the centennial of World War I, we’re going to follow the experiences of one American soldier: nineteen-year-old Forrest W. Bassett, whose letters are held in Spencer’s Kansas Collection. Each Monday we’ll post a new entry, which will feature selected letters from Forrest to thirteen-year-old Ava Marie Shaw from that following week, one hundred years after he wrote them.

Forrest W. Bassett was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, on December 21, 1897 to Daniel F. and Ida V. Bassett. On July 20, 1917 he was sworn into military service at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. Soon after, he was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for training as a radio operator in Company A of the U. S. Signal Corps’ 6th Field Battalion.

Ava Marie Shaw was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 12, 1903 to Robert and Esther Shaw. Both of Marie’s parents – and her three older siblings – were born in Wisconsin. By 1910 the family was living in Woodstock, Illinois, northwest of Chicago. By 1917 they were in Beloit.

Frequently mentioned in the letters are Forrest’s older half-sister Blanche Treadway (born 1883), who had married Arthur Poquette in 1904, and Marie’s older sister Ethel (born 1896).

A highlight in the letter includes Forrest’s description of an injury he sustained when a horse he was cleaning slipped and stepped on his foot (“it stung for awhile but my foot was so cold that I didn’t feel it after a minute or two”).

 

Image of Forrest W. Bassett's letter to Ava Marie Shaw, December 16, 1917 Image of Forrest W. Bassett's letter to Ava Marie Shaw, December 16, 1917

Image of Forrest W. Bassett's letter to Ava Marie Shaw, December 16, 1917 Image of Forrest W. Bassett's letter to Ava Marie Shaw, December 16, 1917

Image of Forrest W. Bassett's letter to Ava Marie Shaw, December 16, 1917 Image of Forrest W. Bassett's letter to Ava Marie Shaw, December 16, 1917

Image of Forrest W. Bassett's letter to Ava Marie Shaw, December 16, 1917

Click images to enlarge.

Sunday Dec. 16, 1917

Dear Marie,

I got the pictures O.K. and liked them all of you, Mother and Blanche but thought the one of Mother and I was the only one, good of me. Don’t think I’ll have any more of myself for awhile yet. Am on the lookout for the fudge now. Sure am glad that your throat is getting better now. I am taking a turn at being a little out of luck. Thursday I was cleaning the frog of No. 30’s rear hoof. I had his hind leg over my knee and was working with the hoof pick when he slipped on the smoothe brick paving. I let him go quick so as to save a fall and the point of his shoe fell square on the top of my foot. It stung for awhile but my foot was so cold that I didn’t feel it after a minute or two. This was about 8:30. We didn’t ride because it was too bitter cold, but worked around the barracks. During the first period in the afternoon we had heliograph practise. The instrument was set up to catch the sun coming in the window so we could read it inside the barracks. Well my feet started to thaw out and my left one felt pretty stiff and ached. At the end of the period – 2:00 P.M. – I took off my shoe. The toe of the sock was red and a little skin came with it as I took it off. My foot was a little swollen and sure felt sore. I went up to the hospital with another fellow with frozen ears, in a cycle-car and got fixed up. Saturday morning it was swollen so I couldn’t get my shoe on at all so had to cut a couple slits in my tennis slipper. I worked in the kitchen until 4:30 P.M. keeping the K.P. and at night I managed to get my shoe on so caught a car to town. This morning the swelling had nearly gone but was worse where the skin slipped.

This is the first good day we’ve had for a long time but I had to stick around the barrack.

Tomorrow the company is going to have mounted drill with the radio field sets loaded on the pack-mules. We have been issued a lot more stuff – grain bags to carry on horse for his feed in the field and saddle blankets. We also have the aparejos, the mule’s “saddle,” on which the wireless apparatus is packed.

The Co.’s D and E of the 410th B’n (telegraph) are all packed up to go to Texas. I wish we were going for it sure is cold around this woods.

George Stock is here for a few weeks longer. He is going to take his four days home Christmas. I wish I could be with you again, then. You sure was the sweetest and most lovable little sweetheart Thanksgiving and I will never forget it. Marie, every bit of my love is for you – but you must not forget what I told you when we were on the couch. If I – without the intention of marrying you – am going too far in showing you how much I care – for I really do – just as much as a young man can, – I want you to tell me. Marie, you are the most perfect girl I have ever seen and I respect you above all others.

I could never forgive myself if I ever have wronged you, or ever do wrong you in any way. Don’t ever allow anyone to think, or speak, of you and I as being more than good friends.

If you ever get any more letters from me that are mutilated in any way, or show any fire or water marks, please return them to me, envelope and all, after you read it.

I don’t think I’ll serve thirty years in the Army, and I was only kidding Mother when I mentioned it. I’ll never regret enlisting when I did, though.

Will you forget the promise I made not to write to Marion? She helped me have a good time when I was with Win that two weeks and I would like to hear from her if she will write. Well I must write a line to Mother and thank her for a much needed pair of socks.

With love – every bit to you, Marie

Forrest.

 

Meredith Huff
Public Services

Emma Piazza
Public Services Student Assistant

 

Throwback Thursday: Hal Sandy Edition

December 14th, 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 34,800 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

We were saddened to hear about the death of Harold “Hal” Sandy, who created the Happy Jayhawk logo while a student at KU in 1946. Sandy’s Jayhawk is still in use today, seven decades later.

Photograph of Hal Sandy with Baby Jay, undated

Hal Sandy with Baby Jay, undated. Personal Papers of Hal and Wilda Sandy.
Call Number: PP 506. Click image to enlarge.

You can learn more about Hal Sandy by exploring the digital version of Spencer Research Library’s 2012 exhibit, 100 Years of the Jayhawk.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services