Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: First Chancellor’s Residence Edition

July 11th, 2019

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!

Did you know that KU did not have an official residence for the Chancellor until 1893, when the university was almost thirty years old? This first residence wasn’t The Outlook, the home of Jabez and Elizabeth Watkins that became the Chancellor’s Residence in 1939. It was another home at 1345 Louisiana that was demolished in 1953 to make way for present-day Douthart Hall.

Photograph of the KU Chancellor's Residence at 1345 Louisiana, 1897
The KU Chancellor’s Residence at 1345 Louisiana, 1897. It was located just behind Spooner Hall, the corner of which is visible on the left. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/11 1897 Prints: Campus: Buildings: Chancellor’s Residence (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The article “An Old Friend” on the KU history website tells the story of how the first Chancellor’s Residence came to be built.

In 1891, the University had received a generous $91,618 bequest from the estate of William B. Spooner, a successful Boston leather merchant and philanthropist. Spooner, the uncle of then-KU Chancellor Francis Huntington Snow, had placed no restrictions on the use of his donation. The bulk of these funds, approximately $80,000, thus went to fill a desperate University need, that being a new freestanding library. Completed in 1894 and named in honor of its benefactor, the Henry van Brunt-designed Spooner Library – now known as Spooner Hall – stands today as Mount Oread’s oldest continually used academic structure.

Adequate library space was hardly the only thing the not yet 30-year-old University of Kansas lacked at this time. Also missing was an official chancellor’s residence, which forced KU’s early chief executives to keep their own private homes in town. Perhaps it was only fitting, then – considering the Spooner endowment’s familial origins – that when KU decided to spend the remaining $12,000 to construct a proper chancellor’s quarters, Chancellor Snow should be the first one to benefit.

Another van Brunt creation, the three-story, early Prairie Style home located at 1345 Louisiana Street welcomed the Snow family in December 1893.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

New Finding Aids, January-June 2019

July 10th, 2019

In case the summer heat and humidity is getting to you, here are the finding aids newly published to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library website in the last six months. Come do some research in the cool air conditioning!

1970 political campaigns collection, 1970 (RH MS 1453, RH MS R433)

Governor Mike Hayden’s family on Harvest Day slides, July 1983 (RH PH 534)

Lawrence Chamber of Commerce records, 1948-1986 (bulk 1968-1975) (RH MS 1454)

Lawrence Friends of Music records, 1967-2006 (RH MS 1463)

Cora Parker collection, approximately 1860-1940 (RH MS 1464, RH MS-P 1464(f))

GRIST records, 1963-1968 (MS 53)

Hill family papers, 1900-2005 (RH MS 1461, RH MS Q443, RH MS R438, RH MS-P 1461, RH MS-P 1461(f))

William A. Smith papers, 1931-1938 (RH MS 1465)

Fannie Dixon photograph album, 1923-1928 (RH PH 538)

Stephen Kellison family collection, 1893-1983 (RH MS 1471, RH MS G87, RH MS E208, RH MS EK7, RH MS Q456)

William Tuttle’s research and teaching in African American history and the history of racial violence in 20th century America, 1899-2016 (RH MS 1472, RH MF 193, KC AV 59, RH MS R442)

Bessie Wilson photographs, approximately 1920s-1960s (RH PH P2832, RH PH P2832(f))

Artificial Kansas-based photographs collection, approximately 1875-1984 (bulk 1900s-1910s) (RH PH 535, RH PH 535(f), RH PH 535(ff))

Andrew J. Haynes papers, 1866-1907 (RH MS E209)

Illustrated Cold War current events calendars, 1981-1991 (RH MS R441)

KU Athletic Director’s records, 1919-1943 (bulk 1920s-1930s) (RG 66/11/4)

Personal papers of Edward L. Meyen, 1962-2018 (PP 608, UA AV 7)

Personal papers of Elizabeth A. Schultz, 1897-2018 (bulk 1944-2018) (PP 606, UA AV 8)

Photograph of a page from one of Elizabeth Schultz’s school scrapbooks
A page from one of Elizabeth Schultz’s school scrapbooks. Personal Papers of Elizabeth A. Schultz. Call Number: PP 606. Click image to enlarge.

Artificial portraits collection, approximately 1868-1986 (bulk 1900s-1960s)

Artificial non-Kansas based photographs collection, approximately 1867-1954 (bulk 1900s-1920s) (RH PH 539, RH PH 539(f), RH PH 539(ff))

William Maria Boedefeld architectural renderings, 1940s (RH AD 15)

Leonard Hollmann photograph collection, bulk 1850s-1920s, 1930-2015 (RH PH 536, RH PH 536(f), RH PH  536 glass negatives)

Old Windmill of West Lawrence, Kansas, drawing, January 21, 1904 (RH MS R445)

Letters of Orvis Hull, 1918 (RH MS P962)

Lawrence Woodwind Quintet records, 1970-2018 (RH MS 1475)

Trans World Airlines’ Hostess School photographs, 1938-1973 (RH PH 541, RH PH 541(f))

Photograph of a flight attendant student at the TWA Training School practicing with a fire extinguisher
A flight attendant student at the TWA Training School practicing with a fire extinguisher. Trans World Airlines’ Hostess School Photographs. Call Number: RH PH 541. Click image to enlarge.

Ruth Bloom collection of Larry Eigner materials, 1953-1996 (MS 349, MS Q81)

Scrapbook concerning the assumption of Presidency of Paraguay by Andres Rodriguez, 1989 (MS Q79, MS R22)

Mexican recipes, early 19th century (MS 346)

A recipe for “enpanadas” from an early 19th century set of recipes from Mexico
A recipe for “enpanadas” from an early nineteenth-century set of recipes from Mexico. These recipes – in various hands and on differently-sized pieces of paper – were originally placed together in a leather wrapper. Conservation staff recently disassembled the pages and placed them in folders. Staff included Shelley Miller Memorial Fund student Indira Garcia, who also inventoried the collection. Mexican Recipes. Call Number: MS 346. Click image to enlarge.

Francisco Maria Nunez Monge papers, 1940, 1941 (MS 88)

Theodore Sturgeon’s A Way Home manuscript collection, 1946-1955 (MS 351, MS J37)

Katie Armitage papers, 1953-2017 (RH MS 1479, RH MS Q451, RH MS R447)

Ernst Ulmer collection, 1950 (RH MS R449)

Edith Falkenstien’s Menninger Bible Study course materials, 1941-1945 (RH MS 1483)

John C. Johnson papers, 1930s-1940s, 1975-2015 (bulk 1975-2015) (RH MS 1476)

Kansas Commission on Civil Rights film, approximately 1961 (KC AV 72)

John C. Morley architectural drawings, 1958-1985 (RH AD 14, RH MS Q447)

Rexford Scott Sorenson negatives collection, 1957-2009 (RH PH 537)

Norman York and The Invincibles: Interstate Troop of Corresponding Scouts letters, 1914-1916 (RH MS 1482)

Abraham Lincoln portrait, 1911 from an 1860 drawing (RH MS R446)

William E. Barnes collection, 1878-1910 (RH MS 1484)

Elmer and Viola McColm glass plate negative collection, 1900s-1920s? (RH PH 543)

Basketball team portraits, 1912-1917 (RH PH 542)

Personal papers of Shirley L. Patterson, 1950-2018 (PP 607)

Meade, Kansas, glass plate negatives, approximately 1920s (RH PH 544)

Film by Paul Hausman, approximately 1960s (KC AV 71)

Slides of Lawrence, Kansas, churches, approximately 1990s (RH PH P2833)

Lawrence, Kansas, photographs, 1909 (RH PH P2834)

William and Donna Mitchell family papers, 1945-1965 (RH MS 1487)

Dr. Wilda Smith collection of Peggy Hull biographical materials, 1914-1991 (RH MS 1485, RH MS-P 1485, RH MS Q453)

Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, eighth grade class snapshots, 1918 (RH PH P2836)

Katherine Goldsmith papers, 1825-1999 (RH MS 1093, RH MS 569, RH MS 1072, RH MS Q454, RH MS R452, RH MS R453, RH MS S62, KC AV 78)

Florence Harkrader Hastings photographs, 1915 (RH PH 545(f))

James H. Holmes letter, 1856 (RH MS P963)

Martha McCoy dental ledger, volume 1, 1899-1902 (RH MS P965)

Leo L. McKenzie Body Works photographs, approximately 1950s (RH PH P2835)

Papers of Gregory Corso, 1953-1979 (MS 138)

Papers of Jean Ingelow and Mackenzie Bell, 1870-1897 (MS 45, MS R8)

Photograph album of the funeral of Bernardo Soto Alfaro, 1931 (MS K35)

Personal papers of Chuck Berg, 1965-2016 (PP 609)

Personal papers of Ann Hyde, 1934-2008 (PP 610)

Personal papers of R. Keith Lawton, 1951-1982 (PP 611)

Marcella Huggard
Archives and Manuscripts Processing Coordinator

Wayback Wednesday: American Flag Edition

July 3rd, 2019

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!

Photograph of an American flag flying over Memorial Stadium, 1969
An American flag flying over Memorial Stadium, 1969. Note the two men in uniform saluting the flag. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/66/14 1969/1970 Prints: Student Activities: Sports: Football (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Conservation Housing: Medieval manuscripts

July 2nd, 2019

I am in the finishing-up stages of a very enjoyable project to rehouse a group of medieval manuscripts in the Special Collections. The Abbey Dore collection (currently cataloged as MS 191, but soon to be located at MS Q80) includes fifteen parchment manuscripts from the 13th century. Some of the documents have pendant seals attached, and all were housed in a slim manuscript case in folders fitted with polyester film supports inside.

Abbey Dore manuscript with seal before rehousing. MS Q80: 14.
Abbey Dore manuscript with seal before rehousing. MS Q80: 14.

While this system allowed the manuscripts to be stored upright in folders, which is certainly convenient, it is not the ideal situation for such documents. The polyester film has sharp edges that could potentially cause damage to the seals or documents, and some of the seals are heavy or broken and in need of better support. In discussions with curators and the manuscripts processing coordinator, we decided to rehouse the manuscripts in flat enclosures. The collection will now reside in three flat archival boxes, a challenge for the stacks manager who had to find the space to put them, but all agreed that flat storage would be best for these materials.

Because these documents have information on both recto and verso, the curators desired that researchers could view both sides with minimal handling of the fragile items. I made a mock-up enclosure that we looked at together, and after some troubleshooting we devised an enclosure with two mirror-image, soft Tyvek-lined cavities. This enclosure can be gently flipped over and opened from either side to view both sides of the document. Plastazote foam bumpers protect the seals from shifting, and each enclosure will be labeled with instructions for use.

Abbey Dore manuscript with seal after rehousing (recto). MS Q80: 14.
Abbey Dore manuscript with seal after rehousing (recto). MS Q80: 14.
Abbey Dore manuscript with seal after rehousing (verso). MS Q80: 14.
Abbey Dore manuscript with seal after rehousing (verso). MS Q80: 14.