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Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

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Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.

That’s Distinctive!: Campus Aerials

February 17th, 2023

Check the blog each Friday for a new “That’s Distinctive!” post. I created the series because I genuinely believe there is something in our collections for everyone, whether you’re writing a paper or just want to have a look. “That’s Distinctive!” will provide a more lighthearted glimpse into the diverse and unique materials at Spencer – including items that many people may not realize the library holds. If you have suggested topics for a future item feature or questions about the collections, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

This week on “That’s Distinctive!” we will be highlighting photos from University Archives that show views of campus throughout the years. The University Archives houses over a million photographs along with departmental records, personal papers, university publications, and much more. Over 35,000 photos within University Archives have been digitized and can be browsed online. Many more photos of campus over the years can be found by using the search term “campus.”

Black-and-white photograph of large buildings on both sides of a wide street.
Jayhawk Boulevard looking east, circa 1927. On the left (from left to right) is Strong Hall, Bailey Hall, Old Fraser Hall, Old Snow Hall. On the right (from right to left) is Hoch Auditorium and Old Haworth Hall, with the roofs of Robinson Gymnasium and Watson Library visible in the background. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/P 1925 Prints: Campus: Panoramas (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).
Black-and-white photograph of streets and buildings lit by bright lights.
Aerial of campus at night, 1987. The photo appears to have been taken from Iowa Street just south of Fifteenth/Bob Billings; the Daisy Hill residence halls are in the foreground. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/A 1987 Prints: University General: Campus: Campus Aerials (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).
Color photograph of the KU campus with fall foliage.
Campus aerial, 1994. From left to right are Lippincott (Old Green) Hall, Fraser Hall, Blake Hall, and Watson Library. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/A 1994 Prints: University General: Campus: Campus Aerials (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

If you are following the holidays we have correlated with previously and are still in the Valentine’s Day mood, check out our 2013 “Civil War Valentine” post by Whitney Baker, Head of Conservation Services at KU Libraries. It focuses on a handwritten poem titled “A Valentine” from one of Spencer’s regional history collections.

These items are meant to show that the library houses many things that many people may not realize. From books, to manuscripts, to maps and ephemera, if you can think of a topic, we likely have something related. Have a topic in mind? I have three unplanned weeks between March and April so please feel free to leave ideas/interests in the comment box below and I will see what items we may hold.

Tiffany McIntosh
Public Services