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.
Next Monday marks the anniversary of James Naismith‘s first faculty appointment at the University of Kansas. The minutes of the Board of Regents meeting that took place on June 7, 1898, include this passage: “Upon recommendation of the committee on Instruction James Naismith M.D. was appointed to the chair of Associate Professor of Physical Culture and Chapel Director.” This appointment came six years after Naismith drafted the first official rules of basketball. The men’s basketball program officially began following Naismith’s arrival in 1898, and he became the team’s first coach.
…to March 21, 1865. A small group of men commissioned by the Kansas State Legislature meet in the Council Rooms of the City of Lawrence “to permanently locate the State University at some eligible point in or adjacent to the city of Lawrence.” The journal recording that historic event now resides in the University Archives.
The first entry in the first journal of the Board of Regents, March 21, 1865.
University Archives. Call Number: RG 1/2. Click image to enlarge.
At that meeting, past Kansas governor Charles Robinson was appointed chairman pro tem and Reverend R. W. Oliver of the Episcopal Church was elected the first chancellor.
Charles Robinson. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG P/ Charles Robinson (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.
Robert W. Oliver, chancellor, 1865-67. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 2/1 Chancellors: Oliver (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).