Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: “Welcome, James Naismith” Edition

June 3rd, 2021

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!

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.

Photograph of the Kansas Board of Regents meeting minutes, June 7, 1898
The section of the Board of Regents meeting dealing with James Naismith‘s appointment, June 7, 1898. University Archives. Call Number: RG 1/2 1889-1907: Kansas Board of Regents: Minutes. Click image to enlarge.
Photograph of the Kansas Board of Regents meeting minutes, June 7, 1898
The full page of minutes from the Kansas Board of Regents meeting, June 7, 1898. University Archives. Call Number: RG 1/2 1889-1907: Kansas Board of Regents: Minutes. Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services

KU Flashback: 150 Years Ago…

March 20th, 2015

…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.

Image of the Board of Regents journal, 1865-1872, page 4

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.

Photograph of Charles Robinson

Charles Robinson. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG P/ Charles Robinson (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of R. W. Oliver, chancellor, 1865-67

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).

The entire journal covering 1865 through 1872 can be found in the Archives Online community within KU ScholarWorks.

Becky Schulte
University Archivist