Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: No-Shave November Edition

November 19th, 2020

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!

Looking for some inspiration for Movember/No-Shave November? Look no further than this week’s photo, which features members of KU’s faculty sporting an impressive variety of beards and mustaches in 1885. Click on the image to zoom in and get a closer look!

Photographs of the University of Kansas faculty, 1885
Composite of the University of Kansas faculty, 1885. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 41/0 Faculty 1885 Prints (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Old Fraser Hall Edition

November 12th, 2020

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 University (Old Fraser) Hall, 1870s
KU’s “New Building” (later called University and Old Fraser Hall), 1870s. The structure was located approximately where modern Fraser Hall now stands. Note the lack of trees and relatively few other buildings. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/24 1870s Prints: Campus: Buildings: Fraser Hall Old (Photos). This image is a copy of a photograph held in the Robert Benecke Collection at DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Opened in 1872, the “New Building” was KU’s second building. According to an article on the KU History website, “when John Fraser, KU’s second chancellor, took office in 1868, he found the school’s 122 students crammed into a single, 11-room building [North College] with no central heating, although each room did have its own stove.” North College does not appear to be visible in the above photo.

By comparison, the majestic “New Building” boasted the most modern of nineteenth-century amenities:

The entire structure, noted the Fort Scott Daily Monitor on June 6, 1872, “will be heated with steam and lighted with gas, and every room will be supplied with water.” And although electric lights did not appear at KU until 1888, the building featured electrically powered clocks in each room. In addition, mechanically inclined students would also be able to work with steam-driven engines, lathes and other machinery. Being 300 feet long, 100 feet wide, and rising four stories, it was spacious enough to house the entire University: departmental and administrative offices, laboratories, classrooms, the library, a student reading room, even a large, second-floor auditorium.

“New Building” became officially known as University Hall in 1879. KU changed the name of the building to Fraser Hall in 1897 to honor John Fraser, the building’s champion. “Old” Fraser Hall was razed in August 1965 to make way for the “New” Fraser Hall that stands on Mount Oread today.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Football Program Edition

November 5th, 2020

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!

Who’s excited to cheer on the Jayhawks this Saturday as they play the University of Oklahoma?

Cover of The Jayhawk Gridster for the KU football game against the University of Oklahoma, November 9, 1940
The cover of The Jayhawk Gridster souvenir program for the KU football game against the University of Oklahoma, November 9, 1940. University Archives. Call Number: RG 66/14/1: Athletic Department: Football: Programs. Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Election Edition

October 29th, 2020

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!

Election Day is less than a week away. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to get out and vote!

Photograph of KU students voting in student elections, 1980
KU students voting in student elections, 1980. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 3/11 1980 Slides: Governance: Student Senate (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Color Our Collections (Plus MadLibs!): Halloween Edition

October 28th, 2020

Happy Halloween, readers! To help you celebrate, we’re sharing some spooky materials from volumes at Spencer Research Library. Get creative with a Frankenstein-themed MadLibs passage and enjoy coloring scenes of monsters, beasts, and mythical creatures. You can download printable PDFs of the images (the two below plus two others of sea monsters) and the FrankenLibs activity (which includes the original Frankenstein text).

"The Dance of the Dead" in The Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493
“The Dance of the Dead” depicted in Liber chronicarum (The Nuremberg Chronicle) by Hartmann Schedel, 1493. Call Number: Summerfield H12. Click image to enlarge. Download a printable PDF of this and four other images.
"The Franklin's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales in the Kelmscott Chaucer, 1896
The Franklin’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales in The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Now Newly Imprinted [Kelmscott Chaucer], 1896. Call Number: H11. Click image to enlarge. Download a printable PDF of this and four other images.
A passage from Chapter 5 of Frankenstein, 1831
A passage from Chapter 5 of Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1831. Call Number: B7984. Click image to enlarge. Download a printable PDF of the MadLibs activity with the original passage in Frankenstein.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services