Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

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: Springtime Flowers Edition

February 6th, 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 ready for some warmer, springtime weather?

Photograph of flowers behind Old Green (now Lippincott) Hall, 1940s
Flowers behind Old Green (now Lippincott) Hall, 1940s. Dyche Hall is visible in the background. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Flowers 1940s Prints: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Winter Wonderland Edition

January 23rd, 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 Lippincott Hall in snow, 1940
Lippincott (Old Green) Hall and Spooner Hall in snow, 1940. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Snow 1940 Prints: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Spooner Hall Edition

October 10th, 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!

A postcard featuring Spooner Hall, 1920s
A postcard featuring Spooner Hall, 1920s. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/83 1920s Prints: Campus: Buildings: Spooner Hall (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Fall Equinox Edition

September 26th, 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 the KU campus during the fall, 1995
The KU campus during the fall, 1995. The students are walking front of Watson Library. Lippincott (Old Green) Hall is in the background, with the tower of Dyche Hall visible behind it. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/G 1995 Prints: Campus: General (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services