Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Arbor Day Edition, Part II

April 29th, 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!

Happy Arbor Day Eve, Jayhawks! How will you be celebrating tomorrow?

Photograph of "Lover's Lane" in Marvin Grove, 1948
“Lover’s Lane” in Marvin Grove, 1948. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Marvin Grove 1948: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Did you know that Lawrence’s first Arbor Day celebration took place on March 29, 1878? Chancellor James Marvin – an avid amateur horticulturist – declared a general university holiday, and local residents joined KU students and faculty to plant more than 300 young trees in North Hollow, the area that became known as Marvin Grove.

KU alumnus and Greek professor Miles Wilson Sterling described the event in an article “The Trees of the Campus,” which appeared in the December 1909 issue of the The Graduate Magazine

“I have a vivid recollection of the day and the circumstances of the first planting of trees in the north hollow. At that time the ground was covered chiefly by prairie grass. There were a few clumps of crab apple and wild plum along the ravine, but nothing that could grow into a respectable forest tree. The Douglas County Horticultural society furnished free of charge several wagon loads of young elms, honey locusts, hackberries, evergreens, and other varieties of trees.

Early in the morning, several members of the faculty and several scores of young men led by Dr. Marvin, began the task of planting. The early part of the day was cloudy and chilly but the interest and rivalry in the work kept everybody warm and cheerful. Dr. Marvin went about personally directing the proceedings and sometimes taking a spade in hand to show how the planting should be done. Before noon it began to rain, and sometime later to snow; but by that time all the stock of trees had been properly placed.”

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Campanile in Snow Edition

February 11th, 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!

Photograph of KU's Campanile in snow, 1970s
The Campanile in snow, 1970s. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Snow 1970s Prints: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Klepper
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: 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