Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Student Conversation Edition

August 10th, 2017

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!

Fall classes start in a little over one week, and students are already starting to return to Mount Oread.

Photograph of two KU students on campus, circa 1940-1949

Two students on campus, circa 1940-1949. Note the freshman beanie.
Photo by Duke D’Ambra. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/0 1940s Negatives: Student Activities (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The students in the photo are standing in front of Old Fraser Hall (located roughly where modern Fraser now stands). Our best guess is that they’re on the east side of the building, near the lilac hedges across from Battenfeld and Watkins Scholarship Halls on Lilac Lane.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Fair Housing March Edition

March 17th, 2016

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 23,200 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Next Monday, March 21st, marks the fifty-second anniversary of a fair housing march at KU, which occurred within a broader, longer struggle to ensure fair housing in Lawrence and at the University.

Photograph of the Fair Housing March, March 21, 1964

Two lines of marchers in front of the Sigma Nu house, Saturday, March 21, 1964.
Photograph by Duke D’Ambra. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1964-03-21: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the Fair Housing March, March 21, 1964

One of the two lines of marchers included KU football players Gale Sayers (third from right) and
Michael Shinn (fifth from right). Photograph by Duke D’Ambra. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1964-03-21: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The march took place on a Saturday, and the University Daily Kansan reported on it the following Monday.

The weather cleared, the sun shone, and 100 peaceful and orderly demonstrators turned out to picket Sigma Nu fraternity Saturday afternoon.

Picketers marched up and down Emery Road for almost two hours, protesting the discriminatory clause in the national constitution of Sigma Nu [which prohibited any local houses from pledging African Americans].

The number of demonstrators exceeded the expectations of everyone, including the leader of the pickets, George Ragsdale, Lawrence senior and chairman of the Civil Rights Coordinating Committee. The CRCC was formed to coordinate several campus organizations in mass demonstrations protesting alleged de facto segregation of KU fraternities and sororities…

The neatly-dressed demonstrators sang “We Shall Overcome,” while small groups of fraternity men looked on. The pickets paraded back and forth from the intersection of Oxford Road and High Drive to the front entrance of the Sigma Nu house…

The CRCC said it was picketing the KU chapter of Sigma Nu to help the chapter remove its discriminatory clause. The KU chapter unsuccessfully attempted to remove the clause from the Sigma Nu constitution at the last national convention.

The CRCC claims that pressure in the form of pickets will force the national chapter to remove the clause…

When the pickets arrived, after marching across Jayhawk Boulevard from the Kansas Union, a small group of fraternity men greeted them with a few verses of “Dixie.”

Later on, several cars flying Confederate flags drove past the demonstrators, but there were no other incidents…

At 2:30 P.M., the demonstrators lined up along the road in front of the Sigma Nu house and maintained a few minutes of silent protest. They then sand “We Shall Overcome,” and marched to the front steps of Strong Hall where they sang the first verse of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and then dispersed…

You can see additional photographs of the Fair Housing March, which have also been digitized and made available online.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Native American Heritage Month: Haskell Indian Nations University

November 23rd, 2015

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, I’m highlighting items from our Kansas Collection that feature events and people from Haskell Indian Nations University, which has been educating First Nations students since 1884 in Lawrence, KS.

Did you know that Haskell offered the first touch-typing class in Kansas? The commercial department, now known as the business department, opened in 1895 with five typewriters. To find this information and other interesting facts about Haskell, check out their school history webpage.

Vivian McAllister and students typing in class.

Vivian McAllister with students typing in class at Haskell.
Miscellaneous photographs and negatives, ca. 1970.
Wallace Galluzzi Papers. Call Number: RH MS 807. Click Image to Enlarge.

This picture was taken in the 1930s by the well-known local photographer, Duke D’ambra. It illustrates Haskell’s long history as a diverse intertribal educational institution. Haskell continues to celebrate its cultural diversity with the annual Haskell Indian Art Market.

Unknown Haskell students. Photograph of Haskell Activities, 1930s.

Unknown Haskell students. Photograph of Haskell Activities, 1930s.
Duke D’ambra photograph collection. Call Number: RH PH 69.542.6. Click Image to Enlarge.

Haskell has a long tradition of producing exceptional athletes. Below are a couple of examples from Haskell’s rich athletic history.

John Levi played football at Haskell from 1921-1924 and then came back to coach the team from 1926-1936. He has been inducted into 3 sports hall of fames, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Athletic Hall of Fame, and the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. Check out Haskell Athletics’ Flashback Friday post on John Levi to learn more.

Photograph of Haskell football player John Levi and accompanying document describing his actions in a game against the Quantico Marines.Photograph of Haskell football player John Levi and accompanying document describing his actions in a game against the Quantico Marines.

Photograph of Haskell football player John Levi and accompanying document chronicling
his actions in a game against the Quantico Marines. Duke D’ambra photograph collection.
Call Number: RH PH 69.583.3. Click Image to Enlarge.

Billy Mills was a graduate of both Haskell and KU. He is most remembered for his surprise win of the 10,000-meter race at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. To learn more about Billy Mills and his incredible life story check out this interview with Mills from Haskell Athletics’ Flashback Friday post and “Mill’s Moment” on KUHistory.com written by Mark D. Hersey.

“Billy Mills is inducted in Sports Hall of Fame.” The Indian Leader, November 27, 1964.

“Billy Mills is inducted in Sports Hall of Fame.” The Indian Leader,
November 27, 1964.William Galluzzi Papers. Call Number: RH MS 807.
Click Image to Enlarge.

Mindy Babarskis
Library Assistant and Supply Coordinator

Throwback Thursday: Beat Oklahoma Edition

October 29th, 2015

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 9,800 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

This Saturday’s Homecoming game will be against Oklahoma, so this week’s photo – taken by well-known Lawrence photographer Duke D’Ambra – captures the Jayhawks’ dramatic win over the Sooners in the 1946 game at Memorial Stadium.

Photograph of a football game versus Oklahoma, 1946

KU’s winning field goal against Oklahoma on November 9, 1946.
Photograph by Duke D’Ambra. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/14 1946 Games Oklahoma: Athletic Department: Football (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Information on the back of the photograph describes what happened.

At the KU-Oklahoma game in Lawrence, Kans. in 1946 it was foggy, dark, gloomy – and the score was 13-13 – and only one minute and 20 seconds remaining. With K.U. in possession, Paul Turner, an unknown, came on the field and kicked a field goal to win for Kansas. See the ball over the bars?

A May 22, 1972, article in the Lawrence Journal-World announced D’Ambra’s death and further described the scene captured in the photograph. As the article also noted, D’Amdra was a “familiar figure on the sidelines at KU sports events.”

One of [D’Ambra’s] most famous photos came in November of 1946 when Kansas and Oklahoma were tied 13-all in a league football title showdown. With 75 seconds left, KU’s Paul Turner was called on to try an “impossible” field goal from 41 yards out in a driving rain that made Memorial Stadium‘s field a quagmire.

D’Ambra, with a beat-up box-style Graflex camera was the only photographer to get into place for the shot. Turner did the “impossible” and D’Ambra chronicled the ball passing through the crossbars to give Kansas a 16-13 upset of the powerful Sooners.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants