Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: “Enrollment Bullpen” Edition

October 17th, 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!

KU students currently enrolling in spring classes can be glad that the process no longer involves the kinds of scenes shown in this week’s photographs.

Photograph of the "enrollment bullpen," 1950s
The “enrollment bullpen,” a large board showing the availability of classes, 1950s. This photo was taken in the Kansas Union Ballroom. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 14/0 1950s: Office of Admissions/University Registrar (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).
Photograph of someone updating the "enrollment bullpen," 1955
The “enrollment bullpen” from a different angle, being updated, 1955. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 14/0 1955: Office of Admissions/University Registrar (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

August-September Exhibit: KU Student Enrollment

August 17th, 2018

As part of my Museum Studies student internship this summer, one of my assignments was to create and design an exhibit to be displayed in the North Gallery at Spencer Research Library from the beginning of August through mid-September. I had to choose a topic concerning KU history, one that I could easily pull materials from the archive to support as a concept. I thought back to the time I spent perusing the yearbooks while working on another research project. One topic that intrigued me, and remained in the back of my head for some time, was that of enrollment. It had never occurred to me to even consider the fact that enrollment had not always been digital and computerized. The process, procedure, the manual entry of data – it was all foreign to me. The immediate question became “how did the university handle the process of enrollment?”

Photograph of the enrollment exhibit being installed

In-progress installation of the exhibit. Click image to enlarge.

I began my research by investigating the enrollment process from as far back as the university records could reach. In order to fully understand the concept I took notes on each version of the enrollment procedure I could find in the primary sources. I created a step-by-step bullet point list for each major era (every ten to twenty years or so). Doing this helped me narrow the focus of the exhibit, focusing mostly on enrollment between the 1950s through the 1980s, with a brief section on the early history of the process.

Searching the archive for images and artifacts was the exciting part for me. I’ve selected some photographs taken by the Lawrence Journal-World, multiple pamphlets distributed to students during orientation, some class guides, and registration instructions, and I will include one of the card boxes from the era of IBM punch cards. Since I had limited space, my labels consist of basic descriptors of each artifact and a few expository labels that explain the enrollment process across the history of the university.

Photograph of the enrollment exhibit

One of the two finished exhibit cases. Click image to enlarge.

My hope and intent for this exhibit is to instill the same fascination for a bygone method that I originally had when I began my research. I want to illustrate the complexities of this older version of a process that all students partake in – while hopefully remaining accurate to the memories of those who did participate in these older systems of enrollment. It’s an important aspect of KU history that I feel deserves its own exhibition.

Mallory Harrell
KU Museum Studies graduate student and University Archives intern

Throwback Thursday: Suitcase Avalanche Edition

August 17th, 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!

Today is Move-In Day, and new and returning Jayhawks are arriving on Mount Oread. This week’s post features a verbal description and visual depiction of what this looked like at the beginning of KU’s 1928-1929 academic year, according to the 1929 Jayhawker yearbook.

Happy greetings…hand shaking…taxis whizzing away loaded with newly arrived students…perspiring baggagemen swearing at an avalanche of trunks and suitcases…The sleepy town of Lawrence suddenly awakened to the realization that another nine months session had begun at K.U.

Page from the Jayhawker yearbook, 1929 Page from the Jayhawker yearbook, 1929

Selected pages from the 1929 Jayhawker yearbook. University Archives.
Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1929. Click images to enlarge.

Subsequent pages in the yearbook describe the high points of the first week of freshman life at KU. Some events are familiar to modern students, for example participating in fraternity and sorority recruitment and learning about university customs and traditions. Other events – like taking a psychological examination, attending teas, and registering and enrolling for fall classes right before the beginning of the semester – would be foreign.

Page from the Jayhawker yearbook, 1929

Page from the Jayhawker yearbook, 1929 Page from the Jayhawker yearbook, 1929

Selected pages from the 1929 Jayhawker yearbook. University Archives.
Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1929. Click images to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Enrollment Edition

October 16th, 2014

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 1,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Starting tomorrow, continuing students at KU can enroll for their spring classes. This weeks’ photos highlight the process before computers and the Internet: paper course descriptions, timetables, and forms, plus lots and lots of walking and waiting in line…especially if the course you wanted was already full.

To help explain the photos, we’ve also included the enrollment procedures for the Spring 1974 term.

Photograph of students picking up paperwork in Hoch Auditorium, 1968

Students picking up paperwork in Hoch Auditorium, 1968.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 14/0 1968 Prints:
Office of Admissions/University Registrar (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of a navigational sign for enrollment at Allen Fieldhouse, 1972

Finding departmental stations in Allen Fieldhouse, 1972.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 14/0 1972 Prints:
Office of Admissions/University Registrar (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of Class Card stations in Allen Fieldhouse, 1976

Picking up Class Cards at departmental stations in
Allen Fieldhouse, 1976. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 14/0 1976 Prints: Office of
Admissions/University Registrar (Photos). Click image to
enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Image of Timetable of Classes, Spring 1974 Enrollment Edition, page ii Image of Timetable of Classes, Spring 1974 Enrollment Edition, page iii Image of Timetable of Classes, Spring 1974 Enrollment Edition, page iv

Enrollment procedures explained in the Timetable of Classes, Spring 1974 Enrollment Edition.
University Archives. Call Number: RG 14/0/3. Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Brian Nomura
Public Services Student Assistant