Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.
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).
Spencer Research Library houses the records and films of the Centron Corporation, a production company that specialized in industrial and educational films from the 1940s through the 1990s. Childhood friends and aspiring filmmakers Russell Mosser and Arthur Wolf started working in films together while they were attending the University of Kansas. Their first film was “Sewing Simple Seams,” a one-reel sewing lesson. The rights for this film were purchased by a large instructional film company, and soon Centron grew to be a successful, independent film production company, nationally known in the field. Their most successful film was “Leo Beuerman,” nominated for the Academy Award for best documentary short of 1969.
For your Halloween preparation and enjoyment, here, compliments of Internet Archive, is Centron’s film “Halloween Safety,” produced in 1977 and now in the public domain. This film was directed by Herk Harvey, who would go on to direct “Carnival of Souls,” another excellent film to watch in preparation of Halloween. Be safe out there, little trick-or-treaters!
Here are some spooky penny dreadfuls from our Special Collections to help you get into the Halloween spirit! Come into Spencer Research Library and take a look at the rest of our sensational tales from Victorian England.
First page of the penny dreadful titled The Old Witchcrafts, with illustration.
Written and published by Robert and
William Chambers, London and Edinburgh, circa 1854.
Call number: B1229. Click image to enlarge.
First page of the penny dreadful titled The Vampire, or, the Bride of theIsles,
with illustration. Published in London by
G. Purkess, circa 1853.
Call number: B1239. Click image to enlarge.
First page of the penny dreadful titled The Haunted Forest, or, the Demon Raftsman, with illustration. Published in London by
G. Purkess, circa 1853.
Call number: B1251. Click image to enlarge.
The headless horseman tours campus on Halloween, 1976.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/0 1976-1977 Prints:
Student Activities (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).