Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Happy Halloween from Spencer Research Library

October 31st, 2017

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!

Image of "Halloween Safety" Film title sequence.

Kathy Lafferty
Public Services

Have a Dreadful Halloween!

October 31st, 2016

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 by Robert and William Chambers probably published in 1854 in London and Edinburgh. Special Collections, B1229.

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 the Isles. Published by G. Purkess circa 1853. Special Collections, B1239

First page of the penny dreadful titled
The Vampire, or, the Bride of the Isles,
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. Published in London by G. Purkess circa1853. Special Collections, B1251.

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.

Mindy Babarskis
Reference Specialist
Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Edition

October 30th, 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!

Photograph of the headless horseman on campus, Halloween 1976

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).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Brian Nomura
Public Services Student Assistant

Celebrating Halloween, KU Style

October 31st, 2013

If you still have yet to carve a pumpkin – or you want to have an especially snazzy jack-o’-lantern this year – consider taking a cue from the KU students pictured below. These photos were taken for the University Daily Kansan on or around Halloween in 1968, which was incidentally just over a week before the brand-new Kenneth Spencer Research Library was dedicated on November 8.

Photograph of KU students carving a pumpkin, 1968.

Photograph of KU students carving a pumpkin, 1968.

Photograph of KU students carving a pumpkin, 1968.

University of Kansas students carving a “KU” jack-o’-lantern, 1968.
Call Number: RG 71/0/1968-1969 Prints: Student Activities (Photos).
Click images to enlarge.

For additional information about the history of Halloween, check out this Library of Congress article, “Halloween: The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows.”

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services