Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Finish Line Edition

April 18th, 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!

The weather is perfect for the 92nd Kansas Relays, which began yesterday and are underway through Saturday.

Photograph of athletes finishing a race at the Kansas Relays, 1956

Athletes finishing a race at the Kansas Relays, April 21, 1956. Lawrence Journal-World
Photo Collection, University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG LJW 66/19 1954 April 21: Athletic
Department: Track (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Happy Birthday, Wilt Chamberlain!

August 21st, 2018

Welcome back, Jayhawks! August 21 not only marks the beginnings of the new school year; today it’s also Wilt Chamberlain’s 82nd birthday. Did you know that, in addition to playing basketball, he was also on the Track & Field team while at KU? It’s true! He was and we’ve got the footage to prove it.

While inspecting some reels of film from the 1957 Kansas Relays, we happened upon some footage of a man with a dapper-looking red and black plaid hat. It was none other than Wilt Chamberlain.

Film still of Wilt Chamberlain in the triple jump event at the Kansas Relays, 1957

Wilt Chamberlain in the triple jump event at the Kansas Relays, 1957.
University Archives. Call Number: UA 12994. Click film still to enlarge.

Film still showing the triple jump standings at the Kansas Relays, 1957

Triple jump (then called the hop, step, and jump) standings at the Kansas Relays, 1957.
University Archives. Call Number: UA 12994. Click film still to enlarge.

Film still of Wilt Chamberlain in the high jump event at the Kansas Relays, 1957

Wilt Chamberlain in the high jump event at the Kansas Relays, 1957.
I don’t know how he did it, but his hat stayed on during the jump.
University Archives. Call Number: UA 12994. Click film still to enlarge.

Film still of the high jump standings at the Kansas Relays, 1957

High jump standings at the Kansas Relays, 1957.
University Archives. Call Number: UA 12994. Click film still to enlarge.

Although Wilt didn’t win these events, his athleticism is undeniable.

Happy birthday, Wilt!

Chris Banuelos
Audiovisual Preservation Specialist
Conservation Services

Wayback Wednesday: Lady Liberty Edition

July 4th, 2018

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 a patriotic float in a Kansas Relays parade, 1950s

A patriotic float in the Kansas Relays parade, 1950s. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/2 1950s Negatives: Student Activities: Kansas Relays (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

This picture was taken on Massachusetts Street at Ninth, looking south. The corner building on the right is Weavers Department Store; the spire in the background is the Douglas County Courthouse.

Zoom in to see the words on the sashes being worn by the four seated women. They refer to President Franklin Roosevelt’s “four freedoms,” articulated in his Annual Message to Congress (State of the Union Address) on January 6, 1941: the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Kansas Relays Edition

April 19th, 2018

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!

The 91st Kansas Relays began yesterday and will be underway through Saturday. Are you attending any of the events?

Photograph of six athletes running the hurdles at the Kansas Relays, 1936

Six athletes running the hurdles at the Kansas Relays, 1936.
The event took place at Memorial Stadium, which hosted the Relays
from 1923 through 2013. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/19 1936: Athletic Department: Track (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Note the campus buildings seen in the background of this week’s photo; from left to right, they are the Kansas Union, Dyche Hall, Old Green (now Lippincott) Hall, Old Fraser Hall, and Watson Library.

Additional photos of previous Kansas Relays are available online through Spencer’s digital collections.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Barbecue Edition

July 6th, 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!

Summer is great time for grilling and barbecuing!

Photograph of a buffalo barbecue at Memorial Stadium, 1961

Buffalo Barbecue at Memorial Stadium (visible in the background), 1961.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/66/14 1961/1962 Prints:
Student Activities: Sports: Football Fans (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The Buffalo Barbecue was held on Saturday, April 22, 1961, just after the Kansas Relays parade in downtown Lawrence.

Reporting on a dry run of the event earlier in the week, the Lawrence Journal-World stated that “entertainment at the barbecue includes square dancing, western band, barber shop quartet and folk singing. Tickets are $1.50 each. Four serving lines will ensure quick service for everyone.” The newspaper anticipated that 2,000 people would attend.

The barbecue also culminated a week of campus celebrations marking the centennial of Kansas statehood. According to the 1961 Jayhawker yearbook:

Hooped skirts and cowboy boots prevailed in campus dress during the K.U. Centennial Week, April 17-22. The western flavor was encouraged by the Centennial Co-ordinating Committee, composed of the major Hill organizations, the dormitory councils, the Douglas County Centennial Committee, and the K.U. administration. Even Chancellor Wescoe yielded to the spirit of pioneer Kansas with a carriage ride to his office Thursday. Drama was added Friday noon when the Registrar’s office suffered a staged payroll robbery. Four of the kidnapper-gunmen were captured in a running battle with the sheriffs on Strong Hall lawn, to the delight of the spectators. A Zone X square dance Friday night led into the Centennial K.U. Relays the next day (446-447).

Whether or not buffalo was actually on the menu at the barbecue remains undetermined.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt
Public Services Student Assistant