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

Throwback Thursday: Kansas Day Edition

January 28th, 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 20,100 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

This week’s photo was selected in honor of Kansas Day, which is observed each year on January 29th to celebrate the Sunflower State’s admission into the Union on that date in 1861.

Photograph of the Kansas Relays Parade, girls in sunflower costumes, 1949

Girls in sunflower costumes on a float in the Kansas Relays Parade, 1949.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/2 1949 Prints: Student Activities:
Kansas Relays (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Want to learn more about the events that led up to Kansas becoming the thirty-fourth state? Explore hundreds of personal letters, diaries, photos, and maps from the period 1854 to 1861 at Territorial Kansas Online.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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

Bob Timmons, June 1924-August 2015

August 25th, 2015

The University of Kansas lost another leader three weeks ago on August 4, track & field and cross country coach Bob “Timmie” Timmons. A U.S. Marine who spent time deployed in the South Pacific during World War II, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Kansas. Timmons then joined the KU track team’s coaching staff in 1964 and became head coach in 1966. He led the Jayhawk track team to four NCAA titles, 13 Big Eight indoor titles, and 14 outdoor titles before his retirement in 1988. During that time he coached several Olympic athletes, including runners Billy Mills and Jim Ryun. In 2011 he was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.

 Photograph of Coach Bob Timmons with two National Championship trophies

Coach Bob Timmons with two National Championship trophies.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/22 Prints:
Athletic Department: Coaches: Bob Timmons (Photos).
Click on image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections.)

Photograph of Coach Bob Timmons instructing a shot-put athlete during practice

Coach Bob Timmons instructs a shot-put athlete during practice.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/22 Prints:
Athletic Department: Coaches: Bob Timmons (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

After his retirement, Timmons developed the Rim Rock Farm cross country course on his property north of Lawrence. In 2005, he and his wife Pat donated the course, one of the best in the country, to KU.

Coach Timmons is remembered for his attention to detail and his desire to promote education and character-building through college athletics. Current KU Athletic director Sheahon Zenger said, “KU has lost a true treasure. Coach Timmons was one of the all-time greats. His legacy though does not end with championships and medals. His real legacy is how much he cared about his student-athletes and the University of Kansas.”

Photograph of Coach Timmons holding up a time card to signal to athletes

Coach Timmons holds up a time card to signal to athletes.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/22 Prints:
Athletic Department: Coaches: Bob Timmons (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

JoJo Palko
KU 150 Research Archivist
University Archives