Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Happy Birthday, Frank Lloyd Wright!

June 6th, 2016

To celebrate architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s 149th birthday on June 8th, I’m highlighting a few photos from the Wright Collection. This collection deals specifically with Frank Lloyd Wright and his buildings, but we have a number of other architecture items in our Special Collections. Come visit us anytime this summer from 9-5 pm on weekdays and explore these amazing collections yourself!

Photograph of Olgivanna and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Photograph of Olgivanna and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Special Collections, Spencer Research Library.
Call Number: Wright P:III:4:67. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph by Maynard L. Parker of the Juvenile Cultural Study Center (Also known as the Harry F. Corbin Education Center) in Wichita, Kansas by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 1957.

Photograph of the Juvenile Cultural Study Center (Also known as the Harry F. Corbin Education Center)
in Wichita, Kansas by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 1957. Special Collections, Spencer Research Library.
Call Number: Wright P:I:7:3. Click image to enlarge.

  Color print of the Bott residence in Kansas City, Missouri by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 1956.

Color print of the Bott residence in Kansas City, Missouri by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 1956.
Special Collections, Spencer Research Library. Call Number: Wright P:I:49:1. Click image to enlarge.

Mindy Babarskis
Reference Specialist
Public Services

Charlotte Brontë : Jane Eyre Revealing the Reality in Her Fiction

April 25th, 2016

Charlotte Brontë was born on April 21, 1816 in Thornton, England to the Reverend Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell Brontë. Charlotte’s life was marked by tragedy, losing her mother when she was five, the aunt that raised her, and all five of her siblings. Yet despite these sorrows, she was able to use the experiences from her life to become one of the greatest writers of the Victorian era. Her passionate, honest, and rebellious stories continue to inspire authors and readers alike.

Front cover of the Thompson Brother’s Fireside Library edition of Jane Eyre: an Autobiography with an illustration of Charlotte Brontë, [Nov. 1891?].
Front cover of the Thompson Brother’s Fireside Library edition of Jane Eyre: an Autobiography
with an illustration of Charlotte Brontë, [Nov. 1891?]. Special Collections, Spencer Research Library.
Call Number: O’Hegarty C2307. Click image to enlarge.

Jane Eyre, her most popular work, has bewitched audiences for more than 150 years with its poignant tale of an orphan girl who became a governess and dared to overcome societal constraints by finding true love and gaining financial independence. Although the story in itself is exciting, one of the main reasons for Jane Eyre’s continued popularity is the perfect blend of romance with realism. By pulling from her own life, Charlotte Brontë infuses her novel with verisimilitude. When Jane grieves over the death of Helen Burns, rages against the stifling life of a governess, and despairs over the impossibility of her love, Charlotte is letting us into her personal thoughts, emotions, and experiences. The images I have selected from one of our editions of Jane Eyre highlight these fictionalized autobiographical moments.

Lithograph by Ethel Gabain from Imprimerie Nationale’s 1923 edition of Jane Eyre. This illustration depicts Jane Eyre at the puritanical Lowood School visiting her dying friend, Helen Burns.
Lithograph by Ethel Gabain from Imprimerie Nationale’s 1923 edition of Jane Eyre.
This illustration depicts Jane Eyre at the puritanical Lowood School visiting her dying friend, Helen Burns.
As a child Charlotte lost two sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, to pulmonary tuberculosis due to the terrible conditions
at the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge. Lowood was modeled off of the Clergy Daughters’ School
and the character of Helen Burns was inspired by her oldest sister, Maria, who had been like a mother to Charlotte.
Special Collections, Spencer Research Library. Call Number: G64. Click image to enlarge.

Lithograph by Ethel Gabain from Imprimerie Nationale’s 1923 edition of Jane Eyre. This illustration depicts Jane, as a governess, sitting ignored by her employer, Mr. Rochester, and his upper class visitors.
Lithograph by Ethel Gabain from Imprimerie Nationale’s 1923 edition of Jane Eyre.
This illustration depicts Jane, as a governess, sitting ignored by her employer, Mr. Rochester,
and his upper class visitors. Charlotte Brontë served as a governess for a school and for private families
and found it degrading, as she explains in this quote from her letters cited in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,
“I see now more clearly than I have ever done before that a private governess has no existence,
is not considered as a living and rational being except as connected with the wearisome duties she has to fulfill.”
Special Collections, Spencer Research Library. Call Number: G64. Click image to enlarge.

Lithograph by Ethel Gabain from Imprimerie Nationale’s 1923 edition of Jane Eyre. This illustration depicts Jane weeping over her wedding dress after discovering that her groom, Mr. Rochester, was already married.
Lithograph by Ethel Gabain from Imprimerie Nationale’s 1923 edition of Jane Eyre.
This illustration depicts Jane weeping over her wedding dress after discovering that her groom, Mr. Rochester,
was already married. While teaching in Brussels, Charlotte fell in love with her French tutor, Constantin Heger,
a married man, but her love was not returned. She sent many letters to him with no response,
sending her into depression that would often manifest itself in headaches.
Special Collections, Spencer Research Library. Call Number: G64. Click image to enlarge.

If you’re interested in learning more about Charlotte Brontë or her other works, come visit us at Spencer Research library and check out these resources:

  • Brontë, Charlotte. Napoleon and the Spectre: a Ghost Story. London: C. Shorter, 1919. Call Number: D916
  • Brontë, Charlotte. The Professor: to Which are Added the Poems of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, Now First Collected. London : Smith, Elder and Co., 1860. Call Number: Yeats Y290. [William Butler Yeats personal copy].
  • Brontë, Charlotte. Shirley: a Tale. London : Smith, Elder and Co., 65, Cornhill, 1849. Call Number: C217. [First Edition].
  • Brontë, Anne, Brontë, Charlotte, and Brontë, Emily. Poems. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1846 [i.e. 1848]. Call Number: B2118. [Fist Edition, Second Issue].
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn. The Life of Charlotte Brontë. London: Smith, Elder, 1857. Call Number: C4771.

Mindy Babarskis
Library Assistant
Public Services

Ogilby’s Britannia: Bringing English Cartography into the Scientific Age

April 11th, 2016

John Ogilby, was born in Scotland in 1600, and held many different careers in his life; a dancing-master, theater owner, poet, translator, publisher and cartographer. He is most remembered for bringing English cartography into the scientific age with his 1675 road atlas of England and Wales titled, Britannia. To create the wonderfully detailed strip maps that displayed the topographical features and distances of the roads, Ogilby’s team of surveyors worked with the precise and easy-to-use perambulator or measuring wheel to record the distance of the roads in miles; implementing the standardized measurement of 1,760 yards per mile as defined by a 1592 Act of Parliament. They also used the surveyor’s compass or theodolite to better record the changes in the directions of the roads. Besides the use of scientific instruments, Britannia was also the first published work to use the scale of one inch equaling one mile, which became the prevailing scale for cartography. Through the use of detailed illustrations and precise technology, Ogilby’s Britannia became the first comprehensive and accurate road atlas for England and Wales, making it the prototype for almost all English road books published in the following century. Our Special Collections house several editions and iterations of Britannia and its surveys, including the first edition from 1675.

Title Page for John Ogilby's Britannia (1675).
The title page for the first edition of Ogilby’s Britannia, 1675.
Special Collections, Spencer Research Library. Call Number: H1. Click image to enlarge.

Strip map from Britannia of “The Road From LONDON to ABERSWITH…”.
Strip map of “The Road From LONDON to ABERSWITH…” Note the illustration around the title,
the perambulator/measuring wheel is being used by the man on foot and
the surveyor’s compass/theodolite is being used by the man on horseback.
Special Collections, Spencer Research Library. Call Number: H1. Click image to enlarge.

After Ogilby’s death in 1676, his step-grandson, William Morgan, continued his work. Morgan utilized many of the original maps and descriptions created by Ogilby and his team of surveyors, since Britannia provided such exact and thorough accounts of the British roads. Many travelers and merchants desired to take these accounts with them, so the maps, surveys and descriptions used in Britannia were often scaled down and published in more portable works.

Ogilby editions size comparison
Comparing the size of the works from left to right: Britannia followed by The traveller’s guide or,
a most exact description of the roads of England. Being Mr. Ogilby’s actual survey,
and lastly The traveller’s pocket-book: or, Ogilby and Morgan’s book of the roads improved and amended.
Special Collections, Spencer Research Library. Call Numbers: H1, Bond C69, A297. Click image to enlarge.

Unfolding map for The traveller’s pocket-book: or, Ogilby and Morgan’s book of the roads improved and amended.

Open map for The traveller’s pocket-book: or, Ogilby and Morgan’s book of the roads improved and amended.
The traveller’s pocket-book: or, Ogilby and Morgan’s book of the roads improved and amended

with attached map of England and Wales, 1765. Special Collections, Spencer Research Library.
Call Number: A297. Click images to enlarge.

To learn more about John Ogilby and Britannia, come by Spencer Research Library and take a look at these sources:

  • Hyde, Ralph. “John Ogilby’s Eleventh Hour.” Map Collector No11 (1980): 2-8. Print. Call Number: E1814.
  • Ogilby, John. Britannia: London 1675 with an introduction by Dr. J.B. Harley. Amserdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1970. Print. Call Number: G730
  • Worms, Laurence and Baynton-Williams, Ashley. “Ogilby, John (1600-1676)—London.” British Map Engravers: a Dictionary of Engravers, Lithographers and Their Principal Employers to 1850. London: Rare Book Society, 2011. 498-500. Print. Call Number: GA793 .W67 2011.

Mindy Babarskis
Library Assistant
Public Services

Use the Force and Our Special Collections

December 14th, 2015

Since most of you are unable to attend the world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens today in Los Angeles, I’ve selected a few Star Wars items from our Special Collections to hold you over until December 18th. Thanks to the tireless efforts of University of Kansas Professor Emeritus James E. Gunn (former head of KU’s Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction) and others, Spencer Library houses an amazing collection of Science Fiction materials. So enjoy these images and come visit us to discover more treasures from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Official Star Wars Fan Club membership application form     Official Star Wars Fan Club membership application form, back.

Star Wars Fan Club membership application form, one double-sided sheet. Papers of T.L. Sherred.
Call Number: MS 253. Click images to enlarge.

Movie still of Darth Vader and Boba Fett from Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, 1980

Movie still of Darth Vader and Boba Fett from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, 1980.
John Tibbetts Collection: Movie Stills. Call Number: MS 297. Click image to enlarge.

Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace stills depicting Darth Maul and Queen Amidala, 1999.

Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace stills depicting Darth Maul and Queen Amidala, 1999.
John Tibbetts Collection: Hollywood Press Kits. Call Number: MS 292. Click image to enlarge.

Mindy Babarskis
Library Assistant

Native American Heritage Month: Haskell Indian Nations University

November 23rd, 2015

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, I’m highlighting items from our Kansas Collection that feature events and people from Haskell Indian Nations University, which has been educating First Nations students since 1884 in Lawrence, KS.

Did you know that Haskell offered the first touch-typing class in Kansas? The commercial department, now known as the business department, opened in 1895 with five typewriters. To find this information and other interesting facts about Haskell, check out their school history webpage.

Vivian McAllister and students typing in class.

Vivian McAllister with students typing in class at Haskell.
Miscellaneous photographs and negatives, ca. 1970.
Wallace Galluzzi Papers. Call Number: RH MS 807. Click Image to Enlarge.

This picture was taken in the 1930s by the well-known local photographer, Duke D’ambra. It illustrates Haskell’s long history as a diverse intertribal educational institution. Haskell continues to celebrate its cultural diversity with the annual Haskell Indian Art Market.

Unknown Haskell students. Photograph of Haskell Activities, 1930s.

Unknown Haskell students. Photograph of Haskell Activities, 1930s.
Duke D’ambra photograph collection. Call Number: RH PH 69.542.6. Click Image to Enlarge.

Haskell has a long tradition of producing exceptional athletes. Below are a couple of examples from Haskell’s rich athletic history.

John Levi played football at Haskell from 1921-1924 and then came back to coach the team from 1926-1936. He has been inducted into 3 sports hall of fames, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Athletic Hall of Fame, and the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. Check out Haskell Athletics’ Flashback Friday post on John Levi to learn more.

Photograph of Haskell football player John Levi and accompanying document describing his actions in a game against the Quantico Marines.Photograph of Haskell football player John Levi and accompanying document describing his actions in a game against the Quantico Marines.

Photograph of Haskell football player John Levi and accompanying document chronicling
his actions in a game against the Quantico Marines. Duke D’ambra photograph collection.
Call Number: RH PH 69.583.3. Click Image to Enlarge.

Billy Mills was a graduate of both Haskell and KU. He is most remembered for his surprise win of the 10,000-meter race at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. To learn more about Billy Mills and his incredible life story check out this interview with Mills from Haskell Athletics’ Flashback Friday post and “Mill’s Moment” on KUHistory.com written by Mark D. Hersey.

“Billy Mills is inducted in Sports Hall of Fame.” The Indian Leader, November 27, 1964.

“Billy Mills is inducted in Sports Hall of Fame.” The Indian Leader,
November 27, 1964.William Galluzzi Papers. Call Number: RH MS 807.
Click Image to Enlarge.

Mindy Babarskis
Library Assistant and Supply Coordinator