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Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

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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.

That’s Distinctive!: Kansas News Scrapbook

February 9th, 2024

Check the blog each Friday for a new “That’s Distinctive!” post. I created the series because I genuinely believe there is something in our collections for everyone, whether you’re writing a paper or just want to have a look. “That’s Distinctive!” will provide a more lighthearted glimpse into the diverse and unique materials at Spencer – including items that many people may not realize the library holds. If you have suggested topics for a future item feature or questions about the collections, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

This week on That’s Distinctive! I share a scrapbook of Kansas news items. Originally a copy of Tommy Trot’s Visit to Santa Claus by Thomas Nelson Page (1908), the book is pasted with various news articles from the early 1900s. Created by Margaret Thomas Henderson, the 91-page scrapbook houses news clippings about topics such as the University of Kansas, the Lawrence community, the history of Kansas, and notable people from the time.

Margaret Thomas Henderson was born in Parsons, Kansas, in 1880. According to the finding aid for the scrapbook, she “enrolled at the University of Kansas in 1898, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a liberal arts degree in 1905.” Margaret gifted the book to the library in 1952, just two years before she passed.

Some of the articles shared today cover stories covering information such as the Jayhawkers Desert Journey, KU’s North College, KU’s “oldest professor” Ephraim Miller, the reconstruction of a Portheus (Xiphactinus audax), and more.

Silhouette of two children on a sled, in blue against a gold circle. The rest of the cover is also blue.
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The front cover of – and selected pages from – Margaret Thompson Henderson’s Kansas scrapbook, circa 1908-1924. Call Number: RH MS C90. Click image to enlarges.

Tiffany McIntosh
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