Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Jayhawk Couple Edition, Part II

February 14th, 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!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Jayhawks!

Photograph of two KU students sitting on the Strong Hall steps, 1925

Two KU students sitting in front of Strong Hall, 1925. University Archives
Photos. Call Number: RG 71/0 1925 Prints: Student Activities (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Ice Skating Edition

February 7th, 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!

Photograph of KU students ice skating in front of Strong Hall, 1936-1937

Students ice skating in front of Strong Hall, 1936-1937. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Snow 1936-1937 Prints: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Christmas Tree Edition

December 20th, 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!

A lot was happening at KU fifty years ago! Spencer Research Library opened for researchers on December 2nd, and about a week later a dramatic, holiday-themed event took place across the terrace in Strong Hall.

Photograph of the Chancellor's Christmas tree in Strong Hall, 1968

Photograph of the Chancellor's Christmas tree in Strong Hall, 1968 Photograph of the Chancellor's Christmas tree in Strong Hall, 1968

The Chancellor’s Christmas tree in Strong Hall, December 1968. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Christmas 1968: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos).
Click images to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

An article in the University Daily Kansan on December 13, 1968 – entitled “Strong Hall Tree a Giant Nuisance” – describes the scene shown in the photos above.

Most people have enough trouble with the small Christmas tree they put up in their homes, but the Buildings and Grounds crew had giant-sized problems with the Chancellor’s tree yesterday.

First of all, the tree was too large for the doorway to Strong. A 20-foot tall Scotch Pine had been cute from the site of the new Humanities Building [Wescoe Hall]. The tree’s branches extended laterally about half its height, so workmen disassembled the center section of the double doors to make room for the tree’s entry.

The tree then proved too big for the ceiling of the Rotunda, so the bottom was sawed off.

Erecting the tree was accomplished by laying a scaffolding across the observation deck and hoisting the tree into position.

The tree revolves in its stell base and the balancing operation is delicate. Harry Buchholz, superintendent of the physical plant, said the balancing of the tree was the most difficult part of the entire job.

Over 475 lbs. of lead weights balance the tree as it revolves twice each minute.

The decoration process seemed easy. Workmen used a portable extension ladder to reach the topmost branches, then plugged in the tree and let it wind the lights and streamers around itself.

Spencer Research Library will be closed from December 22nd through January 1st. We will reopen on January 2nd and look forward to sharing more of our collections with you in 2019!

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Jayhawk Boulevard Edition

June 21st, 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 Jayhawk Boulevard looking east, 1915

Jayhawk Boulevard looking east, 1915. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/24/P 1915 Prints: Campus: Panoramas (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The photo was likely taken from Marvin Hall.

The buildings from left to right are Strong (east wing only), Bailey, Old Fraser, Old Snow, and Old Haworth. Old Robinson Gymnasium and the Fowler Shops are also visible behind Haworth, to the right. Zoom in and look closely to see a campus streetcar.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Assassination Commemoration Edition

April 5th, 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!

This week’s photograph commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photograph of a Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination demonstration, 1968

KU students in front of Strong Hall honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 5, 1968.
Lawrence Journal-World Photo Collection, University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG LJW 71/18 1968-04-06: Student Activities:
Student Protests (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The sign the students are holding – more visible in other photos of the events that took place on campus and in Lawrence on April 5, 1968 – says “Join us in our revulsion and sorrow at the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

An article in the Lawrence Daily Journal-World described the events of the day.

About 700 persons, mainly Kansas University faculty members and students, this morning participated in ceremonies honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the nonviolent prophet of the civil rights movement who was slain Thursday in Memphis, Tenn.

The vigil in front of KU’s Strong Hall began at 9:10 this morning as seven KU students lowered to half-staff the flag in front of the university administration building. They held a sign which said “Join us in our revulsion and sorrow at the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

By 10 a.m., there were 22 persons standing in front of the lowered flag. The group swelled to 61 by 11:15 a.m., and to about 100 persons by 11:20 a.m. Then, as classes changed, hundreds of persons approached the area to participate in a previously-announced memorial service sponsored by the KU Religious Advisors.

The final attendance estimate was made by Rev. Tom Rehorn of the Methodist Wesley Foundation.

Nicholas Gerren, Wilberforce, Ohio, junior at KU, read a eulogy, which said in part: “My black brother is dead. His only sin was a desire for peace, his only wrong was a love for the black man. Here in America, the land of the free press, the land of free speech, he took a stand, fought, spoke, and died for what he believed.”

The 15-minute ceremony ended at 11:45 this morning as Rev. Rehorn announced there would be a silent march in Dr. King’s honor. The march which began at Strong Hall ended in South Park. Leading several hundred persons en route down Mass. St. were two KU students who carried a sign which said “Martin Luther King –1929-1968.”

Earlier this morning, a group of KU students set up a booth in the main lobby of the Kansas Union, where they urged passers-by to send telegrams urging passage of civil rights legislation to their congressmen. The booth was placed in front of a large sign which said “Let’s Make This Tragedy Work for Peace – Help Pass the Bill.”

Tom Miller, Paola senior at KU, said he and Ned Valentine, Clay Center senior, organized the “telegram movement” Thursday night. He said they telephoned friends at various colleges around the nation, asking students to send telegrams to congressmen using passage of civil rights legislation bottled up in a House committee.

Students for [Democrat Eugene] McCarthy and Students for [Democrat Robert F.] Kennedy [in the 1968 election] both are helping with the “telegram movement,” Miller said.

While Miller and others were busy in the Union, a group of 36 Negro students were marching down Jayhawk Boulevard singing “We Shall Overcome.” The students, some wearing black armbands, gathered in front of Strong Hall for silent prayer at about 9:20 a.m. The brief ceremony ended at 9:30 a.m.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services