The University of Kansas

Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Books on a shelf

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!: Spring Equinox

March 24th, 2023

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! we celebrate SPRING! Springs long awaited return was this week on Monday, March 20. With warmer weather and extended sunshine, soon comes the return of spring flowers! You can find lots of great information on the spring equinox from the online farmers almanac.

This week we share a few pages from a book from our collections called One Hundred Fifty Familiar Wildflowers of Central Kansas. Written by Mary Jones, the book was published in Lyons, Kansas, around 1961. Maybe you will be able to spot some of the wildflowers featured in the book while you’re out this spring and summer! Here’s to wishing for warmer and longer days ahead.

Book title with a sketch of a sunflower on a cream background.
The cover of and selected pages from One Hundred Fifty Familiar Wild Flowers of Central Kansas by Mary Jones, circa 1961. Call Number: RH C687. Click images to enlarge.

Tiffany McIntosh
Public 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