Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: No-Shave November Edition

November 19th, 2020

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!

Looking for some inspiration for Movember/No-Shave November? Look no further than this week’s photo, which features members of KU’s faculty sporting an impressive variety of beards and mustaches in 1885. Click on the image to zoom in and get a closer look!

Photographs of the University of Kansas faculty, 1885
Composite of the University of Kansas faculty, 1885. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 41/0 Faculty 1885 Prints (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Old Fraser Hall Edition

November 12th, 2020

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 University (Old Fraser) Hall, 1870s
KU’s “New Building” (later called University and Old Fraser Hall), 1870s. The structure was located approximately where modern Fraser Hall now stands. Note the lack of trees and relatively few other buildings. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/24 1870s Prints: Campus: Buildings: Fraser Hall Old (Photos). This image is a copy of a photograph held in the Robert Benecke Collection at DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Opened in 1872, the “New Building” was KU’s second building. According to an article on the KU History website, “when John Fraser, KU’s second chancellor, took office in 1868, he found the school’s 122 students crammed into a single, 11-room building [North College] with no central heating, although each room did have its own stove.” North College does not appear to be visible in the above photo.

By comparison, the majestic “New Building” boasted the most modern of nineteenth-century amenities:

The entire structure, noted the Fort Scott Daily Monitor on June 6, 1872, “will be heated with steam and lighted with gas, and every room will be supplied with water.” And although electric lights did not appear at KU until 1888, the building featured electrically powered clocks in each room. In addition, mechanically inclined students would also be able to work with steam-driven engines, lathes and other machinery. Being 300 feet long, 100 feet wide, and rising four stories, it was spacious enough to house the entire University: departmental and administrative offices, laboratories, classrooms, the library, a student reading room, even a large, second-floor auditorium.

“New Building” became officially known as University Hall in 1879. KU changed the name of the building to Fraser Hall in 1897 to honor John Fraser, the building’s champion. “Old” Fraser Hall was razed in August 1965 to make way for the “New” Fraser Hall that stands on Mount Oread today.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Football Program Edition

November 5th, 2020

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!

Who’s excited to cheer on the Jayhawks this Saturday as they play the University of Oklahoma?

Cover of The Jayhawk Gridster for the KU football game against the University of Oklahoma, November 9, 1940
The cover of The Jayhawk Gridster souvenir program for the KU football game against the University of Oklahoma, November 9, 1940. University Archives. Call Number: RG 66/14/1: Athletic Department: Football: Programs. Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Election Edition

October 29th, 2020

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!

Election Day is less than a week away. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to get out and vote!

Photograph of KU students voting in student elections, 1980
KU students voting in student elections, 1980. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 3/11 1980 Slides: Governance: Student Senate (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: First Jayhawk Edition

October 22nd, 2020

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 image is the first Jayhawk drawing to appear in print.

The first Jayhawk drawing to appear in print, University Daily Kansan, October 25, 1912. Drawn by Daniel Henry “Hank” Maloy, this illustration is the final panel in a cartoon series titled “What We’ve Had to Stand For This Week at K.U.” This sketch references the football team’s 0-6 loss to Drake University. University Archives. Call Number: UA Ser 69/2/1. Click image to enlarge.

The Spencer Research Library exhibit “100 Years of the Jayhawk” notes that

KU student Daniel Henry “Hank” Maloy drew what became the first “signature” Jayhawk. In recollections of his college years, Maloy remembered that he first had the idea of drawing the Jayhawk as a bird in October of 1912 when he saw a stuffed chickenhawk in the Squires photography studio [in downtown Lawrence]. He went home and drew a long-legged Jayhawk with big, heavy shoes so that he “could administer more effective justice” towards athletic opponents.

The term Jayhawker has been associated with Kansas since the pre-Civil War era and eventually became the symbol for the University of Kansas. In 1886, the term Jayhawk was incorporated into [KU’s] world-famous college yell “Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU,” although it was not yet portrayed as a bird. In a pre-Maloy drawing in the 1908 Jayhawker yearbook, a rather prehistoric looking bird is perched on a goalpost heckled a miserable looking Missouri Tiger.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services