Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Advertisement Edition

September 17th, 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 post features an 1866 newspaper advertisement that announced the opening of the University of Kansas and the very first day of classes. According to one online resource, the $30 annual tuition for college-level courses would cost about $490 in 2020.

An advertisement in the Junction City Union newspaper, September 1, 1866. University Archives. This image appears in On the Hill: A Photographic History of the University of Kansas. Call Number: LD2688 .O5 1993. Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

When KU opened in 1866, it consisted of the following:

  • Zero on-campus housing options for students. According to the KU History website, “during KU’s early years, housing was catch-as-catch-can, with many of the students in attendance usually hailing from the surrounding area. As such, many lived at home, or with faculty, or in other private residences.”
  • One building: the newly-constructed North College. The structure was fifty feet square with ten rooms and no central heating. Located where Corbin Hall now stands, North College was demolished in 1919.
  • Three faculty members: Elial J. Rice, David H. Robinson, and Francis Huntington Snow.
  • Fifty-five students: twenty-six women and twenty-nine men. KU was open to African Americans and women from the beginning. While co-education of women and men was becoming more common by the 1860s, it was still notable enough that a newspaper reporter traveling through the state in 1867 observed that “Kansas is sufficiently civilized to mingle the sexes in the higher schools without danger of folly or impropriety.”

Kansas did not yet have high schools in the 1860s, so the state’s handful of colleges provided that level of education. At KU, the Preparatory Department taught students who were not ready for college work.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Engineering Songs

September 3rd, 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!

The cover of the KU publication "Engineering Songs," 1915
A page of yells in the KU publication "Engineering Songs," 1915
A verse in the KU publication "Engineering Songs," 1915
Engineering Songs, published by the KU School of Engineering, 1915. University Archives. Call Number: RG 21/0 Artificial Records 1915/1916. Click images to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Face Covering Edition

August 27th, 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!

Welcome back, Jayhawks!

After a five-month hiatus while Spencer Research Library was closed, we’re excited to resume these weekly snapshots of KU history.

We’re also excited to welcome research and visitors back to Spencer. Remember to bring your face covering! But, don’t follow the lead of the students in this week’s photo: a basketball net is not an approved or effective option.

Photograph of KU basketball fans, 1991-1992
Photograph of KU basketball fans, 1991-1992
KU basketball fans, 1991-1992. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/66/13 1991/1992: Student Activities: Sports: Basketball (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Streetcar Edition, Part II

March 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 a streetcar passing in front of Memorial Stadium, 1925-1926
A streetcar passing in front of Memorial Stadium, 1925-1926. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Streetcars 1925/1926 Prints: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Beat K-State Edition

March 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!

We hope the KU women’s basketball team brings home another victory when they battle K-State on Sunday!

A KU women’s basketball game against the Kansas State University Wildcats at Allen Fieldhouse, January 4, 1997. The Jayhawks won, 70-54. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/20/13 1997 Games KSU: Athletic Department: Women’s Basketball (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services