Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Dr. C. Kermit Phelps Edition

February 25th, 2021

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!

Sometimes information about KU’s past comes from Spencer collections beyond University Archives. This week’s photo comes from our Kansas Collection.

This week’s post highlights the career of former KU student and faculty member C. Kermit Phelps (1908-2002). He earned his bachelor’s degree (1934), master’s degree (1949, Psychology), and doctorate (1952, Psychology) at the University of Kansas. In earning this last degree, Dr. Phelps became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the university. Phelps later returned to KU as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry; he is considered the school’s first Black faculty member. Dr. Phelps taught in KU’s Department of Psychology from 1955 to 1970.

Photograph of Dr. C. Kermit Phelps administering the Phelps-Scheerer organic battery, 1967
Dr. C. Kermit Phelps administering the Phelps-Scheerer organic battery, a test he originated to determine the extent of a patient’s brain damage, 1967. Dr. C. Kermit Phelps Papers. Call Number: RH MS-P687, Box 1. Click image to enlarge.

You can learn more about Dr. Phelps’s life, work, and achievements at KU and beyond by exploring his collection of papers within Spencer’s Kansas Collection; reading his master’s thesis and Ph.D. dissertation; and listening to an oral history interview with Dr. Phelps conducted by KU’s Endacott Society.

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Campanile in Snow Edition

February 11th, 2021

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's Campanile in snow, 1970s
The Campanile in snow, 1970s. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Snow 1970s Prints: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Jayhawk Puzzle Edition

January 28th, 2021

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!

Tomorrow is National Puzzle Day! Celebrate by scrolling down and putting together this week’s image as a jigsaw puzzle.

Lyrics to "Crimson and Blue" in the 1920 Jayhawker yearbook
Lyrics to “Crimson and Blue,” KU’s alma mater, in the 1920 Jayhawker yearbook. Note that KU was called KSU, or Kansas State University, in the song. That’s not a typo, and you’ll see the same reference in other materials from the school’s first decades. University Archives. Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1920. Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Inauguration Edition

January 21st, 2021

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 spent part of their day yesterday watching the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris?

Photograph of the inauguration procession of Chancellor Frank Strong, October 17, 1902
Inauguration procession of KU Chancellor Frank Strong, October 17, 1902. The group is standing on the steps of Old Fraser Hall. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 2/8 1902: Chancellors: Frank Strong (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The group in the photo includes, from left to right,

The Lawrence Daily World reported on the inaugural events the following day (October 18, 1902) in multiple articles, as seen below. The newspaper praised all aspects of the inauguration, arguing that overall it was “the most successful event ever consummated in this town” and “one that will live in university history as the greatest educational event in the west up to this time.” Humorously, the newspaper also noted that “while the programme [sic] was long it had to be so. Chancellor Strong has much to say and could not have outlined his policy in fewer words.”

Article, "A New Head at Lawrence," Lawrence Daily World, October 18, 1902
Article, "Merry Banquetters," Lawrence Daily World, October 18, 1902
Article, "It Was Great," Lawrence Daily World, October 18, 1902
Article, "It Was Great," Lawrence Daily World, October 18, 1902
Article, "The Inaugural," Lawrence Daily World, October 18, 1902
Articles about Chancellor Strong’s inauguration in the Lawrence Daily World, October 18, 1902. Images via Newspapers.com. Click images to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: “Fight for Justice in Your Campus Community” Edition

January 14th, 2021

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!

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, this week’s post features a telegram he sent to KU students in 1965.

In March 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. was helping to organize and lead the Selma to Montgomery protest marches in Alabama. Church duties kept him from attending the first march on March 7, which became known as Bloody Sunday. The next day (March 8), approximately 150 Black and white student-members of KU’s Civil Rights Council staged a sit-in at Chancellor Wescoe’s office in Strong Hall to protest racial discrimination and the policies that supported it at the university. Dr. King sent the below telegram to the students three days later. It was the same day that, according to Wikipedia, he heard the news that President Lyndon B. Johnson was supporting a voting rights bill.

KU’s Civil Rights Council also received a telegram of support from James Farmer, who was a co-founder and National Director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

The first page of a telegram from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Executive Committee of KU's Civil Rights Council, March 11, 1965
The second page of a telegram from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Executive Committee of KU's Civil Rights Council, March 11, 1965
A telegram from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Executive Committee of KU’s Civil Rights Council, March 11, 1965. University Archives. Call Number: RG 67/20 1965: Student Organizations: Civil Rights Council. Click images to enlarge.

In his telegram to the CRC members, Dr. King writes that “It is thoroughly heart warming and encouraging to know we have your support in the struggle for freedom and human dignity in Alabama. We hope [that] you will continue your fight for justice [in?] your campus community for, real knowledge and wisdom cannot flourish in an environment where there is discrimination on the basis of race and color. We [support] you because we know [that injustice anywhere is] a threat to justice everywhere. Keep the faith that right will prevail. You have my prayers for success in your creative efforts. The statement that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” comes from King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services