Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Commencement Edition, Part II

May 13th, 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!

Commencement for the class of 2021 is on Sunday, and we join others in congratulating all graduating Jayhawks and wishing them the very best. Rock Chalk!

Photograph of KU graduates walking into Robinson Gymnasium on Commencement Day, 1913
KU graduates walking into Robinson Gymnasium on Commencement Day, 1913. The structure once known as the Fowler Shops (present-day Stauffer-Flint Hall) is barely visible behind the trees on the left. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/17 1913 Prints: University General: Commencement (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Study Spot Edition, Part II

May 6th, 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!

Good luck on finals next week, Jayhawks!

A black-and-white photograph of a male student sitting under an umbrella with a black dog.
A KU student studying on the grass, 1971. Lawrence Journal-World Photo Collection, University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG LJW 71/14 1971 Prints: Student Activities: Dogs (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Arbor Day Edition, Part II

April 29th, 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!

Happy Arbor Day Eve, Jayhawks! How will you be celebrating tomorrow?

Photograph of "Lover's Lane" in Marvin Grove, 1948
“Lover’s Lane” in Marvin Grove, 1948. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Marvin Grove 1948: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Did you know that Lawrence’s first Arbor Day celebration took place on March 29, 1878? Chancellor James Marvin – an avid amateur horticulturist – declared a general university holiday, and local residents joined KU students and faculty to plant more than 300 young trees in North Hollow, the area that became known as Marvin Grove.

KU alumnus and Greek professor Miles Wilson Sterling described the event in an article “The Trees of the Campus,” which appeared in the December 1909 issue of the The Graduate Magazine

“I have a vivid recollection of the day and the circumstances of the first planting of trees in the north hollow. At that time the ground was covered chiefly by prairie grass. There were a few clumps of crab apple and wild plum along the ravine, but nothing that could grow into a respectable forest tree. The Douglas County Horticultural society furnished free of charge several wagon loads of young elms, honey locusts, hackberries, evergreens, and other varieties of trees.

Early in the morning, several members of the faculty and several scores of young men led by Dr. Marvin, began the task of planting. The early part of the day was cloudy and chilly but the interest and rivalry in the work kept everybody warm and cheerful. Dr. Marvin went about personally directing the proceedings and sometimes taking a spade in hand to show how the planting should be done. Before noon it began to rain, and sometime later to snow; but by that time all the stock of trees had been properly placed.”

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Junior Promenade Edition

April 22nd, 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!

"The First Junior Promenade, April 12, 1895" in the 1896 KU yearbook
Illustration, “The First Junior Promenade, April 12, 1895” in the 1896 KU yearbook, A Kwir Book. The event was what we would call a prom today; the word “prom” originated as a truncation of “promenade.” University Archives. Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1896. Click image to enlarge.

The Lawrence Daily Gazette described the event in an article on April 13, 1895:

“To the class of ’96 of the State University belongs the credit of introducing into college circles of the west, that social function so famous in eastern colleges – the Junior promenade. The Fraternal Aid hall [in downtown Lawrence on the southeast corner of Eighth and Vermont streets] as the scene last evening of the pleasant college gathering…The hall was handsomely decorated with cut flowers and potted plants and the class colors, cream and crimson. The refreshments were served on the stage and the balcony was fitted up with tables for crokinole cards and checkers. Dancing was the order of the evening.”

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services

Throwback Thursday: High Five Edition

April 15th, 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!

Did you know that today is National High Five Day? This is a particularly good year to celebrate, as a 2014 medical study found that high fives (and fist bumps) spread fewer germs than handshakes, according to Wikipedia.

Photograph of Baby Jay high-fiving a young soccer play, 1996
Baby Jay high-fiving a young soccer play, 1996. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/25 1996 Prints: University General: Jayhawk mascot, dolls, etc (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Klepper
Head of Public Services