Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Goin’ Courtin’ at Spencer Research Library

February 14th, 2017

There is so much uncertainty in the world of dating and relationships. Countless questions abound: Am I interested in this person? Who should make the first move? How soon is too soon to talk to the other person after a date? Should you play it cool and aloof or be more earnest about conveying your feelings for someone? How long should you wait to define the relationship or discuss being exclusive with your partner? Does wanting to have that discussion make you seem needy or confident? The list goes on and all of your friends, all of the dating articles available to you, and every show on television seem to have conflicting opinions. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a guidebook – a collection of dos and don’ts when it comes to dating so you would know what to do or expect? Well, look no further than the collections at Spencer Research Library!

Book chapter, "Etiquette of Courtship and Marriage," 1896

First page of the chapter entitled “Etiquette of Courtship and Marriage.”
Social Life; or, The Manners and Customs of Polite Society by Maud C. Cook.
Kansas City, Mo.: S.D. Knapp & Co., 1896. Call Number: C23427. Click image to enlarge.

Published in 1896 in Kansas City, Missouri, Social Life; or The Manners and Customs of Polite Society by Maud C. Cook is just one of several 19th and early 20th century etiquette books housed at Spencer. In addition to the etiquette of courtship and marriage, Social Life also details the proper etiquette for everything from correspondence to childcare and so much more. While some of the content may no longer be directly applicable in today’s society, many of the tenets regarding courtship and marriage are rather insightful.

“Intuition, our own selfhood, is nature’s highest teacher, and infallible; and tells all by her ‘still, small voice within,’ whether and just wherein they are making love right or wrong.”

Modern translation: Trust your instincts. No one knows you better than you know yourself. From choosing a partner to guiding the progression of your relationship, if something feels wrong, trust that feeling.

Book illustration, "A Polite Escort," 1896

Illustration, “A Polite Escort,” in Social Life; or,
The Manners and Customs of Polite Society
by Maud C. Cook, 1896.
Call Number: C23427. Click image to enlarge.

“Again the young lady who willfully, knowingly, deliberately draws on a man to place hand and heart at her disposal simply for the pleasure of refusing him and thus adding one more name to her list of rejected proposals is utterly unworthy the name of woman.”

Modern translation: Be kind. Don’t lead someone on or pretend you have feelings for them when you don’t. Be honest about your feelings and intentions, whatever they may be.

“Differences must needs arise, which cannot be adjusted too soon.”

Modern translation: Communicate. Address problems and differences calmly and in a timely manner. If something has upset you, speak up, just do so respectfully.

Book illustration, "Declined with Regrets," 1896

Illustration, “Declined with Regrets,” in Social Life; or,
The Manners and Customs of Polite Society
by Maud C. Cook, 1896.
Call Number: C23427. Click image to enlarge.

“She should never captiously take offense at her fiancé’s showing the same attention to other ladies that she, in her turn, is willing to accept from other gentlemen, and she should take the same pains to please his taste in trifles that he does to gratify her slightest wish.”

Modern translation: Don’t be hypocritical when it comes to your partner’s actions. It is unfair for you to be upset over behavior that is similar to your own.

“See or correspond with each other often. Love will not bear neglect. Nothing kills it equally. In this it is most exacting. It will not, should not, be second in anything. ‘First or nothing,’ is its motto.”

Modern translation: It is not a badge of honor to ignore someone, especially if you care about them. Spend time with the one you love and do your best to stay connected.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Emily Beran
Library Assistant
Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Jayhawk Couple Edition

February 9th, 2017

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 34,500 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Jayhawks!

Photograph of a KU student couple, 1940-1949

A KU student couple, 1940-1949. Note the Jayhawks on the suitcase.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/0 1940s Negatives: Student Activities (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Flashback Friday: Young Love Edition

February 12th, 2016

We couldn’t resist sharing an extra – and especially cute – entry this week in honor of Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

Photograph of Valentine from Buster Brown to Barbara Lauter, 1955

Valentine from Buster Brown to Barbara Lauter, 1955.
Lawrence Journal-World Photo Collection.
Call Number: RH PH LJW. Click image to enlarge.

Kathy Lafferty
Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Valentine Edition

February 11th, 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 21,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Some of my favorites items in University Archives are scrapbooks created by former KU students. Most date from the early twentieth century and include items like photographs, programs for concerts and other events, tickets, dance cards, newspaper clippings, and holiday cards. A scrapbook created by KU alumna Mayrea Noyes contains the very clever valentine shown below.

Image of nested valentines to Mayrea Noyes, 1911

KU senior Mayrea Noyes received this valentine from an
unknown admirer in 1911. It’s a series of nested envelopes, displayed here
in two columns, the last one opening to reveal a tiny red paper heart.
Mayrea Noyes Scrapbook, University Archives.
Call number: SB 71/99 Noyes. Click image to enlarge.

Mayrea Noyes was born in New York on May 4, 1889 to parents Ellis Bradford (1848-1924) and Elsie Jefferis (1859-1922) Noyes. She had two sisters, Elmira Elsie (1882-1961) and Aline (1892-1956). Mayrea’s father, a long-time civil engineer, graduated from KU in 1874, one of three students in the university’s second graduating class. Thus, even though Mayrea grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, she attended the University of Kansas, graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1911. She returned to KU the following year and earned a university teacher’s diploma. Mayrea later attended summer classes at Columbia University (1913) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1921).

Mayrea Noyes's senior picture in the Jayhawker, 1911

Mayrea’s senior picture in the 1911 Jayhawker. University Archives.
Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1911. Click image to enlarge.

Mayrea had a long career as a teacher at Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia. After she died suddenly of a heart attack on December 2, 1954, the school’s yearbook printed a memorial to her: “Coming to Maury in 1914 she was one of its first home economics teachers and did much to build up that department, serving there until her retirement in 1949. In addition to her teaching she spent many hours counseling students with their personal problems and is remembered by many for her sympathetic attention and sound advice” (85).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Love Songs from the Kansas Collection

February 9th, 2016

Among the vast holdings of Kenneth Spencer Research Library’s Kansas Collection is an assortment of printed music, all produced by publishers based in the Sunflower State (RH E165). Song topics include patriotism, candidate promotion, parental affection, Kansas themes, waltzes, and love songs.

The publication of sheet music in the United States and Europe hit its stride during the Victorian era. An increase in the disposable income and leisure time of middle-class households meant that they could purchase pianos and other musical instruments, along with music lessons. The songs came to be known as “parlor music,” and many were composed especially for this type of use. Music in the home became a popular means of entertainment. Open the lid of the piano bench in any home that owned a piano and you would find a collection of sheet music. Phonograph records and radio would eventually replace parlor music as both a means of distributing music and home entertainment.

Since Valentine’s Day is here, this blog entry will focus on some of the love songs in the collection. Enjoy!

Image of a sheet music cover, "I Never Knew," 1920

Sheet music cover, “I Never Knew.” Words and music by Marcus J. Lehman.
Wichita, Kansas: Mid-Continent Co. Publishers, 1920.
Kansas Sheet Music Collection. Call Number: RH E165. Click image to enlarge.

“I Never Knew”

A youthful suitor loved a maid,
How much he never knew.
He with her heart at baseball played,
Until she weary grew.
The more he teased this maiden fair
The more she did despair,
Until one day she went away,
And then I heard him say:

Chorus:
I never knew how much I’d miss you
Till you went away.
But now I want so much to kiss you,
Since you’ve gone to stay.
Your smile,
Your lips,
Your eyes so blue,
Your curls, I miss them, too.
The wealth of love you gave so true,
But most I just miss you.

 

Image of a sheet music cover, "A Lover's Quarrel," 1922

Sheet music cover, “A Lover’s Quarrel.” Words and music by Rene F. Hartley.
Topeka, Kansas: Rene F. Hartley Music Publishing Co., 1922.
Kansas Sheet Music Collection. Call Number: RH E165. Click image to enlarge.

“A Lover’s Quarrel”

Often you’ll find, Sweethearts so fine,
True to each other but quarreling
When some things gone wrong.
Yes in their love play,
and just then you’ll hear one of them saying…..

Chorus:
It’s just a lover’s quarrel, yes just a lover’s quarrel,
Like all lovers have, but some so many more.
Hush now don’t you cry,
Dear now don’t you sigh,
‘Cause you know for you I’d die.
Long live the day, yes while at work and play,
For you and your winning way,
Right from the start you won my heart,
Now we must never part
Just over a lover’s quarrel.

Don’t say you’re through, that makes me blue,
When I love you and you only.
Still I know you’re mad,
And I’m feeling sad,
Now please gladden my heart dear by saying…..

 

Image of a sheet music cover, "You Have Always Been the Same to Me," 1912

Sheet music cover, “You Have Always Been the Same to Me.”
Words and music by Louis Weber, for his parents on their 64th wedding anniversary.
Kansas City, Kansas: Weber Brothers, 1912. Kansas Sheet Music Collection.
Call Number: RH E165. Click image to enlarge.

“You Have Always Been the Same to Me”

Many years ago my darling,
I remember well the day,
When I first began to love you,
Sixty years have passed away.
We have been so happy darling,
Now our locks are white, you see,
But our loves been growing stronger.
You have always been the same to me

Chorus:
You have always been the same to me.
You have always been the same to me.
When we reach the golden city
You will always be the same to me.

Many sorrows crossed our pathway,
But our lives were one sweet strain.
We have borne our lot together,
Sharing one another’s pain.
Soon we’ll close life’s pleasant journey,
Soon that city we shall see.
In that home of endless pleasure
You will always be the same to me.

Where the mocking birds are singing,
And the stars their vigils keep,
There beneath the sod my darling,
We shall sweetly sleep.
In the dawning of the morning
We shall ever happy be,
And through all the endless ages
You will always be the same to me.

Kathy Lafferty
Public Services