Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Library Study Session Edition

May 7th, 2015

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 5,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Good luck to all Jayhawks on their final projects and exams!

Photograph of students studying in the library in Old Fraser Hall, 1886

The student reading room in Old Fraser Hall, 1886. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 32/0 1886 Negatives: University of Kansas Libraries (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of students studying in Spooner Library, 1895

Students studying in Spooner Library, 1895. You can still see –
and sit at – some of those tables in Spencer’s North Gallery!
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 32/0 1895 Prints:
University of Kansas Libraries (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of students studying at Watson Library, 1939

Studying at Watson Library, 1939. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 32/0 1939 Negatives: University of Kansas Libraries (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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

 

Throwback Thursday: Library Research Edition

April 9th, 2015

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 5,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Next week (April 12-18) is National Library Week! First sponsored in 1958, this national observance is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. As noted on the ALA website, “it is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.”

In honor of this event, we’re getting a glimpse of how past generations of users, working in the pre-Internet age of the not-too-distant past, conducted research and found materials at KU Libraries.

Photograph of a researcher using a microfiche reader, 1970s

A researcher using a microform reader, 1970s. You can still visit the
Spencer Reading Room to get some firsthand experience using a more modern version
of this tool. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 32/0 1970s Prints:
University of Kansas Libraries (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of patrons using the card catalog at Watson, 1981

Patrons using the card catalog at Watson Library, 1981. Be sure to
take a peek at the Spencer card catalog the next time you visit our Reading Room.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 32/0 1981 Prints:
University of Kansas Libraries (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of an early KU Libraries electronic public catalog, 1987-1988

A view of an early version of the KU Libraries electronic public catalog, 1987-1988.
Converting the old paper cards into this format was a big deal for staff and patrons,
but by today’s standards the catalog was still quite cumbersome: it could only be accessed
at designated terminals at the library, search and indexing capabilities were limited,
and graphical user interface did not exist. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 32/0 1987/1988 Prints: University of Kansas Libraries (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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

Focus on Spaces: Stannard Conservation Lab

February 23rd, 2015

Conservation Services has system-wide responsibilities, but an increasing focus is on Spencer Library materials and collections. There are two main conservation workspaces: a full-fledged conservation lab in Watson Library and workroom in Spencer Library. In this post, we feature the Stannard Conservation Lab.

KU Libraries has had a book bindery/mendery from at least the 1960s, located in the basement of Watson Library. The image below shows the woman on the left sewing a book on a sewing frame, and other staff standing by books batched for case binding.

KU Bindery, before 1965

View of University of Kansas bindery, before 1965, located in the basement of Watson Library.

As part of the drive in American research libraries in the 1980s and 1990s to build conservation laboratories to serve a wider range of collection needs, in 1994 the Libraries organized a Preservation Department and recruited Brian Baird as the first Preservation Librarian. Almost immediately, he began to plan, build, staff, and equip a modern conservation laboratory. These efforts came to fruition in 1997 with three major events: Meg Brown was appointed as the Libraries’ first full-time conservator; a renovation project was completed on the ground floor of Watson Library to create contiguous working space for the Preservation Department; and funds were raised from private donors to equip the facility.

Conservation lab  Conservation lab

Two views of the Stannard Lab, looking west (left image) and east (right image).

On March 19, 1998, the University of Kansas Libraries dedicated the Jerry and Katherine Stannard Conservation Laboratory and paid tribute to Jerry and Katherine Stannard, the Southwestern Bell Foundation, the Ethel and Raymond F. Rice Foundation, the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation, the Lawrence Walmart Green Team, and Kathryn Davis for their generous gifts that made it possible to equip the Stannard Laboratory. At the dedication, Erica Stannard-Schenk, Jerry and Katherine’s daughter, unveiled a beautiful quilt that is now on permanent display in the entrance of the laboratory.

Conservation lab

View of the storeroom outside the Stannard Lab.

In 2011, the department was renamed Conservation Services. A second space in Spencer Library was acquired to take care of simple treatments on site, so as to reduce the transportation of rare materials from one library to another. The department’s focus continues to evolve, but we pay tribute to the events that brought us to where we are today.

Whitney Baker (using some text written by Brian Baird)
Head, Conservation Services

 

Throwback Thursday: Presidential Edition

January 22nd, 2015

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 1,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

President Obama’s speech at KU today has generated much excitement on campus and in Lawrence, so we’re taking a look back at some past presidential visits to the area.

 

Photograph of President Theodore Roosevelt in Lawrence, 1903

Photograph of President Theodore Roosevelt in Lawrence, 1903

President Theodore Roosevelt visited Lawrence, but not the university, in May 1903.
The Kansas University Weekly noted that “the students made a good showing Friday afternoon when
President Roosevelt visited Lawrence. The old ‘Rock Chalk, Jay Hawk, K. U.’ could be heard
above all the other shouting.” University Archives Photos. Call Number: Taft Filmstrips:
Theodore Roosevelt, 10,596/10,597. Click images to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of President Harry S Truman, 1960

Photograph of President Harry S Truman, 1960

Former President Harry S Truman gave a speech before KU’s model UN in 1960.
During this visit he also examined historical Kansas materials at Watson Library (top),
the precursor to Spencer’s Kansas Collection. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/19 Harry S Truman: Visitors (Photos).
Click images to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, 1978

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, 1978

Former President Gerald Ford at the dedication of Green Hall, which houses
KU’s School of Law, February 1978. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/19 Gerald Ford Prints: Visitors (Photos).
Click images to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of President Jimmy Carter, 2003

Former President Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the
Dole Institute of Politics, 2003. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/19 Jimmy Carter: Visitors (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of President George H. W. Bush, 1972

Photograph of President George H. W. Bush, 1972

Future President George H. W. Bush visited KU in April 1972, during the time he was the
United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Lawrence Journal-World Photo Collection,
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG LJW 0/19 George H. W. Bush: Visitors (Photos).
Click images to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of President Bill Clinton, 2004

Photograph of President Bill Clinton, 2004

Former President Bill Clinton talking with former Senator Bob Dole (and KU Chancellor
Robert Hemenway) and examining exhibits at KU’s Dole Institute of Politics, 2004.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/19 Bill Clinton: Visitors (Photos).
Click images to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services