Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.
Check the blog each Friday for a new “That’s Distinctive!” post. I created the series because I genuinely believe there is something in our collections for everyone, whether you’re writing a paper or just want to have a look. “That’s Distinctive!” will provide a more lighthearted glimpse into the diverse and unique materials at Spencer – including items that many people may not realize the library holds. If you have suggested topics for a future item feature or questions about the collections, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
This week in honor of Pride Month we share the Pride Guide from the 1990 Kansas Pride celebrations in Wichita. The guide is a part of the Bruce McKinney papers here at the library. Bruce McKinney began his journey as an LGBT activist during the 1960s. The collection reflects his involvement in the community as an activist and an archivist. He began collecting items related to the LGBT community in his youth and continued through the 1980s. Donated in 2008, the collection holds 142 boxes, 147 oversize boxes, 21 card files, and 13 oversize folders. For those who have never been to the library, that is a massive collection!
I love ice cream. I’ve very rarely screamed for it, but I may occasionally feel the urge! There are many flavors I like, including matcha and mint chocolate chip, though I feel there is something special about a good vanilla or my absolute favorite…homemade peach ice cream. Ice cream flavors are also a great thing to disagree about. You can have a very satisfying argument about which flavor is best (or at least rank them) knowing that it doesn’t really matter. It is a treat, it is satisfying, it is not particularly healthy, and it has a special quality of nostalgia for me.
I remember getting together with family on the Fourth of July, playing all day, eating too many hot dogs/burgers/potluck/picnic food of all sorts, then finding the room to try three or four different flavors of homemade ice cream while sitting back and watching the fireworks. The sound of the churns were a persistent whine accompanying the conversation and bangs going on through the day.
Ice cream can be found in our collections as well. I mean…not literally. That would be a nightmare for archival control. Instead there are pictures of people working on the apparatus of ice cream making, gathering socially around ice cream, or even making a buck going back quite a while!
So when the urge for ice cream strikes, indulge, at least a little.
Do you remember these people and/or events in Wichita, Kansas? The Leon K. Hughes Photography Collection consists of more than 2,000 photographs documenting African American community life in Wichita, Kansas from the 1950s through the 1970s.
The University of Kansas Libraries is honored to steward the Leon K. Hughes Photography Collection and make it accessible to viewers worldwide. As you can see when you browse through the amazing photographs found in this collection, many pieces of information are missing. Names, dates and/or events may not be known; some information may be incorrect or misspelled.
The collection is not static – it is intended to grow and it needs to grow!
We need your help to identify the community represented through this comprehensive and timeless collection. If you have additional information about any of the descriptions related to the collection photos, please click on the “Add Comments” link in the “Related Objects” field for any image in the collection and your knowledge about the photo will be sent to us here at KU so we can revise the information. All digitized Hughes photographs can be found at http://luna.ku.edu:8180/luna/servlet/kuluna01kui~16~16.
You may also submit your information by contacting Deborah Dandridge (email@example.com).
Above: Hughes, Leon K. (photographer). Graves-Williams-Dandridge Family at Thanksgiving. Wichita, Kansas. 1953.
L. K. Hughes Photography Collection. Call Number: RH PH506, box 12, folder 8. Click image to enlarge.