Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

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: 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: Spooky Season Edition

October 15th, 2020

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!

Pharmacy section illustration in the KU yearbook Oread, 1899
The illustration at the beginning of the section about pharmacy students and activities in the 1899 KU yearbook, called Oread. University Archives. Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1899. Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Academics for the War Effort: KU Faculty and Their Service

March 20th, 2017

Members of the University of Kansas’s faculty involved themselves in the World War I war effort in a multitude of ways, including military and government service. By 1918, thirty-one members of the faculty were actively engaged in some type of war work. Here are some highlights of their efforts from the University Archives.

School of Engineering

Dean Perley F. Walker left his position and joined the Army when the United States entered the war. He entered the service as Major, but shortly thereafter was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

Photograph of Perley Walker in the Jayhawker yearbook, 1918

Perley Walker in the Jayhawker yearbook, 1918. University Archives.
Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1918. Click image to enlarge.

Department of Physical Education

Several members of the Physical Education staff joined the Armed Forces during WWI, including coaches George Clark, Leon McCarty, and Herman Olcott. In addition to those faculty members who enlisted, the Department of Physical Education also saw Dr. James Naismith leave to work with the Y.M.C.A. in France.

Photograph of Herman Olcott in the Jayhawker yearbook, 1918

Herman Olcott in the Jayhawker yearbook, 1918.
University Archives. Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1918.
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of James Naismith in the Jayhawker yearbook, 1918

James Naismith in the Jayhawker yearbook, 1918.
University Archives. Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1918.
Click image to enlarge.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Military service was not the only thing that pulled faculty away from the University of Kansas. Dean Olin Templin took a temporary leave to organize and supervise the War League of American Colleges – an idea originated by Dean Templin. The goal of the organization was to educate college students across the country about the significance of the war and to prepare them for the future changes that would impact them as a result of the conflict.

Photograph of Olin Templin in the Jayhawker yearbook, 1918

Olin Templin in the Jayhawker yearbook, 1918. University Archives.
Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1918. Click image to enlarge.

For additional information regarding the University of Kansas during World War I, please visit Spencer Research Library and explore our University Archives collections – including items such as issues of the Graduate Magazine, Jayhawker yearbooks, and ROTC records!

Emily Beran
Library Assistant
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