Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

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

“Why Did You Come to KU?” and Other Questions from the 1895 Senior Quiz

October 7th, 2015

The 1895 KU yearbook – called Annus Mirabilis (Wonderful Year) – includes a fun senior quiz, shown below. It’s unclear whether the answers listed were actually provided by members of the Class of 1895 or whether they were jokes written by the yearbook staff and attributed to their classmates. Especially humorous are the responses to the question “what does Miss Watson [the first and longest-serving professional librarian at KU] say when you whisper in library?”

 

Image of KU yearbook, Annus Mirabilis, senior quiz, page 1, 1895Image of KU yearbook, Annus Mirabilis, senior quiz, page 2, 1895

Image of KU yearbook, Annus Mirabilis, senior quiz, page 3, 1895Image of KU yearbook, Annus Mirabilis, senior quiz, page 4, 1895

A senior quiz in the 1895 KU yearbook, Annus Mirabilis.
University Archives. Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1895.
Click images to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Yearbook in a Box: The 1971 Jayhawker

June 22nd, 2015

Unique, playful, interactive” are words that describe the 1971 Jayhawker. Packaged in a blue box, the yearbook stands out amongst those that came before and after.

1971 Jayhawker box

Box housing the parts of the 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Inside, however, are the usual contents to any Jayhawker yearbook: sections on athletics, the seniors, Greek life, administration, hot topics, and more. But the way in which they were presented was unusual, satirical, and perhaps a commentary on the year that was by the Jayhawker staff. For example, the section on Greek life was titled “Agricultural Almanac of Flowering Plants in Eastern Kansas.”

Another part included an interactive “Love Sun” mobile. To see what this Love Sun mobile actually looked like, I put one together for the University Archives. Below are pictures from this endeavor, with the completed Love Sun hanging in the University Archives in front of the yearbook collection.

 

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook  Step 2_1971 yearbook

Left: Instructions for making the Love Sun mobile. Right: The six cards that form the mobile.

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook  Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Right and left: Constructing the Love Sun mobile.

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Completed Love Sun mobile hanging in the University Archives.

 

JoJo Palko
KU Sesquicentennial Research Assistant
University Archives

Throwback Thursday: Memorial Day Edition

May 21st, 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!

Monday is Memorial Day, so this week we’re sharing selected pages from the 1919 Jayhawker yearbook. The volume, the first published after the end of World War I, was called The Peace Edition and dedicated to “the memory of the Men of the University of Kansas who willingly served their government in its great crisis, even to the supreme sacrifice of life itself.” The yearbook included tributes to twenty-seven of the approximately 130 KU students and alumni who died in World War I. (This number included two female students, Lucy McLinden and Fay Friedberg, who died from influenza.) KU’s stadium and student union memorialize these men and women.

Image of the Jayhawker yearbook title page, 1919

Image of Jayhawker yearbook foreword, 1919

Image of Jayhawker yearbook dedication, 1919

Image of Jayhawker yearbook, William T. Fitzsimmons tribute, 1919

Selected pages from the 1919 Jayhawker yearbook.
William T. Fitzsimons was also the first United States Army officer killed in World War I.
More information about him is also available at the KU History website.
University Archives. Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1919. Click images to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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