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Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Books on a shelf

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.

“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.

Step 3_1971 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

Portal to the Past: KU’s Yearbook

September 20th, 2012

I find the KU yearbooks to be one of the most informative and entertaining resources in the University Archives. When you open the covers you are transported back to the 1930s, 1960s, or even the 1900s. The yearbooks span from 1873 to the present and depict student life, campus growth, and university history as it was happening.  By 1901 the University’s yearbook was given the name “The Jayhawker.”  The name was chosen by a committee of student representatives from each class with the hope that “The Jayhawker” would become the permanent name of the Annuals of Kansas University.  Their wish came true and the yearbook retains that title today.

The covers on display below have been chosen because they are indicative of the years they represent and are just plain fun – Enjoy!

Becky Schulte
University Archivist

Jayhawker: A Record of Events of the University of Kansas for the Year…
Spencer Library Call Numbers: LD2697 .J3 (Reading Room Reference Collection copy);
UA Ser 69/1 (University Archives copy). Click images to enlarge.

Image of 1902 Jayhawker  Image of 1926-27Jayhawker Yearbook

Above: 1902                                                         Above: 1926-1927
Below: 1927-28                                                       Below: 1930-31

Image of cover of 1927-28 Jayhawker Yearbook      Image of cover of 1930-31Jayhawker Yearbook

Image of cover of 1933-34 Jayhawker Yearbook      Image of Cover of 1934-35 Jayhawker Yearbook

Above: 1933-34                                                Above: 1934-35
Below: 1935-36                                                     Below: 1949

Image of Cover of 1935-36 Jayhawker Yearbook      Image of cover of 1949 Jayhawker Yearbook

   Image of Cover of 1958 Jayhawker Yearbook     Image of cover of 1959 Jayhawker Yearbook

Above: 1958                                                Above: 1959
Below: 1969                                                    Below: 1985

Image of cover of 1969 Jayhawker Yearbook     Image of cover of 1985 Jayhawker Yearbook

Want to browse more yearbooks in person?  Copies of  all of KU’s yearbooks are housed with the reference collection in the Kenneth Spencer Research Library Reading Room (you don’t even have to fill out a paging request). Come in and travel back in time with a KU yearbook!