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Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

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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.

That’s Distinctive!: Recipes from Lawrence Public Schools

Check the blog each Friday for a new “That’s Distinctive!” post. I created this series to provide a lighthearted glimpse into the diverse and unique items at Spencer. “That’s Distinctive!” is meant to show that the library has something for everyone regardless of interest. If you have suggested topics for a future item feature or questions about the collections, you can leave a comment at the bottom of this page. All collections, including those highlighted on the blog, are available for members of the public to explore in the Reading Room during regular hours.

This week on That’s Distinctive! I am sharing an item from our collection of Lawrence Public Schools (USD 497) records. The collection spans 1858 to 2022 and contains a myriad of items including records, reports, newsletters, yearbooks, and photographs. The collection consists of 144 boxes, 33 oversize boxes, 24 oversize folders, 143 video tapes, 18 audio tapes, and seven CDs. According to the collection’s finding aid, “the State of Kansas unified Lawrence schools in 1965, creating Lawrence Unified School District #497, or the Lawrence Public Schools. This was during an era when schools were consolidating across the state in part due to better transportation options.”  

The pages shared below are from “Charlsia’s Cordley [Elementary School] Recipe Book.” The document is undated, although other items in the box range from 1962 to 2012. The recipe book contains various recipe entries for date cake, applesauce salad, refrigerator rolls, and more. I assume the recipes were submitted by students.

Before finding this item, I did not know that the USD 497 collection existed. I was digging through the finding aids looking for old recipes when I found this folder. I thought it would be fun to share given the school district is here in Lawrence.

This image has the text of recipes for apple sauce salad, burnt sugar cake, date cake, and "my favorite recipe."
This image has the text of recipes for ice cream pie, yellow angel food cake, cheese cake, and refrigerator rolls.
This image has the text of recipes for Russian tea loaf dressing, ginger ale salad, savory meat balls, "Eri's favorite barbecued spareribs," and uncooked cookies.
Selected pages from “Charlsia’s Cordley Recipe Book,” undated. Unified School District 497 Records. Call Number: RH MS 1255. Click images to enlarge.

Tiffany McIntosh
Public Services

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