Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Aerial Edition, Part II

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 27,700 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Last year we shared a fun aerial view of the KU campus from 1942. This week we’re sharing two more – slightly later – aerial photographs that show the site on which Spencer Research Library was built.

Aerial view of campus looking southwest from Marvin Grove, 1952

Aerial view of campus looking southwest from Marvin Grove, 1952.
Note the area along the top of the photograph; Naismith Drive stops at
15th Street and is undeveloped to the west.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/A 1952 Prints:
University General: Campus: Campus Aerials (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The structures just north of Strong Hall – where Spencer Research Library now stands – were four of the thirteen temporary buildings constructed just after World War II. According to a December 1946 article in the Graduate Magazine (shown below), the buildings were funded by the federal government. They were used as “extra service units needed for the flood of students,” i.e. returning veterans who had enrolled at KU.

Image of a Graduate Magazine article about KU temporary service buildings, 1946
Buildings 5, 6, 7, and 8 shown on this map are the ones shown in the photograph above.
Note the description of Building 5 in the article. Graduate Magazine, December 1946.
University Archives. Call Number: LH 1 .K3 G73 1946-1947. Click image to enlarge.

Aerial photograph of Strong Hall, the Campanile, and the site of Spencer Research Library, 1966

The site of Spencer Research Library flanked by Strong Hall and the Campanile, 1966.
Construction of the library lasted almost two years and began soon after this photo was taken.
The library was dedicated in November 1968. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/24/A 1966 Prints: University General: Campus: Campus Aerials (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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

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