Haiwang Yuan translates popular children’s book series

Haiwang Yuan, Professor of Library Public Services, WKU, has recently published his translation of Different Carmela, a set of children’s picture books in China. This set of 12 books were originally the work of French author and illustrator Christian Jolibois and Christian Heinrich. It was translated into Chinese and sold millions in China. Yuan was invited to translate the Chinese version into English, as many of the Chinese parents want their children to start learning English at an early age. The original French version has won the French Cherbourg Teenagers’ Book Awards in 2001, the French Goncourt Children Literature Awards in 2003, the French Country Children’s Literature Awards in 2003, and the French Le Havre Children Literature Jury Awards in 2006.

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Haiwang Yuan, Professor & Coordinator of Web & Emerging Technologies, DLPS, WKU Libraries

Each of the 12 books describes an adventure by brother and sister chickens with their lamb friend. The adventures introduce to young readers great people like Columbus, Galileo, Aesop, the Montgolfier Brothers, and Sir Lancelot – one of the Knights of the Round Table, and even Martians! Without their even knowing it, young readers will learn from these adventurous stories how to be curious and courageous, and how to treat fairly those who look different from us.

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Different Carmela children’s book set, translated by Haiwang Yuan

The set of books is accompanied with dramatic recordings of the text by two Americans, and the recording is accessible via a QR code printed on the back cover of each book. Readers of the books can scan the code with a scanner available in Wechat, a popular social media platform recently featured by New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/video/technology/100000004574648/china-internet-wechat.html. Entering the password acquired by purchasing the books, the readers can listen to the recordings right on their mobile devices.

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“Dad”

image of clipping and tag regarding Fred Gorham

Fred J. Gorham, 1878-1918

When the U.S. entered World War I, Fred J. Gorham was a 40-year-old bank officer in Henderson, Kentucky, with a wife and young daughter.  But Gorham had also served as a cavalry officer in the Spanish-American War, and believed that his experience would help the Army in training recruits.

After obtaining special permission from the U.S. Army Adjutant General, Gorham re-enlisted in July 1918 as a private.  He was donning the uniform once more, he wrote his aunt, “to render what service I can in the behalf of Democracy against Autocracy, and quell the oppression of violence and outrage against the women and children of the smaller nations of the world.”  He hoped to go overseas, he wrote his brother, and “if I am allowed to ‘Go Over the Top’ once, then I won’t care what happens or where they send me.”

After reporting to Fort Thomas, Kentucky, Gorham’s next stop was an Army base in Columbus, New Mexico.  “Dad,” as his younger comrades called him, quickly earned the respect of the troops as he led them in exercises like target practice.  “You could tell who the Kentucky boys were,” he wrote his mother, “by the way they could shoot.”

But twelve days after that letter, and having assured both his wife and mother that the camp was healthy, Gorham was dead of pneumonia following an attack of influenza.  This veteran of one war and volunteer for another was the victim of a pandemic that, over the next two years, would kill millions worldwide.

Gorham’s remains were interred in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery and his name added to the honor roll of Henderson County’s “Immortal Dead.”  The Henderson Daily Gleaner‘s list, in fact showed more of the county’s sons losing their lives to disease than to battle wounds.

Fred Gorham’s letters and papers are part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Click here for a finding aid.  For more Spanish-American War and World War I collections, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Bruce Richardson and “The Tea Things of Jane Austen”

richardsonflyer

Bruce Richardson, “The Tea Things of Jane Austen” event flyer

Our opening speaker in our fourteenth season of talks on Kentucky Live! Southern Culture at Its Best is one of the world’s leading tea experts.  A native of Kentucky, Bruce Richardson is a writer, photographer, tea blender and frequent speaker at tea events around the country. As co-owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in Danville, Kentucky his teas are sold throughout the country and online.

Bruce Richardson visits the tea gardens of Japan

Bruce Richardson, Co-owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and Benjamin Press

Bruce has been a contributing source for articles found in Slate magazine, MTV, CNN, The Smithsonian, National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the BBC.  In 2011 he was named Tea Master for the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum whose mission is to help define tea’s role in that famous 1773 historical event.

The Boston Tea-Party, 1888. New York Public Library.

The Boston Tea-Party, 1888. New York Public Library.

 

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Prize-winning bushes protected by blue netting near Mt. Fuji, Japan

One of his most popular books is The Great Tea Rooms of Britain published by Benjamin Press which is now in its fifth edition.  In it he takes you on a romantic journey to twenty-two of his favorite locations for afternoon tea in England, Scotland and Wales It’s filled with beautiful photographs by John Gentry and comes complete with travel suggestions and recipes.

The Great Tea Rooms of Britain

The Great Tea Rooms of Britain by Bruce Richardson

 

The New Tea Companion

The New Tea Companion: A Guide to Teas Throughout the World, 3rd edition, by Jane Pettigrew & Bruce Richardson

With Jane Pettigrew he has created a major reference source  The New Tea Companion: A Guide to Teas Throughout the World, the third edition of which was also published by Benjamin Press in 2015.  It’s used by tea professionals around the world and describes teas by country of origin along with tasting notes, steeping times and temperatures.

TEA PICKERS ASSAM INDIA BY BRUCE RICHARDSON

Tea Pickers in Assam, India by Bruce Richardson

TEA FACTORY SRI LANKA BY BRUCE RICHARDSON

Tea Factory in Sri Lanka, by Bruce Richardson

As befits a Kentucky based company, the Elmwood Inn Fine Teas company offers a “Kentucky blend tea” and a “Bourbon black tea.”

Elmwood Inn Fine teas Kentucky Blend

Elmwood Inn Fine teas Kentucky Blend

 

Elmwood Inn Fine Teas Bourbon Black Tea

Elmwood Inn Fine Teas Bourbon Black Tea

The theme of Bruce’s talk in our series will be “The Tea Things of Jane Austen” which is one of his most popular. The talk is at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble (1680 Campbell Lane) on Thursday, September 8. Door prizes and a book signing are to follow, we hope you’ll join us!

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Hale’s Recollections of Confederate Guerilla “Champ Ferguson”

Champ Ferguson

Champ Ferguson

The Civil War as a research topic never ceases to draw interest. The addition of a broadsheet to the Kentucky Library Research Collections adds to our excellent holdings about Champ Ferguson. This sheet features Dr. Jonathan D. Hale’s recollections of the life of the Confederate Guerilla and includes a facsimile of a Ku Klux Klan threatening letter sent to Hale in 1868. The letter received from the Klan in 1868 was sent from Lodge Headquarters in Arkansas, on a “dark and dismal night, from a “muddy Road with BLOOD, BLOOD, BLOOD. The letter issued a strong warning: “This is to notify you that the Spirit of Champ Ferguson still lives, and there are men living that are determined to avenge his death – and you are also aware that your oppressive and wicked acts toward the best citizens of Overton County stand recorded against you -… Prepare to meet your God.”
Champ Ferguson was a personal enemy of Hale and destroyed his home and business. The state of Kentucky, John Hunt Morgan, Alvan Cullom, the killing of “Little Fount Zachery”, Henry Sublits(sic), loss of much property and the loyalties of Ferguson are noted. And that he was worthy of execution by hanging. “The military trial, held in Nashville, Tennessee, lasted from July to October 1865. Ferguson was sentenced to be hanged; he was denied the opportunity to provide a defense on his behalf, and the sentence was carried out on October 20, 1865. Ferguson’s body was turned over to his wife and daughter, who fulfilled his last request which was to be buried at his home in White County, Tennessee, on a branch of Calfkiller Creek.”
Hale would leave Tennessee and live out the rest of his life in New Hampshire having grown tired of being a “damn Yankee.”
See http://www.ajlambert.com/history/ct_hus.pdf
For more information on Champ Ferguson and the Civil War, visit WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections, or contact spcol@wku.edu. For more collections, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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“This Good Year of 1974”

President Richard Nixon and William H. Natcher in happier times

President Richard Nixon and William H. Natcher in happier times

Facing impeachment for obstruction of justice after attempting to thwart the investigation of the 1972 break-in at Democratic Party Headquarters in Washington DC’s Watergate office complex, Richard M. Nixon resigned as President on August 9, 1974.  In his journal, Kentucky Congressman William H. Natcher chronicled the legal and political drama of what Nixon’s successor, Vice President Gerald Ford, famously called “our long national nightmare.”

Nixon’s alleged crimes were at the center of the storm, but other aspects of the controversy also gained the spotlight.  For example, Natcher recorded on July 24, 1974, that the news media “is very much under trial in this country today and during the past several days television officials are making every attempt to televise the Watergate matters in such a manner as to not be subject to charges of demanding impeachment. . . .”

As they faced mounting evidence of Nixon’s guilt, the political dilemma of his fellow Republicans intensified.  “Jerry Ford,” wrote Natcher on August 1, “has been advised time after time by his close friends to keep his mouth shut now and to sit on the sidelines during this critical period.”  Republican House Minority Leader John Rhodes of Arizona, observed Natcher on August 2, “knows that if he cast[s] his vote for impeachment [as his constituents were demanding] this will place him in a position where. . . he will have difficulty leading his party in the House. . . .  Rhodes knows that after the impeachment proceedings are over, his major duty will be to try to put the wheels back on the Republican Party.”

On August 6, 1974, as an impeachment vote loomed, Natcher heard that Nixon “seriously considered resigning and rejected this move. . . .  The President also discussed. . . the possibility of letting Vice President Ford take over temporarily under the provisions of the 25th Amendment.”  Nixon’s health, as Natcher learned the next day, was indeed an issue: fellow Kentucky Congressman Carl D. Perkins told him that the President “was a sick man and that he had been taking all kinds of harsh drugs for many, many months and that this, along with considerably more drinking than anyone knew about had placed him in a position where he was not physically or mentally qualified to govern.”

Finally, on August 9, Nixon announced his resignation.  Natcher, who believed that Nixon ought to have defended himself in a Senate trial rather than voluntarily leave office, was informed that if the House impeachment proceedings had gone forward, he had been selected to preside.  “It would have been quite an experience,” was Natcher’s classic understatement.

On July 3, 1974, during that summer of political crisis, Natcher had recalled the 1872 declaration of Carl Schurz, the first German-born American elected to the U.S. Senate:  “My country right or wrong; when right, to keep her right; when wrong, to put her right.”  This was “not a bad expression,” he concluded, “and certainly applies in this good year of 1974.”

For more information on William Natcher’s journals, part of the collections of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections, contact mssfa@wku.edu.  For more of our political collections, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Goodbye, Old Friend. You served us well.

Back before the Internet, Kentucky librarians feverishly retyped newspaper stories using carbon paper so they could use filing cabinets to provide access to information and save their one newspaper during the Great Depression. Before KenCat, our online presence for the collection management software, Library Special Collections had catalog cards, typewriters and a lovely old cabinet in which to house hundreds of man hours of meticulous indexing of manuscript collections.

Six employees moved the DLSC manuscripts card cabinet to Gatton Academy yesterday.

Six employees moved the DLSC manuscripts card cabinet to Gatton Academy yesterday.

Advancements to that card catalog came with the end of “People, Place, Thing” organization of cards, the alphabetizing by word (not letters, ignoring spaces), the addition of brief title cards for locating unprocessed collections, and the purchase of the electric typewriter with memory. Each improvement decreased the manpower necessary to create the finding aid and increased access, but researchers still had  to use it on-site.  The Ghostbusters movie where the cards flew out of the cabinet truly gave librarians nightmares.
Yesterday Jonathan Jeffrey bid farewell to an old friend, the Manuscripts Card Catalog. Now researchers worldwide can access that information via KenCat.wku.edu and TopSCHOLAR.wku.edu. It is our hope that soon we can digitize our vertical files so that future generations will not have to come to our Harrison-Baird Research Room in the Kentucky Building to utilize all the precious news clippings and other data sources lovingly filed for 60 years in filing cabinets which I teach our researchers are the “internet of the 1930s.”

For those  of you who love antique furniture, you will be please know that the six men it  took to remove it (with catalog drawers already removed) from the building said it would  be re-purposed in the Gatton Academy.

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Early 19th-Century Mental Health Pamphlet Acquired

Title page of newly acquired pamphlet.

Title page of newly acquired pamphlet.

The Kentucky Library Research Collections in the Department of Library Special Collections recently acquired a rare pamphlet about the status of the Kentucky Lunatic Asylum (Lexington) published in 1841 by Prentice and Weissinger of Louisville. The pamphlet, Insanity and Insane Asylums, by Edward Jarvis discusses asylums throughout the United States with particular emphasis on the four mental health institutions at:  Lexington, Kentucky, Charleston and Worcester, Massachusetts, and Columbus, Ohio.  Jarvis mentions the physical plants of each facility as well as their methodologies.  He is particularly interested in statistical information collected from the various institutions, including total number of cases, patients that were discharged, duration of stay, percentage of cures, percentage of deaths, etc.  Jarvis, a young physician who moved from Massachusetts to Kentucky, used statistical information from the pamphlet to lobby the Kentucky General Assembly to convert the Lexington asylum from a purely custodial institution to a modern mental hospital using the “moral treatment.” This treatment attempted to inculcate self-control in patients rather than impose violent coercion.  Proponents of the moral treatment envisioned the asylum as a curative milieu that would instill discipline through the gentle influence of a carefully regulated, meticulously sane environment. They expected the insane to benefit from the order of a daily routine, the satisfaction of meaningful employment, the intellectual stimulation of diversions, an identity in the asylum community, and above all the guidance of the asylum personnel.

Eastern Kentucky Lunatic Asylum at Lexington

Eastern Kentucky Lunatic Asylum at Lexington

In the course of his work, Jarvis befriended perhaps the most important citizen advocate for the humane treatment of the insane, Dorothea Dix.  During the 1840s, Dix, also a native of Massachusetts, no doubt, corresponded frequently with Jarvis. During that decade, she visited the Commonwealth more than once petitioning the General Assembly to open an additional mental health facility west of the Green River.  The legislative heeded her entreaties as well as those from mental health professionals and approved funds to construct Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville in 1848. Jarvis returned to Massachusetts in 1843. His interest in vital statistics resulted in his gaining a notable reputation as a statistician.  His library on the topic was eventually donated to the American Statistical Association.

WKU is one of twelve libraries in the country that own this title, and the only repository in Kentucky.  It’s uniqueness includes the fact that the author signed this copy and inscribed it to Luther V. Bell, the superintendent of the McLean Hospital for the Insane which was located in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

 

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Not Homesick for Heaven

Reinecke mine, Madisonville, Kentucky (Maurice Kirby Gordon Collection)

Reinecke mine, Madisonville, Kentucky (Maurice Kirby Gordon Collection)

Five years ago today (August 5), the world learned of the entombment of 33 miners 2,300 feet below ground after a cave-in at a copper and gold mine in northern Chile.  For the next 69 days, all eyes were on the rescue effort which, miraculously, raised “Los 33” to safety one by one in a steel capsule designed with input from NASA.

Dating as early as 1854, when Nancy Wier reported seeing the “great curiosity” of a coal mine in Union County, Kentucky, the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections contain a wealth of information on the perilous business of mining.  Included are histories of coal companies in Muhlenberg and Hopkins counties and elsewhere in the Pennyroyal Region, and oral history interviews in which miners recall their back-breaking work.  WKU professor Carlton Jackson‘s research for his book The Dreadful Month focuses on coal mining accidents, and letters, like one from Sturgis, Kentucky, tell of bravery in the aftermath of explosions and other disasters.  Although coal reigns supreme in Kentucky, many would-be miners from the Commonwealth, such as David B. Campbell and William Harris, set out for California during the Gold Rush of the 1850s and wrote home about their quest for wealth.

In 1937, 22-year-old George Tippins wrote to his future wife Pat of the routine perils he faced working in a Harlan County, Kentucky mine:

Tell your mom coal dust and powder sure do make you sick.  I sat and vomited and cussed for 7 hours the first night inside.

We had a man get his finger cut off last nite. . . A piece of slate fell and hit me on top of the head.

I told you we had a man hurt on the day shift.  Well we had another one get hurt yesterday in the same place and by the same thing.  I took one of the day men’s job and damned if I didn’t come within a hair of getting crushed all to pieces the same way.

You tell mom if you see her I am working on the tipple [the loading facility for extracted coal].  What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her besides I’m carrying over $7000.00 worth of insurance. . . .  I know I have a home in heaven but I’m not homesick for it.

Click on the links to access finding aids for these collections.  For more, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

Detail from 1925 map of western Kentucky coal fields (Maurice Kirby Gordon Collection)

Detail from 1925 map of western Kentucky coal fields (Maurice Kirby Gordon Collection)

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Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives

Architectural Acquisition Fund Built

"The Small House for a Moderate Income"

“The Small House for a Moderate Income”

The Department of Library Special Collections is pleased to add the first acquisition using funds from the Jonathan Jeffrey Architectural Endowment Fund. It is a slim volume titled The Small House for A Moderate Income by Ekin Wallick. The book printed in 1915 by Hearst’s International Library Company features lovely, pastel illustrations of home exteriors and interiors, as well as floor plans, for seventeen homes of varying sizes and styles. Wallick is no wall flower author; he has definite opinions about design, building materials, subdivision planning, color palettes, etc. He saves particular disgust for the multiple architectural styles that ran rampant in the late-nineteenth century, “the Early Victorian Era, a period of abortions both in the building and decorating of houses. We can now look back on this period with a keen sense of disgust and fully realize that we are on the threshold of great achievement in the matter of house building,” Ekin wrote. He goes on to call the Era “one of mediocre architectural achievement. There may be many excuses put forth for the unitelligence of the time, but the fact still remains that it was most decidedly an architectural blot on our national escutcheon.”

"The House with the Green Shutters"

“The House with the Green Shutters”

Nearly ten years ago, I began pondering what I could leave, a legacy if you will, at WKU once I had completed my career. With the help of our then development officer Carrie Barnette, I concluded that one of the best enduring legacies would be an endowed acquisition account that would funded by my estate upon my demise. That sounded a little grim, but it fulfilled my purpose and represented one of my passions, as I decided that the endowment would be dedicated to purchasing books, printed material, or architectural drawings for the Kentucky Library Research Collections and the Manuscripts units of the Department of Library Special Collections and/or the housing and exhibition of the same. Although we have very fine collections, limited acquisition funds sometimes hamper us for purchasing significant items for the collection when they become available on the market. I really didn’t want to wait until my death to establish the account, so Carrie mentioned that we could begin a fund and I could add to it rather painlessly by having a payroll deduction go directly into it. I could also use that as a gift to the university and thus have a tax deduction each year. Two years ago I reached the minimum amount of $10,000 in the endowed account. I could not have done this in a single lump sum gift.

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I am so pleased to select this book to begin the legacy. It is a perfect example of the evolution of architectural styles, steering away from the old, tried examples of the Victorian Era and defining the Colonial Revival as America’s new style of choice. This book, geared toward families with moderate incomes eliminates the excessive ornamentation and asymmetrical massing found in many Victorian Era homes. The slightly self-righteous Wallick declares the new American style “free from affectation, a concrete crystallization of common sense. The American architect…strives for unbroken lines in his exterior designs, for he knows by experience that they add decidedly to the dignity and charm of the house.”

To search other architectural related items in the Department of Library Special Collections, search KenCat.

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Nalbach Exhibit

Nalbach Exhibit

Nalbach Items on Exhibit

Walter Nalbach left Grand Rapids, Michigan, to become a student in the newly established Industrial Arts program at Western Kentucky State Teachers College at the invitation of L.T. Smith. He earned his B.A. from WKSTC in 1933 and went on to be an instructor at WKU for 37 years- and was department head for 16 of those.

 

Nalbach was also active in Rotary, the Kentucky Industrial Education Association, and the Calendar Club.

To learn more about Walter Nalbach and see examples of his work, visit the Department of Library Special Collections in the Kentucky Building, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here to access additional photos, oral histories, and catalog entries associated with Walter Nalbach in our online records.

Post written by WKU Archives Assistant April McCauley.

 

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