Recently the Department for Library Special Collections purchased a rare promotional book produced by the Louisville architectural firm of Kenneth McDonald and J.F. Sheblessy. Kenneth McDonald worked as an architect in the Falls City for a number of decades. He graduated with a civil engineering degree from Virginia Military Institute in 1873. While teaching, he worked for the architectural firm ran by his brother, Harry Peake McDonald. In 1878 the two brothers joined forces under the firm name H.P. McDonald and Brother. When they were joined by two of their other brothers, the firm became McDonald Brothers and enjoyed an enviable practice with commissions from around Kentucky and several contiguous states. The building type for which the firm was most noted was the fortress-like jails built across the Commonwealth. The old Simpson County Jail (now the Simpson County Archives) is the closest extant example of a McDonald Brothers’ jail. They eventually designed over 100 jails in seven states. The main building for the Southern Exposition in Louisville is perhaps their best known design, but one that remains a favorite is the old Presbyterian Theological Seminary (today Jefferson County Community College) which can be viewed from the raised Interstate 65 as one passes through downtown Louisville. In their wisdom, McDonald & Dodd selected Bowling Green limestone as the building material for that Gothic campus.
The Presbyterian Theological Seminary designed was designed by McDonald & Dodd.
Kenneth McDonald left the firm in 1895 and practiced solo for several years before forming the practice with John F. Sheblessy in 1901. This practice lasted less than five years, for in 1906 McDonald joined with architect William J. Dodd, a partnership that lasted until 1913, when McDonald moved to San Francisco. Sheblessy (1873-1938) moved on to Cincinnati and enjoyed a long architectural career. The brevity of the McDonald and Shelbessy partnership makes this promotional book quite rare. Printing companies that specialized in this specific genre of architectural firm “advertising” were not uncommon, but this book was printed by the Courier-Journal Job Printing Company, again making it a rarity.
The Louisville Tobacco Warehouse.
This book, containing both photographs and drawings, highlights some of the practice’s most important projects, including several churches–most notably Walnut Street Baptist Church, courthouses, residences, commercial buildings, and sprawling government structures such as the East Tennessee Insane Asylum. The booklet also includes twenty-five pages of ads for regional contractors, building supply operators, lumber companies, fixture suppliers, etc. One contractor of note is Peter & Burghard Stone Company whose name is mentioned in captions alongside a number of the photographs as providing the cut stone work for the highlighted projects. Peter & Burghard was known across the south for their tombstones and their other stonework. When Van Meter Hall was built at WKU in 1911, Louisville architect Brinton B. Davis insisted on employing Peter & Burghard as the stone contractor. According to WorldCat, WKU’s Library Special Collections is the only repository to hold this illustrated promotional piece. To see other architectural treatises, drawings, and plan books in Special Collections search our catalog, KenCat.
Advertisement J.N. Struck & Brother Lumber Co.
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.
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.
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.
An American Odyssey: Photos From the Detroit Photographic Company 1888-1924 cover
A child asleep in a cotton field. Jupiter and Minerva Terrace, Yellowstone. A Pike’s Peak prospector. The Battery, Charleston. Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. Emancipation Day in Richmond, Virginia. The glorious azaleas at the Magnolia Plantation. Weighing sugar cane in Havana. Dinner hour on the docks, Jacksonville. Unloading bananas in Mobile. The Liberty Bell. Child coal miners. All these remarkable historical images, and hundreds more, are collected in this new Reference acquisition (FOLIO REF TR 820.5 .A44x 2014). “The archive of the Detroit Photographic Company (DPC) is probably the most important ever created on the subject of North America between 1888 and 1924…” so begins the brief history of the company that produced the images in this extraordinary work. Many of these were colorized with an early process known as Photochrom; therefore you can see a color image of the Grand Canyon 10 years before the invention of color photography. The images of Kentucky show the tobacco markets and warehouses in Louisville. Page 100 depicts White Sulphur Spring, Saratoga Lake, New York, and shows people drinking the “miraculous” sulphur water. Grab this weighty and wonderful tome, find yourself an afternoon, and dive in.
— Blog entry by Lisa Miller
The Statue of Liberty in photochrom
The Sagamore dock, Green Island, Lake George
In the surf at Old Orchard, Maine (photochrom)
Gardens by the lake on the Magnolia Plantation, South Carolina (photochrom)
Arrowmaker, Ojibwa Brave, photochrom
“Out for a good time” Long Beach, California
Hotel Green (top) and the Colorado Street Bridge over Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, California
Front cover of “The Complete Little Nemo” two volume collection, recently added to the WKU Libraries collection
Spanning more than 20 years and three different newspapers, “Little Nemo” is the story of a boy, Nemo, and his journey through Slumberland. Creator Winsor McCay’s use of bright colors, imaginary figures and anthropomorphic animals combine to create a fantasy world that still often mirrors the “real” world. Nemo’s dream world, where he plays many roles and wears elaborate dress, is in sharp contrast to his reality. The last panel of each cartoon is repetitive and simple, showing Nemo waking in his bed, wearing his nightshirt and often being scolded by his parents. While first published over 100 years ago, “Little Nemo” has cultural relevance today. It has influenced authors from Europe and Asia as well as being referenced on the American television show “The Simpsons” in 2011, at least two music videos, and in 2012, Google featured the strip in its homepage (v2, 140).
Those interested in reading Nemo’s adventures can see WKU Libraries’ copy of The Complete Little Nemo by Winsor McCay, compiled by Alexander Braun (Folio PN6728 .L49 M33 2014) and its companion volume The Complete Little Nemo: Winsor McCay A Life of Imaginative Genius (Folio PN6728 .L49 M33 2014 v. 2).
— Blog post by Kathy Foushee
Brian Coutts delivering Best Reference 2015 seminar
Brian Coutts gave his “Best Reference” seminar on Friday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. in Helm 5. Best Reference is an annual selection he makes for Library Journal, the nation’s oldest and leading library trade journals. The article appears in the March 1, 2016 issue in both print and online. This year’s list included 31 titles from 20 different publishers, including 10 university presses and some small publishing houses. This is the 30th consecutive year Brian has been involved with this project either as a consultant, coauthor or author. A reception followed with cake and coffee.
Best Reference 2015 seminar
Cake and Coffee Served at the Reception
Best Reference 2015 flyer
Best Reference Article
Since 1995 the City of Bowling Green has participated in the Sister City Program with the City of Kawanishi, Japan, a city of 156,000 located in Hyogo Prefecture near Kobe, Japan. As part of this program WKU Libraries annually exchanges library materials with the public library in the City of Kawanishi. WKU Libraries sends materials related to Kentucky to Japan. This year’s gift from Japan range from novels to the history of Japanese paper, from children’s books to works with amazing photography and art.
Keiko Fujii, Project Manager of Cultural & International Exchanges, and Brian Coutts, DLPS Dept. Head coordinate these exchanges annually.
Among the books received include:
Tokubetsuten Maruyama-Okyo by the Osaka Museum featuring the artwork of 18th century Japanese artist Maruyama Ōkyo.
Hankyū Densha (Hankyu Railway) by Hiro Arikawa
Toshokan Sensō (Library Wars) by Hiro Arikawa
Toshokan Sensō (Library Wars) and Hankyū Densha (Hankyu Railway) by young adult novelist Hiro Arikawa.
Washi bunkashi by Yasuo Kume about the history of Japanese style of paper known as “washi”.
11 Cats and a Pig by Noboru Baba
Picture of the Tōdai-ji
The gift also included children’s picture books such as 11 Cats and a Pig by Noboru Baba and Tōdai-ji Temple by Takeshi Kobayashi, featuring photography of Tōdai-ji. The 8th century Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and it also features the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha.
For generations, Raggedy Ann has been an ageless playmate for children and collectors. In 2015, she celebrated her 100th birthday. Now thanks to the inspiration of Lesley Montgomery, the Western Room in the Kentucky Building is exhibiting books from Library Special Collections and the co-curators’ loaned dolls. A total of ten children’s stories written by Raggedy Ann author Johnny Gruelle in the 1920’s are also featured in the exhibit.
Still very collectible, this Raggedy Ann in her original package was for sale on eBay on November 13, 2015.
Lesley is donating the 1947 edition of Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle (published originally in 1918), a favorite since her aunt gave it as a Christmas present to her as a three-year-old in 1959. Lesley’s loaned pair of “Fifties” Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls sit on the top shelf. Santa brought co-curator Sue Lynn Stone McDaniel’s Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann in 1973. Coincidentally, the child’s soda fountain chair in which Sue Lynn’s doll sits was a
The back of this original box on eBay shows the many sizes of dolls.
Christmas present to Sue Lynn’s aunt in 1921 and passed down to Sue Lynn before 1977, giving her doll a comfortable chair. Sophie Trent, a Kentucky Museum student employee, is bringing her pair of dolls to join the exhibit after Thanksgiving, once again proving the enduring joy these dolls bring to kids of all ages.
The second case exhibits children’s stories Johnny Gruelle wrote and a book entitled Johnny Gruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy. Several of WKU Library Special Collections’ books are one of less than ten reported to WorldCat.
We encourage readers to comment on this blog with your own stories about your Raggedy Ann books and/or dolls. The exhibit will be open through December 11, 2015.
Minute obstacles can cause huge delays when moving armies. If anyone doubts this, they need only see how a small accident or distraction can stymy traffic on a major interstate. During wars, strategic transportation routes are often heavily reconnitored or destroyed in order to impede an army’s progress. In Kentucky roads and railroads were of major importance for moving troops and supplies during the Civil War, particularly in the interior. Steamboats were more significant on the Commonwealth’s perimeters.
A Civil War era illustration from Frank Leslie’s.
In a letter recently donated to the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit of the Department of Library Special Collections, Confederate J.J. Williams writes to his wife Emeline about how the southern army had played menace with the Louisville and Nashville railroad, which had only recently been completed through Bowling Green. To disable the railroad, Williams wrote, “our men had torn up the rail road some 5 or 6 miles and Blowed up the tunnel and burnt the ties[,] beat the rails to pieces with a Sledg[e].” They wreaked further havoc by blockading the Louisville and Nashville road “by cutting the trees a cross it for a bout 3 miles and Some other Place they have plowed up the road so they can not haul a thing a long it.” To see the finding aid for this small collection and a typescript of the letter, click here.
To search finding aids for hundreds of other Civil War letters in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit, click here.
The salutation of J.J. Williams’ letter to his wife, 13 January 1862.
The Department of Library Special Collections at WKU recently acquired a complete set of Charles L. Waldack’s 1866 stereoviews of Mammoth Cave. The collection of 42 stereoviews are magnesium light views about Mammoth Cave, and include scenes of the Hotel, guests, the African American cave guides, and many interior shots of cave formations. Stereoviews, also known as stereoscopic photographs or stereographs, were introduced in the early 19th century for viewing two almost identical images through a stereoscope to offer a 3D illusion.
Originally from Belgium, Waldack came to the United States in 1857, and is the first photographer of the cave. Waldack was noted for bringing “sunlight” to the interior of the cave by the use of magnesium to create images of the cave and the surrounding area. The 42 views of Mammoth Cave were published by E. & H.T. Anthony & Co.
According to the Journal of Speleological History, “These were the first high quality photographs produced underground in any cave.” Waldack had a photography shop at 31West 3rd Street in Cincinnati and made many excellent views between 1857 and 1873. His most significant were his 42 stereoviews of Mammoth Cave. Twelve of his photographs were printed as engravings in the 1870 book A Historical and Descriptive Narrative of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky by William S. Forwood.
“WKU has long been a premier research institution for speleology and karst studies, and we have a particular interest and emphasis on Mammoth Cave due to its proximity and its long history as a tourist destination,” said Jonathan Jeffrey, Department head for WKU’s Library Special Collections. “The Waldack stereograph collection is a major and unique acquisition for WKU; we are thrilled to make them available to our researchers.”
These stereoviews can be seen by visiting http://www.wku.edu/library/dlsc/index.php or by viewing it on the KenCat collection at http://wku.pastperfect-online.com/35749cgi/mweb.exe?request=keyword;keyword=waldack;dtype=d
Faculty, staff, students and community members joined together Friday, November 14, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Kentucky Building. President Ransdell spoke of the significance of the Kentucky Building over the years and the direction the board plans to take the Museum in the future. Library Special Collections Department Head Jonathan Jeffrey gave a brief history of the building, including original intentions in design, funding sources, and time frame to completion as well as Dr. Cherry’s sentiments. Professor Jeffrey concluded with naming several recent acquisitions that were donated to the Special Collections, including (getting info from Jonathan). Cake, punch, and tours of the building were given at the end of the program.
Some recent acquisitions:
These speeches by Dr. Gary Ransdell are representative of the one and a half cubic feet of speeches that were transferred to WKU Archives in 2014. WKU Archives holds approximately 350 cubic feet of WKU President’s Office papers dating from 1906-present. WKU Archives
This model bayonet was issued to US soldiers fighting in World War I and was based on a bayonet first produced by the British. It is one of three weapons recently donated to the Kentucky Museum by Thomas Redford, a 1951 graduate of WKU. Today, the weapons collection includes 200 plus firearms, edged weapons, and accessory items. Donated by Thomas Redford. Kentucky Museum
The Sears Family papers contain a large copy book (1850-1870) used by Chauncey Sears, a Shaker from Mt. Lebanon, New York. Opened is a manuscript hymnal commenced by Polly Ann Smith in 1848; she and Chauncey later married and moved to Ohio. This collection also includes several loose hymns that Polly intended to enter into the hymnal. The papers also include genealogy related to the Sears family and some correspondence. Donated by Drs. Karl & Beth Laves. Manuscripts & Folklife Archives
Josephus, Flavius. Phlabiou Iōsēpou Hierosolymitou hiereōs Ta euriskomena… Coloniae: Sumptibus Mauritii Georgii Weidmanni, 1691. Anonmyous donation. Kentucky Library Research Collections
(A history of the Jewish nation after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Flavius Josephus; parallel texts in Latin and Greek)