Tag Archives: Library Special Collections

Over Here and Over There: World War I Songs

Patriotic recruitment song published in Louisville, KY.

In The Piano in America, 1890-1940, Craig Roell states that by 1915 the majority of white middle-class urban families had pianos. With such a large market, it is not surprising that author Bernard Parker located over 9500 patriotic songs published in the United States between 1914 and 1920.
WKU Library Special Collections currently has a total of 4,438 pieces of sheet music. Our World War I holdings include titles that show the many facets of the war experience. Probably the best known hit patriotic song written for troop recruitment was George M. Cohan’s “Over There.” Louisville, Kentucky, musicians did their part with Clarence Zollinger and Billy Smythe’s rallying recruitment song, “Fight for the Flag We Love.”
Tucked among many love songs is the title “I Wish I had Someone to Say Goodbye To.” Children of soldiers are represented by “Don’t Leave Me Daddy,” “I Miss Daddy’s Goodnight Kiss,” and “Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For Her Daddy Over There).” Loved ones left stateside were admonished not to let their tears add to the soldiers’ hardship in “Keep the Home-Fires Burning (‘Till the Boys Come Home).”
Soldiers’ experiences vary from “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” to “When Yankee Doodle Learns to ‘Parlez Vous Francais’.” A lyric that also speaks to the world experience gained in France appears within “Johnny’s In Town:” “he’s been aroun’, He knows French and ev’rything, You should hear him when he goes ‘Ooo-la-la-la.’” A father’s concern about the Paris exposure is expressed in the well known “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm.”

Popular WWI songs often spoke of the gaiety of Paris.

Due to the generosity of numerous donors, including Mary Clyde Huntsman, Drucilla Jones, and Bob and Carol Crowe Carraco, WKU is fortunate to have a good representation of the songs of World War I.

For additional reading, see: Bernard Parker, World War I Sheet Music: 9,670 Patriotic Songs Published in the United States, 1914-1920, with More Than 600 Covers Illustrated. Jefferson, N. C.: McFarland, 2007; Vogel, Frederick G., World War I Songs: A History and Dictionary of Popular American Patriotic Times with over 300 Complete Lyrics. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland and Company, Inc., 1995; Watkins, Glenn.. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2003.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Summertime and the Researchers are Exhilarating!

Summertime for many people marks a time of relaxation, peace and quiet, but not if you are at the Research Assistance Desk for Library Special Collections. In the last five days, I have explored the wealth of information WKU Libraries has collected in the last 90 years with researchers from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Logan County, Simpson and Warren Counties in Kentucky.

On Monday, I taught by phone the Logan County Historical Society’s newsletter editor how to use kencat.wku.edu to fill her research need. To make certain she answered the specific question of the day, I also e-mailed her the link to the appropriate catalog record in KenCat. As a researcher who appreciates online access, she later e-mailed:

Phoebe Ann Pittman Flowers of Logan County, KY

Phoebe Ann Pittman Flowers of Logan County, KY

“Boy, do you know how to ruin a person’s day ! ! ! I’ll be on this site until my eyes give out! Thank you SO VERY MUCH. . . Back to the computer screen ! ! ! Forget the dust and the weeds in the garden ! ! !”  When describing her discovery at our page http://www.wku.edu/library/dlsc/discovery.php , the researcher said she spent the rest of the day looking at various items. Later she sent me an electronic copy of her newsletter using the photograph of Phoebe Ann Pittman Flowers.  Its citation points more  Logan County researchers to kencat.wku.edu.  The second Monday researcher got so excited at finding her information that she hugged me (a first in my 31 years as an archivist and librarian).

Wednesday by phone I taught online research via KenCat to a Floridian seeking to complete her Daughters of the American Revolution application with a family Bible’s genealogical pages that our family surname files.  Our second phone call of the day was from a  researcher who spent his Bowling Green  research day repairing his car’s alternator rather than searching for an obituary of a Bowling Green woman who was run over by a train on a Bell County, Kentucky, railroad bridge in 1919.  His expertise in genealogy had made him hope he could solve a question nagging his neighbor about the death.  The Louisiville Courier-Journal lacked the detail he hoped to find in a local newspaper.  Unfortunately few Warren County newspapers before 1922 were saved; thus far, our holdings search has been in vain.  Perhaps someone will bring us an original from their attic soon.

On Thursday, our Mississippi researcher was on her second trip to Library Special Collections. Three years ago, she learned in Butler County about a family history that WKU has one of six known print copies.  By teaching her to search KenCat, she also made use of Drucilla Jones’ years of genealogical research.  Upon seeing a chart in the Wilbourn file from the Drucilla (Stovall) Jones collection, she exclaimed:  “What a treasure!”

Among our favorite researchers are those who arrive, having found KenCat.wku.edu and TopScholar.wku.edu , to view primary sources.   At 8:55 a.m., a North Carolina couple literally could not wait any longer for our doors to open.  They knew they wanted the Enochs Mine store ledger from MSS 29.  In it they found proof that their ancestor worked and lived in Ohio County, Kentucky from July 1886 to 1891.

Here he is!

Here he is!

We invite you to explore our online catalog for non-book materials. KenCat has a new homepage, navigation, and search system.  You do not have to be interested in genealogy or history to find the “random image” or original item that delights you.

Comments Off on Summertime and the Researchers are Exhilarating!

Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives, People

Where Politics is Fun . . .

PACK in Louisville, April 16, 2016

PACK in Louisville, April 16, 2016

On Saturday, April 16, 2016, the Spring Political Americana Collectors of Kentucky show occurred in Louisville, KY. WKU Alumnus and PACK member Bob Westerman invited Kentucky Museum curator Sandy Staebell and Special Collections Librarian Sue Lynn McDaniel to exhibit items and our online access to the Rather-Westerman Political Collection. Our ephemera and artifact collection is the best worldwide for primary sources on campaigning by national, state, and local politicians in Kentucky.

We set up two computers. One allowed us to do Kencat searches on politicians, types of collectibles, and locations of interest. The second computer played the “Campaigning in Kentucky” gallery of Worth A Thousand Words: Special Collections Galleries  in TopScholar  http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/pol_camp_ky/.  In addition, we brought some of our most unique items in protective display cases to create interest among the members viewing our booth.

The high point of the day was the arrival of charter member Julius Rather who began donating to Library Special Collections and the Kentucky Museum in 1983.   Other PACK members rushed to greet Mr. Rather, his wife, daughter, and grandson. Mr. Rather enjoyed seeing other members and getting more familiar with WKU’s online presence of the Rather-Westerman Political Collection.  For WKU, the day was a huge success as other members asked questions about making donations and accessing our collection.  One vendor donated a stuffed toy donkey with a Democratic candidate’s pin on it to the Kentucky Museum.

Three GenerationsResearchers interested in learning more about WKU’s Rather-Westerman Political Collection should visit kencat.wku.edu and search “Rather-Westerman” or the politician, county, or office of their choice.  If you need assistance in online viewing, contact our Research Assistance Desk, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT.  If you are a potential donor, we would love to talk to you about items you may have collected over the years.  For a woman who disliked politics for her first 50 years, I can know say that the “Rather-Westerman Political Collection” and PACK shows are fun!

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Where Politics is Fun . . .

Filed under Past Events, Uncategorized

Leap Year 2016

WKU Library Special Collections often commemorates leap year with an exhibit. This year, our efforts to educate our viewers about the legend of the 5th century agreement between St. Brigid and St. Patrick that allowed women the right to propose for 366 days every four years and subsequent beliefs about laws, have broadened.
Sue Lynn McDaniel published an article “Leap Year: Chance, Chase or Curse?” in the January 2016 issue of The Ephemera Journal. See http://works.bepress.com/sue_lynn_mcdaniel/ Last week, she was the “Talk of the Town” in our local Bowling Green Daily News for her research on leap year and has curated an exhibit that closes March 31st in Library Special Collections entitled: “Time to Leap!” displays a portion of our collection.

A case exhibit provides a hint of all the sources now in the Selected Works Gallery.

A case exhibit provides a hint of all the sources now in the Selected Works Gallery.

But most  exciting  for  us this  year is  our  new opportunity to go beyond our doors by opening  the Library Special Collections’ Worth A Thousand Words gallery “Leap Year Postcards and  Ephemera.”  This  site functions as searchable permanent sources for  users not  necessarily OPAC friendly. Enjoying exhibit cases are limited by schedules and  the viewers’ ability to travel to the destination.   Nancy Richey will continue to add  all our postcards to KenCat, while Sue Lynn McDaniel adds ephemera to this online catalog, but  we anticipate wider usage and visibility of our primary sources through this  TopScholar  gateway.  Please  explore the Leap Year Postcards and  Ephemera, via http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ly_pe/  Once you have reviewed the materials, come hear Sue Lynn McDaniel’s presentation:  “Time to Leap” on Leap Day, February 29, 2016 at 4 p.m. in the Western Room of  the Kentucky Building.  For students, this  is  a swipeable event.

 

 

Comments Off on Leap Year 2016

Filed under Uncategorized

Arlis O. Harmon & WKU Folk Studies Intern’s Success

Graduate student intern's depiction of Harmon's life as a composer

Graduate student intern’s depiction of Harmon’s life as a composer.

In Library Special Collections, we have been fortunate to have Angela Arvizu from the Folk Studies Department as a graduate student intern beginning in June. Ms. Arvizu added 171 created the metadata records for Arlis O. Harmon’s original compositions of sheet music (which will soon be approved and internet accessible at kencat.wku.edu), researched and documented an exhibit’s contents using Past Perfect Collection Management software, and created a case exhibit which will remain on display until January 26, 2016 in the Special Collections Library of the Kentucky Building.Harmon Exhibit by Angela intern
Of her internship, Angela wrote: “The experience of being an intern at Kentucky Library Research Collections was gratifying….Harmon who died in 1992 was a composer and poetry writer from Kentucky. The work done during my internship organized and protected his collection of compositions. I appreciated the opportunity to work with Sue Lynn McDaniel and the Special Collections Library in this project.”

A closeup of items in Manuscripts, our Photograph Collection and our Sheet Music Collection

A closeup of items in Manuscripts, our Photograph Collection and our Sheet Music Collection

Often these internships and student work opportunities serve our WKU students well as they seek employment after graduation. Thank you, Angela, for a job well done!

Comments Off on Arlis O. Harmon & WKU Folk Studies Intern’s Success

Filed under Old Stuff, People, Reference

Raggedy Ann is 100!

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 collectable, this Raggedy Ann in her original package was for sale on eBay on November 13, 2015

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.

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.

Comments Off on Raggedy Ann is 100!

Filed under Acquisitions, Uncategorized

It’s A Small World!

Primary source for family of Robert and Rhoda (Long) Ground

Primary source for family of Robert and Rhoda (Long) Ground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday, October 19th, WKU Library Special Collections finding aids on KenCat and TopScholar provided access to a researcher accessing the Ground Family Tree http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_kl_non_mat/1/ from Italy. Although we had numerous hits in the past from all over the United States as the tree begins with Robert Ground, born 1767 in Thorney, Cambridgeshire, England, migrating to the United States around 1784.KL005

On Thursday, October 21st, we had a researcher interested in our Dorothy Grider Collection which was located via TopScholar.  We were able to meet the primary source request by sending the digital image above.

These are just two examples of how Library Special Collections now has a worldwide research population thanks to KenCat.wku.edu and TopScholar.  Our faculty are delighted to be making primary sources accessible around the globe!

Comments Off on It’s A Small World!

Filed under Reference, Uncategorized

WKU Librarians teach genealogy and local sources

On August 22, 2015 at the Cave City Convention Center, Katherine Pennavaria and Sue Lynn McDaniel presented a total of four of the ten sessions aimed assisting genealogists in their research at “Finding Your Family Story: Genealogy Symposium.” In the morning, McDaniel presented Beginning Genealogy 101-Part I and Beginning Genealogy 101-Part II, while that afternoon Pennavaria presented “Dancing with your skeltons” and “What else does the census say?” All four sessions were well attended and received positive feedback from participants.

Informing local historians and genealogists about Library Special Collections is a constant goal.

Informing local historians and genealogists about Library Special Collections is a constant goal.

Library Special Collections also had a table informing the public about one of the best genealogical libraries in the state of Kentucky. Available for pickup were Special Collections rack cards, WKU Libraries: Your Research Partner, McDaniel’s business card, WKU Libraries pens and candy. McDaniel plans to have a table at the upcoming Louisville Genealogical Society’s Annual Seminar on October 17th. Working with the LGS Seminar Chairman 2014 and 2015 Donald C. Howell, McDaniel will plan a Louisville Genealogical Society field trip to Library Special Collections to learn more about unique resources in our collection.

Comments Off on WKU Librarians teach genealogy and local sources

Filed under Events, People

Mammoth Cave Stereoviews 1866

The Department of Library Special Collections at WKU already has an impressive collection of illustrative material related to Mammoth Cave. These items include glass plate negatives, post cards, guide books, etc. A recent acquisition of a complete set Charles L. Waldack’s 1866 stereo views will greatly enhance these materials as Waldack is the first photographer of the cave. The 42 “Magnesium Light Views in Mammoth Cave” were published by E. & H.T. Anthony & Co. and include scenes of the Hotel, guests, the African American cave guides and many interior shots of cave formations. Waldack, origimage015inally from Belgium came to the United States in 1857. It was noted that he brought “sunlight” to the interior of the cave by the use of magnesium, so that one of the greatest natural wonders of the world could be seen by many. His biography from a special edition of the “Journal of Speleological History” (2000) notes: “These were the first high quality photographs produced underground in any cave. Waldack was naturalized as an American citizen after his marriage to Mary Tanner (born about 1849) of Kentucky, who was also a photographer. He set up a photography shop at 31 West 3rd Street in Cincinnati and made many excellent views of buildings, streets, and bridges between 1857 and 1873. Most important was his 42 stereo cards of Mammoth Cave. The Anthony series was continuously printed until about 1872, and 12 of the photographs were printed as engravings in the 1870 book, “A Historical and Descriptive Narrative of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky” by William S. Forwood.

These stereo views can be seen at by visiting WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections or by clicking on the link to access the images at KenCat.

Comments Off on Mammoth Cave Stereoviews 1866

Filed under Uncategorized

Tell Us About Your Discoveries

Library Special Collections has created a new website where our users can give us feedback on the cool things they are finding in our collections.

Library Special Collections is made up of three units:

All our units acquire and preserve materials primarily related to Kentucky and Kentuckians.  Here it may be possible for you to find your ancestors’ marriage record, family and community photographs, oral histories and everything you ever wanted to know about Western Kentucky University.

Come visit us in the Kentucky Building, Monday – Friday 9 – 4 and Saturdays during the semester 10 – 3. And tell us what you discover or have already discovered here.

Comments Off on Tell Us About Your Discoveries

Filed under University Archives