WKU Libraries Blog

News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Libraries Blog - News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Founders Day 2015

Henry Cherry

Henry Cherry

November 16 was designated as Founders Day by the WKU Board of Regents in 1930. In recognition of the 85th Founders Day, please enjoy this public affairs video from Founders Day 1974. This video was digitized and made available earlier this year as part of a WKU Archives Video Digitization Project.

Blog post written by WKU Archives Assistant April McCauley

WKU Personnel Files

Dero Downing ID CardAs the memory of WKU, WKU Archives maintains records of past employees.  Often, this information can be found as part of the records of various departments or committees, in university publications, and other places where the imprint of their presence can be found on the historical record.  In particular, past employees generally have a personnel file.  Personnel files have been designated as record group UA1D and become available to researchers after the employee has been separated from the university for 30 years or upon his or her death.

During 2015, record group UA1D has undergone significant expansion.  Catalog entries for UA1D have also been revised so researchers can find information more easily.

Biographical Vertical Files Integrated

Before computer cataloging, newspaper clippings and other items regarding employees of the university were maintained in “vertical files.” Over time, these files grew to over six cubic feet.  These were stored in the closed stacks and not catalogued in KenCat because they were not considered part of the collections, but rather as a reference tool. These materials have now been integrated into UA1D files so researchers can find them using KenCat.  In some cases, this means a file exists for an employee who is still alive and is still employed by the university.  The personnel file materials will be added to these files and become available to researchers in the future once they meet the criteria, above. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes

WKU Archives LogoWKU Archives is staffed by a full time archivist (Suellyn Lathrop) a full time archives assistant (April McCauley) and a 10-hour per week student worker (Jack).  We work Monday through Friday 8 to 4:30 and a couple Saturdays each semester.

Suellyn and April spend most of their time processing collections and doing reference work for patrons who come in or contact us by telephone or email.  Jack spends his ten hours a week digitizing the stuff that Suellyn and April pile up for him to do.

Processing refers to the act of arranging and describing records so researchers can find what they want and need quickly.  Processing can be very time consuming. Continue reading

Back in Time – September

100 years ago – Henry Cherry accepted the chairmanship of the Kentucky
Democratic Convention.  Read his speech in this election season.

BUWKY25 years ago – the Kentucky Museum published the Fanlight which highlighted an Eastlake style music cabinet, an old fashioned 4th of July celebration and instructions for barkin’ a chair.

75 years ago – the students at the Bowling Green Business University were talking about football and lamenting chemistry class in the BUWKY.

50 years ago – the College Heights Herald welcomed students back to campus and caught everyone up on summer happenings.

Archives Month – Pecha Kucha

Kentucky Archives Month

Kentucky Archives Month

October is Archives Month and in Kentucky the theme was Civil Rights. This year members of Library Special Collections celebrated by co-hosting a Pecha Kucha about Civil Rights with the Kentucky Museum.

A pecha kucha is a powerpoint presentation consisting of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each so the talk lasts six minutes and forty seconds. Speakers have to hone in on the point and talk fast!

Pecha Kucha Participants

Pecha Kucha Participants

Our lineup:
Suellyn Lathrop – Civil Rights @ WKU – gave an overview of the WKU response to several civil rights issues through the years and resources for research housed in WKU Archives.

April McCauley – October is American Archives Month – discussion of archives that hold civil rights materials around the nation.

Karen Hogg – Kentucky Marriage Equality Oral History Project – presentation regarding Kentucky attorneys and plaintiffs involved in the recent marriage equality court cases.

Nancy Richey – Introducing the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia – an interesting overview of local people included in this hot off the press volume.

Jonathan Jeffrey – Juliette H. Morgan: A Librarian Civil Rights Hero – a brief biography of Montgomery, Alabama librarian turned activist.

We hope you enjoy our presentations and learn something new.  Library Special Collections is housed in the Kentucky Building and our collections are open to everyone Monday – Friday 9 to 4 and most Saturdays 10 – 3.



WKU Archives Video Digitization Project ~ Grand Finale!

At the end of September we received the last shipment of 2-inch quadruplex

2 Inch Quad Videotape

2 Inch Quad Videotape

videotapes back to WKU Archives and along with the originals came DVDs of the converted tapes. We have completed uploading the videos to YouTube and the following are now available:

Kentucky Constitution Revision Debate – a town hall meeting to discuss the pros and cons of revising the Kentucky constitution with Lt. Governor Thelma Stovall and Richard Lewis debating the issue.

Installation of WKU President Donald Zacharias Part I & Part II, 1979 Continue reading

Back in Time – August

We’re changing up the format a bit due to the website audit. We will be highlighting documents, photos and events which took place 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago.rotate1

25 years ago – Student Activities & Organizations 1989-90 Annual Report

50 years ago – Photos of students moving into the dorms in 1965.

75 years ago – Nina Hammer Oral History.  William Jenkins interviewed the former Bowling Green Business University Registrar about her time as a student and working at the BU.

100 years ago – Photo of the WKU student body in 1915

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.

The Testimony of the Spirits

In Commencement Programtheir  Junior year the Class of 1922 put on “The Second Annual Anti-Homesick Treatment,” the fourth portion of which was a “grand opera” that tells the story of a new student caught between the Spirit of Homesickness and the Spirit of the Institution.  In order to defeat Homesickness the Institution calls forth the Spirits of Friendship, Hard Work, Loyalty, Knocking, Class and Beauty.  For the incoming freshman we give you the Testimony of the Spirits:

Hard Worked Students:

We study hard both by night and day
And that’s the way we always play
But since no labor we ever shirk
We must just here get at our work

Spirit of Homesickness

Right here methinks I’ll take my stand
Some new student may happen by
I’ll grab the poor thing by the hand
And teach her how to say good bye
I’ll try to get her good and blue
And get her ready to skidoo
My mission is where’er I roam
To get ’em blue and send ’em home

New Student

My home I love so dearly
Is far away from me
I begin to feel so queerly
What can the matter be
What can the matter be
I feel so gloomilee
And I fear some frightful illness
Has seized a hold of me

Continue reading

International Kissing Day


Today is international kissing day something WKU is totally behind.  Early in the history of WKU students met at the spoonholder to “study.”

Unidentified Students

Everyone has heard of the Kissing Bridge.  It is said that a couple on a first date who kiss on the bridge will marry.  Kissing Bridge

Enjoy International Kissing Day with someone you love!