WKU Libraries Blog

News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Libraries Blog - News and events from WKU Libraries

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

Spoonholder

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!

WKU Archives Video Digitization Project Update

filmYesterday we received 9 more videos from our digitization vendor. Some of these are finished products of earlier digitized b-roll. The new titles are:

Student Recruit Master, ca. 1980, a small clip of an interview with WKU president Donald Zacharias is available on YouTube.

There are several segments from the WKU Magazine show:

Fashion Merchandising, nd includes interviews with Vickie Driver, Sallye Clark, Julia Kirk, Donna Lanehart, Virginia Atkins, Diana Youngblood and Karen Massel regarding their experiences at the Atlanta Fashion Market. Continue reading

Cherry Statue Time Capsule

Cherry Statue Unveiling

Cherry Statue Unveiling, 11/16/1937

As archivists we evaluate our collections and process them in order of importance.  That importance can be calculated in terms of rarity, pressing preservation issues or research value.  We also process collections as researchers use them.  This past week we spent time processing the Cherry Statue Committee records for a student working on a capstone project.  This is a small collection just 31 folders of documents and one oversize drawing of the statue base. In archives speak a mere .25 cu. ft. or a single box measuring 15 1/2″ x 7″ x 10″.

In using the collection the researcher found information regarding the time capsule placed beneath the statue on November 10, 1937.  There were two lists of items that had been placed in a bronze box and sealed inside the base.  There was also documentation that indicated a second box had been purchased for duplicates to be placed in the Kentucky Museum. The museum curator brought the box out for the student to see. Cherry Statue Time Capsule

Before the box went back to the Kentucky Museum, we digitized everything in it.  We also were able to identify a few items that had not been duplicated and created the Cherry Statue Time Capsule online exhibit.

Here you will see most of the items that the Cherry Statue Committee felt important enough to store for posterity.  Most of the items reflect Henry Cherry himself and include his two books, several speeches showing his interest in education, agriculture and politics; photographs and program of his memorial service.  The Glasgow Normal and Southern Normal Schools are represented in commencement programs and publications.  Also included are representations of what Cherry meant to the faculty, staff, students, alumni and community in the lists of donors to the statue fundWKU Postcards, resolutions of respect and other tributes.  Lastly there are many representations of how WKU had grown and flourished in the 31 years since its founding in 1906 until November 16, 1937 when the statue was unveiled.

Potter College turns Fifty!

Potter Turns FiftyYou are invited to enjoy the Library Special Collections presentation of materials produced by Potter College of Arts & Letters during its first fifty years. This exhibit contains a small- but hopefully representative- sample of the PCAL materials available in WKU Archives. The collections contain many more records of the type on display and also many photographs, administrative records, audio-visual materials, posters, and more.

 

To see more:

  • search KenCat which serves as a catalog of collectionsPotter Turns Fifty
  • search TopScholar for scans of full documents from creative writing to scrapbooks and speeches to posters
  • visit our channel on YouTube
  • visit the Harrison-Baird Reference Room in the Kentucky Building
  • contact WKU Archives at 270-745-4793 or 270-745-5830 wkuarchives@wku.edu
  • visit us on the web www.wku.edu/library/archive

The exhibit is located on the 2nd floor of the Kentucky Building and will be up through the summer.

Post written by WKU Archives Assistant April McCauley.

WKU Archives Intern

Ryun Warren

Ryun Warren, center, reviewing architectural drawings with fellow members of American Institute of Architecture Students.

My name is Ryun Warren, and I am a junior at WKU majoring in Architectural Sciences. This semester (Spring 2015) I had the opportunity to research, process, and catalog over two hundred sets of construction drawings pertaining to several projects on campus dating from the 1930s to the 2000s (UA30/1/1). Within these documents I was able to see how the design and drafting process has evolved over time, especially in regards to major technological advancements in the field (i.e. Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) software). The art of hand drafting has almost become a lost art with the efficiency of computer software in a fast-paced society. However, the majority of these sets of construction documents were hand drawn and reveal the level of detail and thought given to each building that is or has been a part of The Hill. From Van Meter Hall to the original Ogden College buildings, from iconic Cherry Hall to Diddle Arena, I was fortunate enough to be able to not only study architectural history but to study the history of our college campus, its story throughout time as told through its construction.

The importance of preserving this story was impressed upon me throughout my stay in the WKU Archives. Proper storage is the only way to ensure that these beautiful drawings withstand the test of time and are available for future generations to study and admire.

With over two hundred sets of drawings stored in various locations, a detailed catalog must be kept. I was trained to enter these drawings into PastPerfect – the cataloging database software used by WKU Library Special Collections to easily sort and process all of the documents, photographs, and manuscripts within its possession. These are available online through KenCat. In addition to PastPerfect, I created and maintained a detailed spreadsheet specifically for the construction documents containing such information as project title, associated buildings, drawing dates, architect(s) of record, and references to the PastPerfect photo entries where applicable (UA1C9).

1D3815This experience has truly been informative as both a study of architecture and a study of my WKU home. The history of this campus as told through its buildings is arguably as telling as any other means of relating the history of how The Hill came to be. Likewise, the proposed buildings and the thought of what WKU could have looked like if a different design won a bid provokes thought as to why a certain bid may have won and how people would interact differently with campus and with each other.

#May4Matters

Protest March

We were recently contacted by the May 4 Visitors Center at Kent State University to participate in the 45th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. According to the email WKU was one of 1250 universities and colleges that held protest demonstrations in the week that followed that Monday tragedy.  And indeed on Tuesday, May 6th WKU students joined the nationwide protest against the shootings and the escalation of the Vietnam War.   That protest began a two week sparring match between students and WKU administration. Continue reading