WKU Libraries Blog

News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Libraries Blog - News and events from WKU Libraries

What Is an Archives?

Part of our continuing recognition of Kentucky Archives Month.

Whether you are researching your family tree, searching for inspiration for your latest historical fiction novel,1 verifying the royal succession,2 or looking for information about the One Ring,3 the place to look is an archives.

An archives is a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.  These records include photographs, maps, letters, diaries, government records, and many more things. Many of the types of records in archives are rare and most are one-of-a-kind.  The collections in an archives are often donated by organizations or individuals over time, and often these records are valued family artifacts.  So, archivists have a responsibility to the historical record- and to past donors- to protect and preserve the records in their care.  For more information about what an archives is and about our archival collections, follow the links below:

Continue reading

Electronic Records Day

emediaSmack in the middle of Archives Month is Electronic Records Day.  Coincidence?  I think not.

We generally think of electronic records as new, now, of the moment and not particularly permanent.

  • email
  • reports
  • blog posts
  • photos on your cellphone

The permanency of records is determined not by format (paper or electronic) but by content.  So while most email is not considered permanent there are emails that should be saved and printed out in total and sent to the archives.

WKU Records Management program provides guidelines for the care and preservation of all university records regardless of format. Contact us at 5-4793 if you have questions regarding the maintenance of electronic records or any other questions.

The Path to Archives

A month or so ago a student asked me how to go about becoming an archivist.  In constructing my response to him I mentally reviewed my 25+ years in the profession and the changes that have impacted the profession.

Kentucky Archives Month

Time was most archivists were historians by training.  Specialists might also have a degree in another discipline, but by and large we were historians.  These days most have a degree in information science with coursework in public history.

What does that mean?  Information Science is the new library science and is defined as an interdisciplinary field concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, movement, dissemination and protection of information. While Public History is usually defined as history beyond the walls of the traditional classroom or applied history.  It is most often found in the preservation of historic buildings, creation of museum exhibits and care of public and private records housed in archives. Continue reading

Out of the Box – September

Board of Regents – Special Meeting 9/16/1939 re: Kentucky Building

Kentucky Building

Kentucky Building

Bookstore – department history

BUWKY 9/1939 – student publication

Cafeterias

Cherry Political Papers – collection inventory

Craig Alumni House – everything you wanted to know . . .

Darwin Newton Papers – student papers collection inventory

Downing University Center – building history

Fact Book 1989 – a statistical snapshot from 25 years ago

Franklin Photos – some of the best vintage images of WKU campus

Morehead State 9/30/1939 – football program

ROTC – photograph collection inventory

Archives Month

AKentucky Archives Monthrchives Month is an annual celebration of all things archival and the work of institutions that preserve historical records while making them available to researchers.  This year’s theme for Kentucky is Agriculture in the Commonwealth.

This month WKU Archives will be highlighting the WKU Department of Agriculture in our website feature “Out of the Box.”  We’ll also be blogging about some behind the scenes stuff.  Stay tuned and get out and visit an archives near you.  Check out Kentucky Archives Month events.

 

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

We have been processing and posting meeting minutes of all kinds.  There are University Senate minutes, Congress Debating Club minutes, departmental faculty meeting minutes, Stickles History Club minute books and FCG Classical Club to name a few.

WKU minute takers have done a great job in relaying accurate information to us.  They have also found and recorded humor in their meetings.  Here are a few examples:

Congress Debating Club, Book 4, page 279

Senator Searcy blew his breath at the crowd and at the same time his vocal chords vibrated in an unintelligble manner.

On page 290 of the same book we find a notation that the previous minutes are an “unhealthy bit of propaganda.”

In a memo addressed to the History faculty April 29, 1977, Dr. Richard Troutman outlines a number of meetings as:

The first meeting will involve consideration of two proposals from the Departmental Curriculum Committee . . .

The meeting following the first meeting should be brief and will involve a continuation of our discussion on graduate assistants.

The meeting following the brief meeting which follows the longer meeting will concern my concern about what direction the Department should take as we seek a new teacher for next year.  This meeting should take longer than the brief second meeting, but perhaps not as long as the longer first meeting.  But then again, it may take longer.

History faculty meeting minutes have begun “Once upon a time” and ended “. . . and they all lived happily ever after.”

A belated but slight reminder of things past . . . !

As quickly as was humanly possible, Dr. Crowe adjourned the meeting. Deferentially yielded, crowe the younger

The Sept. 19, 1974 meeting minutes open: “This is the Way it Was . . . !”  and conclude with:

If there are any questions as to particulars mentioned in this monsterpiece, check with the man who keeps a pad in his shirt pocket.  His note-taking ability far surpasses anything done by ‘little old me, honey.’

Stickles History Club

Stickles History Club

[signed] Scarlott O’Crowe

This image from the Arndt Stickles History Club Minute Book 1, page 4  relates the seriousness of manner in which the members organized:

In ancient days students sat at the feet of the old philosophers or followed them about through gardens, in order to get the gleam of life that scholars of the age had or to hear marvelous stories of the universe, or perhaps, just to be near great and noble characters.  Even so, do students of the modern age long for contact with just such noble men as those of old.

These and many more records are available for researchers in WKU Archives.

Athletic Photos

Athletic Photos

Athletic Photos

have arrived.  There are approximately 350 cd-roms holding an average of 75 images per cd.

We are working our way through them noting individual athletes who played football, soccer, basketball and baseball.  There are also athletic logos included in the files.

Many of the images are not identified.  These will eventually work there way onto KenCat our online database where we will request assistance in identifying people.

WKU Latin American Studies Program

Michael Youn

Michael Yohn

Created in 1962 the Latin American Studies Program provides students with opportunities to study and experience Latin America and the Caribbean.  To this end the program sponsored a series of seminars regarding the control and use of the Panama Canal in 1977. Experts attending the spring conference included Michael Yohn of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs pictured here along with his colleague Lauralee Peters,  Eric Baklanoff of the University of Alabama, Alvaro Garcia-Pena an international business consultant from Washington, DC, Robert Dowland of the Department of Commerce and WKU’s Kenneth Cann.Panama Canal Logo

Edgar Stansbury

 

Edgar Stansbury

Edgar Stansbury

Edgar Bryant Stansbury, son of Emmet and Mable Stansbury was born 1906 in Corbin, Kentucky. He attended Shepherdsville high school and came to WKU in 1926 where he played basketball and football. Upon graduation Ed coached in Greenville and Lancaster, Kentucky high schools, married and attended Peabody where he received his master’s degree. Returning to WKU in 1935 Stansbury became assistant coach to E.A. Diddle. After World War II he returned briefly as athletic director in 1946-1947. Stansbury returned to the air force in 1947 and later worked for Honeywell. A lifelong WKU supporter, he died in Largo, Florida in 2009 at the age of 103.

He left his personal papers and photographs to WKU Archives.  This is a photo of Ed Stansbury aboard the Regent Sun touring the Panama Canal in 1988.  He and his wife Edith enjoyed many cruises during their retirement years.Panama Canal Logo