WKU Libraries Blog

News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Libraries Blog - News and events from WKU Libraries

Trick or Treat

John CarpenterWKU is known for ghosts and those who hunt them.  The Folklife Archives houses many collected stories and legends about ghosts and other kinds of monsters, start with Supernatural Experiences.

WKU Libraries has many books related to the supernatural as well.

Ghosts have been known to appear in the Kentucky Library collections.

WKU Archives contains images and writings of John Carpenter, a local boy whose name has become synonymous with Halloween.

View a Kentucky Museum Pecha Kucha talk about the origins of Halloween.

Happy Halloween!!

Resources rounded up by WKU Archives Assistant April McCauley.

#AskAnArchivist Day

SAA LogoOctober 30th has been declared Ask An Archivist Day.  Archivists from around the country will be monitoring Twitter to respond to your questions.  The day long event is sponsored by the Society of American Archivists as the send off for Archives Month.

No question is too silly . . .

  • What is the craziest thing you’ve come across in your collections?
  • If your archives has a soundtrack, what songs would be on it?
  • What do archivists talk about around the water cooler?

. . . and no question is too practical!

  • As a teacher, how can I get my students more interested in using archives for projects?
  • What should I do to be sure my emails won’t get lost?
  • I’ve got scads of digital images on my phone.  How should I store them so I can access them later?
  • How do you decide which items to keep and which to weed out from a collection?

Just tweet your question and include the hashtag #AskAnArchivist in your tweet.

Follow along through the day to see questions and answers.

And even after Archives Month is over you can ask us questions at WKU Archives – archives@wku.edu

Squirrel!

Kentucky Archives MonthThere are days in the archives that I feel like Dug the talking Dog from the movie Up.  I’m sitting at my desk working and all of a sudden . . . SQUIRREL!

It’s not that I’m easily distracted.  It is the nature of archival work that processing a collection of departmental papers may lead to the identification of a photograph.  Once I open that file cabinet to get the folder of photographs, I see there are 4 or 5 folders for that particular department and I am all of a sudden processing photographs.  Which in turn may lead to the prep work to have the unidentified images digitized.   Continue reading

International Open Access Week – Generation Open

Open Access

Open Access

SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition coordinates the annual International Open Access Week.  This year’s theme is Generation Open, that is to say the focus is upon student and early career researchers.  In keeping with the theme, WKU Libraries is focusing upon our student researchers past and present.

We make access to student research projects and creative activities available by posting them on TopSHOLAR which went live in 2007.  Since that time works by students have been downloaded over 487,000 times. Continue reading

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.