WKU Libraries Blog

News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Libraries Blog - News and events from WKU Libraries

Hallowe’en at WKU

Phi Delta Theta Halloween Party

A quick search of KenCat for Halloween revealed several entries for photographs including this one of Jerry Wolf dressed as Zorro and Justin Mylor dressed as Forrest Gump at a Phi Delta Theta party. There are also images from a West Hall celebration in 1945 and president Thomas Meredith celebrating in the 1990′s.

Henry Cherry put a clipping and the program for the Training School’s 1915 Hallowe’en Carnival in one of his scrapbooks. The three part program, Oct. 28th was open to the public for a 5 cent admission fee.  The first hour was held in Vanmeter Hall where Grades 1 & 2 entertained with Rhythm & Games, Grade 3 performed folk dances, Grade 4 presented characters from story-book land and the seventh graders presented “Moving Pictures.”

Part 2 consisted of an “intermission” and guests were “given an opportunity to patronize the refreshment stands in Cabell Hall and the Fort.”  The sixth graders had an autumn booth in the old fort and a Japanese Tea in Cabell Hall.  Grade 5 provided a county booth and the first graders sold candy in Cabell Hall.

The carnival reconvened in the Training School Chapel at 8:15 where the 8th grade performed a circus.  There was also a fish pond where fish were sold for a nickel a piece.

Do you remember a special Halloween on the Hill?  Share your memories with us.

A Day in the Archives – Reference

Every day is something a bit different than the day before in WKU Archives.  I may find myself processing photographs, blueprints or president’s papers.  October 2nd was definitely a reference day.

Request 1 – WKU maternity leave policies, when were they first instituted and how have they changed over time.  After a couple false starts in the Board of Regents and University Senate records, information was found in the faculty/staff handbooks created by Human Resources.

Request 2 – Topographic maps of WKU campus. Unfortunately we do not have any in WKU Archives.  It may be that none have been created.

Request 3 – WKU vs Russian football team, all information available.  Film footage was pulled and transferred from tape to dvd.  The poster above was digitized for the researcher as well.

Request 4 – Information and photos of the Rock House for an upcoming exhibit.  A search of KenCat revealed that there is a single photograph, 3 floor plans and Rock House Reunion records created by alumni who once used the building as a dormitory.  Records were pulled for the researcher to use.  The photograph and floor plans were digitized for inclusion in the exhibit.

Request 5 – Photographs to be used in celebration of Gary Ransdell’s 15th anniversary as WKU president.  Luckily the request included a list of events the researcher wanted images of.  A search of KenCat found most of them quickly.  These were forwarded to the researcher to make selections.  Then I went through unprocessed photographs and pulled relevant images for digitization.  Records for these images were created in  KenCat and thumbnails attached.  Now they are available to all researchers.

Request 6 – A request was made for a copy of a SITE committee report.  The researcher had already checked the Board of Regents and University Senate records online.  A search was made of the President’s Office papers and some University Senate records that have not been digitized.  The report was not found and in talking with the researcher, it was decided that it probably never existed.

Research can be quite time consuming.  WKU Library Special Collections & Kentucky Museum Research Strategies is available to help researchers use the online resources before making a trip to the Kentucky Building.  Processing and digitization of WKU Archives collections is user driven.  All requests are answered in the order received.  We are working daily to process additional records, add entries to the database and make more records available more quickly to our patrons.

Photograph Collection

WKU vs Youngstown, 2002

If anyone had told me when I was in school that one day I would get paid  to identify college logos on football helmets I would have laughed.   Some days that’s exactly what I do.

Processing photographs involves evaluation of quality in relation to other similar images in the collection.

WKU vs WIU, 2002, long focus

Identification of people, places and events and even athletic teams. Rehousing in mylar sleeves and acid free folders. And occasionally discarding images due to blurriness or poor composition.

WKU Archives holds approximately 50,000 photographs, slides, negatives and drawings. Photographs are described in bulk by topic in KenCat, our online catalog.  Broad topics include campus buildings, portraits, organizations, athletics and events.  As researchers request images for projects, they are digitized.  At that time a thumbnail image and corresponding description are entered into KenCat.  To date, a little over 9,000 have been digitized. Check out WKU Archives – Photograph Collection for more detailed information regarding the collection.

Electronic Records Day

The Kentucky Library & Archives in coordination with the Council of State Archivists have declared today the first Electronic Records Day.  At WKU faculty, staff and students are creating records on computers every day.

Electronic records are wonderful.  They can be shared through email, thumb drives, or on computer servers.  They can enable greater collaboration in research at increased speed.  Some contain confidential information that need special protection.

The WKU Records Management program identifies permanent and non-permanent records created by faculty and staff.  We also assist departments in the maintenance and preservation of those records in all formats.  In addition, we provide guidelines for the proper destruction of non-permanent records.

WKU Archives is working to capture and store permanent electronic records that have historic and administrative value in order to make them available to researchers for generations to come.  One avenue is through TopScholar, WKU’s institutional repository.  Here you will find departmental and administrative electronic records that document decisions of administrators and campus activities.

 

Archives Month – Athletics in Archives

WKU Soap Box Derby

October is Archives Month and in Kentucky the theme is Athletics in Archives in honor of the 2012 Olympics. This year’s poster features images of sports being played and enjoyed by Kentuckians of all ages.  The WKU photo shows children participating in a soap box derby race down College Heights Hill.

The WKU Archives website is featuring links to Hilltopper related items housed here in the Kentucky Building.  The collections are open to researchers most Mondays – Saturdays 9 to 4.  The online inventories and digital objects are available 24/7 through TopScholar.

Archives throughout the Commonwealth capture and preserve records of all types of athletic activities.  Check out collections near you in person and those available online year round.

A Century of Spirit PSA’s

The WKU Archives holds records in a variety of formats.  During the 2006 WKU Centennial celebration 26 public service announcements were created as MP4 files.  These announcements include ten decade by decade histories of WKU and special topics such as Henry Cherry’s legacy, Coach E.A. Diddle, Big Red, integration and student organizations.  The PSA’s and other documentation of A Century of Spirit are available online at: TopScholar, choose the year 2006.

Delta Theta Pledge Diary

In February 1943 Leone Brewer was a student at the Bowling Green Business University. She was pledging the Delta Theta sorority and as part of those activities, she kept a diary. This diary is now in the WKU Archives. It records the rules which pledges had to observe such as carrying books and running errands for other students. Ms. Brewer gives details about the clothes she wore, going on a date, assemblies and a survey of neighborhood cats and dogs.  Check out the entire diary at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/stu_alum_papers/47.

Do you have similar experiences of pledging a fraternity or sorority?  Were there top secret initiation rites?  Share your memories of WKU and BGBU with us.

WKU Oral History

Oral histories capture a slice of life.  WKU Archives holds many audiotapes and transcripts of interviews with six presidents from Kelly Thompson 1955-1969 to Thomas Meredith 1988-1997.  These tapes tell the story of how WKU has grown and evolved over time.  There are also interviews with athletes and coaches such as William “Big Six” Henderson, Dee Gibson, Clem Haskins, the Cook twins, Clemette Haskins and E.A. Diddle.  Interviews with alumni reveal changes in student life over time. 

The WKU History Department Oral History Committee files have been processed and are now available to researchers in WKU Archives.  Interviews were conducted between 1976 and 1997 and capture a variety of views of WKU’s history.  The collection inventory is available online at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/293

Also available to researchers are the WKU Centennial Oral Project tapes.  The collection inventory is available online at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/190/

WKU Beauty Queens

Jean Amos, Military Queen

Jean Amos, Military Queen

As many know, the current Miss Kentucky Ann Blair Thornton is a WKU student.  What some may not know, she is not the first WKU alum to hold the title.  In addition, WKU coeds have been crowned queens of the Mountain Laurel Festival, Talisman Ball, Miss Black Western, Miss Western, WKU Military Ball, Basketball Ball, Valentine Ball, Homecoming Queen and possibly most interesting Mrs. Western Student Wife.

The WKU Archives is compiling a list of these beauty queens along with photographs.  Check out http://www.wku.edu/library/archive/19.php and help us complete our list.