WKU Libraries Blog

News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Libraries Blog - News and events from WKU Libraries

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.

WKU Cultural Diversity

It’s February and during Black History Month the WKU Archives is inundated with questions regarding Blacks and other minorities at WKU. We have created a website: Cultural Diversity at WKU which is a bibliography of resources regarding minorities on campus.

In addition, we have digitized vertical files regarding Jonesville, the African American community which became part of WKU in the 1960s as well as WKU Cultural Diversity.

There are also digitized records regarding desegregation and minority enrollments from the president’s office and a student paper regarding attitudes of WKU students toward minorities in 1970.

Photographs are being digitized weekly and added to KenCat our online catalog. 

WKU Archives staff will continue to post documents and add to the Cultural Diversity at WKU website.  Additional information may be found in the records of the Board of Regents and University Senate.

Online Exhibits

A new section has been added to TopScholar:  Kentucky Museum / Library Special Collections Online Exhibits.  The site features images of objects, photographs and documents used in exhibits with more background information than is inclued in a typical museum label.  The site includes a blog widgets for user comments which will enhance our knowledge of objects and photographs.  The Google maps / Google Earth widget allows us place objects and photographs in geographical relation to others.

Currently there are two completed online exhibits.  The first is Get on the Bus: 40 Years of Political Activism.  Originally created in 2008 as a traveling exhibit to commemorate the Civil Rights movement, this online exhibit focuses on WKU students’ involvement in political causes through the years.

The second is Playing Our Song: Southern Kentucky Notes which highlights the Kentucky Library’s Southern Kentucky Music Collection as well as WKU faculty, staff, student and alumni musicians. 

Come and learn more about the Kentucky Museum and Library Special Collections collections.

Henry Cherry’s Interest Wide Ranging

President Henry Cherry was a man of many and varied interests and we know this by the scrapbooks he had created during his administration 1906-1937.  These are held in WKU Archives and we are about half way through processing them.  Most of the scrapbooks are in good condition.  While education and Western Kentucky University head the list of topics covered, religion, the Temperance Movement and World War I are well represented.  There are several scrapbooks dedicated to Cherry’s own personal political aspirations, his candidacy for Kentucky governor and his promotion of rural life through chautaquas held in Warren and the surrounding counties.

The collection inventory has been posted on TopScholar and gives more detail regarding these materials.  These and many other records are available for researchers through our online catalog, KenCat and in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room of the Kentucky Library & Museum Monday – Saturday, 9 – 4.