Welcoming students back to campus through the years.
Summer is quickly drawing to a close and thanks to our student worker Jack, we have quite a lot to show for our summer. He has been diligently scanning scrapbooks, photographs, negatives and original documents. Here’s a taste of some of the new old items now available on TopScholar.
College Heights Herald, Vol. 54, Nos. 1-21 [the remaining numbers will be available soon]
The Fourth Estate, Sigma Delta Chi publication
Gary Ransdell Installation negatives
Stickles History Club Minute Books, 1924-1957
University Senate – Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Voices, publication of the Western Writers group
Western Players Scrapbooks 1934-1960
WKU Advertising Club newsletters
Thank you, Jack!
WKU Favorite Professor(s) – Carlton Jackson 1933-2014
In 1976 WKU students observed Earth Week April 11th – 17th. A group sprang up calling themselves Energy for Student Awareness. They were concerned and printed a 12 page newsletter. The group screened films, had a food drive for Guatemalans and staged the Earth Awareness Festival outside Downing University Center. The newsletter includes articles regarding The Farm a commune in Summerton, Tennessee, nuclear energy, alternative energy sources, healthy eating, Native American rights and ecological legislation.
Do you remember Earth Awareness Festival? How did you participate? What will you be doing for Earth Day, April 22nd?
This 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.
My great-grandfather was Baptist Minister; do you have any church records or minutes in your collections?
Church records are among the best records for genealogists to locate and study. They can provide information that is not recorded in any other source such as births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and even the burial location of your ancestor. Additionally, you can learn about your ancestor’s participation in the church’s life or separation/transfer from the church rolls. Discipline in churches has changed dramatically over the years but in many cases, members were removed from the church for non-attendance, profanity, drinking or dancing. They can reveal the extent to which your ancestors participated in religious affairs. They are also helpful for tracing family relationships or migration patterns.
For those ancestors who were ministers, priest or rabbis, biographical information may be found in a printed source, obituary listing or in church or synagogue archives.
Finding theses important records can be difficult. Many churches do keep good records but they may have been sent to a central archive, placed in private hands or given to a historical society or special collections library. Fortunately, many churches have microfilmed these records, or at least given copies to local organizations.
The Kentucky Library and Museum’s manuscript collection of church records can be found at
Other records have been published in book form and may be found by using TOPCAT.
There are excellent chapters on the information provided by church records and how to locate them in The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, edited by Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny (Ancestry Publishing, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1984) and in Val Greenwood’s revised edition of the Researcher’s Guide to American Records (Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md., 1990.
The University Archives has completed digitization of the Students Weekly a publication that catered to the students of WKU, Bowling Green Business University and College High in the 1930’s. We have an incomplete run for the period 1936-1939. Items of interest beside school news are the ads for clothing, movies and interesting news tidbits. The collection is available through TopScholar. The originals are extremely fragile. Researchers visiting the Kentucky Library and Museum will be asked to use the microfilm or digital copies.
I want an obituary or a death certificate for my grandmother who died January 7th 1903. Can you help me?
This is a very frequent request as obituary information is very helpful to family historians/genealogists as they are conducting research and creating and verifying family ties. Unfortunately, it is a request that is many times difficult to fulfill. Kentucky did not require its counties to register births and deaths until 1911 and did not require marriage registrations until 1958. There was a short period in 1852 when statewide registration was first enacted but Kentucky’s compliance was sporadic. This early requirement lasted only ten years with some births and deaths being recorded for 1852-1862, 1874-79, 1892–1910. Some larger cities such as Louisville, Covington, Lexington and Newport maintained registered births and deaths for the years 1890–1911 in their respective health departments. See Jeffery M. Duff’s Inventory of Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1852–1910 for county holdings. At the Kentucky Library and Museum, we hold microfilmed copies of death certificates from 1911 to 1959. These certificates become public records after 50 years.
Local newspapers are a great source for obituary information if one has a pinpointed date of death. However, there are not always extant papers for the years sought. The Kentucky Library and Museum has an extensive collection of microfilmed newspapers for this area and surrounding counties. The KLM also has death registers from various funeral homes and select Bowling Green, Kentucky – Death Records, 1877-1913 that are “physician’s death certificates and undertaker’s certificates relating to permits for burials within the city of Bowling Green. [These certificates] include information on the deceased’s date and cause of death, age, race, and marital status, place of birth, residence, and date and place of intended interment. [And they] may include other documentation if a death occurred outside Warren County.” See http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_mss_fin_aid/1246/ for an index. Other indexes for 1911 and after include: Kentucky Vital Records Index (University of Kentucky) http://ukcc.uky.edu/vitalrec/, the Kentucky Vital Records Project http://kyvitals.com/index.php and http://vitals.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ky/death/search.cgi
Sources for online newspapers with obituaries include Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. This site allows you to search and view select newspaper pages from 1860-1922 at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ The Kentucky Library and Museum also has access to the Historical New York Times (1851-2006), the Historical Los Angeles Times (1811-1986), the Times Digital Archives (1785–1985) and for the local area, the Park City Daily News archive (1999-to present). Please contact email@example.com for further information.
Before there was WKU, there was the Southern Normal. A school that evolved from the Glasgow Normal, which moved to Bowling Green and changed hands several times before the Cherry brothers took over. The Southern Normal existed between 1893 and 1906 when it split into WKU and the Bowling Green Business University.
The Southern Educator serves as a journal of pedagogy, alumni magazine, advertisement for the Southern Normal, course listings and gives an overall look into the daily life of the Southern Normal. Published more or less quarterly from 1897 to 1906, the newspaper is being digitized and made available online to researchers. A name index available at: http://www.wku.edu/Library/dlsc/ua/bgbu-a.htm.