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.

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.

Kentucky Library is Well Guarded, Word

That was the headline of an article in the Students Weekly, October 31, 1935.  The reporter goes on to say:

“Shades of the two-headed dog, Cerebus guarding the gates of Hades an the dragon that guarded the golden fleece are recalled when one seeks to enter the treasure house of the Kentucky Library at Western.  Just above the door is an old muzzle-loader and swinging in the doorway is one of the largest hornets’ nest that has been one’s fortune to see.”

This and other articles about the WKU Libraries’ history are now available online in the first two library scrapbooks covering the period 1911 through 1959.  In addition to newspaper clippings, there are photographs of the library, faculty and staff members along with some biographical sketches of early librarians and staff. 

WKU Libraries Scrapbook 1 – http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/295/

WKU Libraries Scrapbook 2 – http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/296/

These and other records regarding the history of Western are available in the University Archives and online through KenCat.

Genealogy Question of the Week

Baptizing at Dennison Ferry, Green River

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
http://www.wku.edu/Library/kylm/collections/inhouse/mss/ChurchRecords/index.html
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.

Scrapbooks in Special Collections (Kentucky Library)

Today, scrapbooking is a popular pastime but fortunately for historians and genealogists, this activity is not new. Many early scrap bookers were also genealogists and through their scrapbooking activities, they preserved not only a part of their life, but left a legacy of their family’s history. Many of the scrapbooks in our collections contain such diverse items as photographs, correspondence, telegrams, tickets, obituaries, booklets, programs, correspondence and newspaper photographs and clippings, certificates, telegrams, narratives, bills of undertakers, promotional notices, grade and postcards.
One scrapbook donated by Mary Vogel contained a hand written 1851 genealogical chart for Johannes Volpert who was born in Germany in 1795. Though the chart is written in German, there is a note on the chart in English “this was given me by the Priest in my mother’s home, I was in the house where she was born, in the church where my grandparents were married…”
These wonderful time capsules show that with care and consideration genealogy and family history can very easily incorporated into today’s scrapbooking to create lasting legacies.Johannes Volpert Genealogical Chart

Elizabeth Tucker Scrapbook

etsb011Elizabeth Curd Tucker was born February 9, 1863 near Glasgow, Kentucky. She attended Glasgow Normal School graduating in 1880 when she delivered the valedictory speech at commencement. The Glasgow Normal School was the first incarnation of what has become Western Kentucky University.  In 1975 her daughters donated Mrs. Tucker’s scrapbook to University Archives.

The bulk of the scrapbook is made up of newspaper clippings of poetry and articles regarding education and sermons. There are Glasgow Normal School commencement programs and drawings by her son Charles and an unidentified artist in the scrapbook as well. The following articles are of particular interest regarding the Glasgow Normal School:

    “Glasgow Normal Senate,” Friday May 28, 1880 which mentions Ms. Curd, p. 49.”Glasgow Commencement Exercises,” June 30, 1880 which mentions Ms. Curd giving the
    valedictory, p. 50.”Graduates of Glasgow Normal School,” p. 58.

    Glasgow Normal School commencement programs

The scrapbook has been digitized and is now available on TopScholar.

Anna Murl Fisher Scrapbook

Homecoming Poster

Homecoming Poster

Anna Fisher of McHenry, Kentucky attended WKU and graduated in the Class of 1932. This scrapbook includes unique items not found elsewhere in the University Archives collections including a homecoming poster for WKU vs University of Louisville football game and game program for WKU vs Cumberland College, 1928.

Anna Fisher went on to teach at Bunker Hill in Equality, Kentucky. A scrapbook she kept during those years “Memories of Bunker Hill School, 1929-1930” is also available in the Kentucky Library Call # SBK166.  Ask to see it in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room of the Kentucky Building.

Check out this and similar student/alumni collections in TopScholar.

Rodes Myers Scrapbook

Ogden College Orchestra

Rodes Kirby Myers son of W.H. and Helen (Kirby) Myers was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky on June 29, 1900.  He attended Ogden College from 1916-1919 and taught there in 1920 and at Morganfield High School in 1921. Myers went on to study law at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Kentucky where he obtained his LLB in 1925. 

Rodes Myers followed his father into politics and served in many capacities including state representative 1934-1939 and 1945; state senator 1948-1950 and lieutenant governor 1939-1943. He died March 10, 1960.

He appears in this photo with other members of the Ogden College Orchestra in 1917.  They are sitting l to r: Joseph Jones, Horace Huddle and Thomas Wright. Standing l to r: Douglas Potter, Thomas Rogers, Foreman Gibson, Raymond Gilliam, Rodes Myers and Joseph Tobin.
 
The University Archives holds a partial scrapbook created by Rodes Myers during his time at Ogden College.  Items are pasted over pages of a State Board of Health Report for 1908-1909.  There are many articles about Myers’ participation on the Ogden debate team and other activities.   The scrapbook has been scanned and is now available for researchers through TopScholar.

Juanita Hood Stockton Scrapbooks

Juanita Hood Stockton, class of 1954, attended WKU between 1950 and 1954.  During her time here she created two scrapbooks which were donated to University Archives.  In late 2009 the scrapbooks consisting mainly of photographs were scanned and then taken apart in order to better preserve the images.  Ms. Stockton included images of herself and friends such as Rosemary Scholl, Reed Johnson, Barbara Marsh and Nancy Slocum.  There are images of couples preparing for Military Balls, Valentine’s Day dances, Beech Bend Park, Fountain Square Park, Hilltoppers Lunch, the Senators Club and in the dorms. 

This week pdf files of those scrapbooks have been made available through TopScholar: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/stu_alum_papers/.  Individual images which have yet to be identified are also available through KenCat – search using Juanita Hood Stockton.  Check out these sources to see a slice of campus life from the early 1950′s and help us identify some people.

Clara Ramsey DeWilde Scrapbook

 

Clara Ramsey DeWildeClara Ramsey DeWilde was a pretty typical WKU student in 1945.  Born in Russellville, Kentucky in 1926, she was 19 when she came to Bowling Green.  She lived in West Hall and created a scrapbook of photographs of her time on the Hill.  These include friends on campus, Halloween in the dorm, a trip to Mammoth Cave and family.

This scrapbook was loaned to University Archives for digitization in 2007.  It is now available to researchers via KenCat by searching DeWilde [http://wku.pastperfect-online.com/35749cgi/mweb.exe?request=ks].  This is only one of many examples of Student/Alumni personal papers found in the University Archives.

If you have personal papers documenting life on the Hill please contact the University Archivist at klmref@wku.edu.