Daily Archives: March 4, 2010

Playing Our Song: Southern Kentucky Notes

Southern Kentuckians love music! From the amateur playing his Hawaiian steel guitar to the singers and bands that have put WKU on the map, this region’s musical heritage is rich. Whether you like Country, Classical, Rap or Rock, you will find that Southern Kentuckians are indeed playing your song. Over the years, the Kentucky Library and Museum has collected a significant sheet music collection, photographs, sound recordings, posters, and ephemera illustrating the importance of music to this region.



Including Mary Clyde Huntsman’s Merry Makers, Duke Allen and the Kentucky Ramblers, WKU faculty musicians, Hawaiian steel guitar instructor Freddie Joe Lewis, local DJ Tommy Starr, New Grass Revival, and Kentucky Headhunters, a selection of treasures given by numerous musicians and collectors are displayed. Gospel musicians, including Hillvue Heights Music Group and John Edmonds’ Gospel Truth, and Country musicians, including Jordan Pendley, Cousin Emmy, and the Mighty Jerimiahs, provide evidence of the enduring popularity of all forms of music. Nappy Roots, Government Cheese and the Hilltoppers show the Hill’s influence on our song. Enjoy the exhibit in the Harry Jackson Gallery of the Kentucky Library and Museum during the Spring and Summer of 2010 and search “Southern Kentucky Music” on KenCat to explore the rest of our song.


Filed under Events, Latest News

March is Women’s History Month

Pearl Carter Pace

Pearl Carter Pace

“Well-behaved women seldom make history,” observed Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.  But what about a woman who took issue with the behavior of others — for example, the rumrunners of Cumberland County?  Pearl Eagle Carter Pace, born in Tompkinsville in 1896, became the first woman in Kentucky elected to a four-year term as sheriff.  Before taking office in 1938, she had taught school, kept the books for several family businesses, and become the mother of three children.  Succeeding her husband, Stanley D. Pace, as sheriff, she declared war on the bootleggers of Cumberland County.  Although she insisted that she’d never used a gun, she was tagged with the nickname “Pistol-Packin’ Pearl.”

After her husband’s death in 1940, Pace immersed herself in state Republican politics.  In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed her to the War Claims Commission; as its chairman in 1959, she became the second-highest ranking woman in the administration.  Pace’s work for numerous civic, political, business and professional organizations in both Kentucky and Washington, D.C. continued, despite failing health, until her death in 1970.

Through the generosity of her family, WKU’s Special Collections Library holds a large collection of Pearl Carter Pace’s personal and professional papers.  Included are her arrest log book and other sheriff’s records, dozens of speeches, correspondence relating to her political and civic work, photos, family letters, and much more.  A finding aid for the Pearl Carter Pace Collection can be downloaded here.

Search for more women’s history resources in KenCat.


Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives

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.


Filed under Latest News, University Archives