John F. Kennedy campaigns in Bowling Green, 1960
According to the publicity for a new book, Ellen Fitzpatrick’s Letters to Jackie: Condolences From a Grieving Nation, in the first seven weeks after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, more than 800,000 letters to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy poured into the nation’s capital. Over the next two years, the total grew to more than 1.5 million.
Although the volume of mail rendered it impossible for Mrs. Kennedy to reply personally, embossed acknowledgement cards, hand-addressed by a group of Washington women, were eventually mailed to her many sympathizers.
One of these cards, bearing John F. Kennedy’s coat of arms and a simple but elegant expression of gratitude, is held in the collections of WKU’s Special Collections Library. A finding aid and image of the card and envelope can be downloaded by clicking here.
(L to R: Roger Brucker, Brian E. Coutts [moderator], Brigid Pasulka, Patti Lacy, Ann Gabhart, Mary Calhoun Brown. )
“Travel in Time”: Historical Fiction
One of the featured panels at this year’s Southern Kentucky Bookfest held at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green on April 17 focused on historical novels. Ann H. Gabhart, a native of the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky and the author of 19 books for adults and young adults talked about her newest book The Believer, the second in her new “Shaker Series” set in “Harmony Hill” in the 1820s and 1830s. Roger Brucker, intrepid cave explorer and author spoke about his newest book Grand Gloomy and Peculiar: Stephen Bishop at Mammoth Cave which tells the tale of a slave who gained fame as a guide in the 1840s and 1850s. Brigid Pasulka, who teaches high school English at a Chicago Magnet School, talked about writing her extraordinary first novel A Long Time Ago & Essentially True which contrasts a grandfather’s and granddaughter’s experiences growing up in a small village and the city of Krakow, Poland on the eve of World War Ii and fifty years later as democracy is reborn. The book won this year’s Hemingway/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction. Patti Lacy, a native Texan spoke about her two newest novels An Irish Woman’s Tale, a story of betrayal and forgiveness, and What the Bayou Saw which describes how an attack on one of an Illinois college teacher’s African American students triggers her memories of segregation, a blood oath and a dead body in a Louisiana bayou. Mary Calhoun Brown from Huntington, West Virginia talked about her first young adult novel There Are No Words, which tells the tale of a 12 year old girl with autism who finds her voice by traveling back in time to 1918 and a train wreck near Nashville, Tennessee. Brian Coutts, Head of Library Public Services at WKU served as Moderator.
Lavinia Hunter was born in Gastonia, North Carolina in 1894. She was educated at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina receiving an AB degree in 1915. Her career began with teaching Gastonia first graders from 1923-1931. During that time she also attended George Peabody College for Teachers earning her MA. The following year Lavinia moved to Bowling Green to educate the first graders in the WKU Training School, a job she held until her retirement in 1965. Miss Hunter had a perfect attendance record for over 30 years.
During her tenure as the first grade teacher she received, as most teachers do, school photos from her students. These she collected and put into a photograph album arranged by year and neatly labeled with each child’s name. There are three decades of students represented in the collection. The album also contains a few group and classroom photographs and student teachers.
The finding aid for this collection is now available on TopScholar. There you will find the names of many of the students who attended the Training School. This and many other collections are available for researchers in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room of the Kentucky Library.
On Friday, the KY Writers Conference returned to South Campus. The conference offered a variety of sessions from published authors, including Jack Riggs, Janna McMahan (both personal favorites), and Logan County native Holly Goddard Jones.
The SOKY Book Fest attracted over 130 authors to the Carroll Knicely Center, a new location for this year’s event, on Saturday the 17th. Some of the guests this year included Richard Paul Evans, Fireproof author Eric Wilson, the Cake Mix Doctor, Anne Byrn and local favorite Silas House. There were also Children and YA authors including Laura Numeroff, Mark Teague and Michael Reisman. Books were available for signing and purchase; author presentations, panel sessions, and activities for children occurred throughout the day. On the eve of the Book Fest, authors and members of the WKU and local communities met in the Kentucky Building.
Photos of the KY Writers’ Conference | the Book Fest | the Authors’ Reception
Thanks to radio celebrity and music historian Tommy Starr gave the Kentucky Library and Museum another gift of local musical memorabilia. Included are LPs from luminaries such as Billy Vaughn, The Hilltoppers and Exile, CDs from Cerebral Metal, Cage the Elephant and Foster and Lloyd, as well as promotional posters and photos featuring acts like The Kentucky Headhunters, Black Stone Cherry and many more. Gifts like Mr Starr’s are helping The WKU Libraries and Museum protect and preserve the musical heritage of popular music in South Central Kentucky.
On the evening of April 15 at Barnes and Noble, Bowling Green, KY, Dr. Michael Trapasso, from WKU’s own Dept. of Geography and Geology, presented on Alaska as part of the the Far Away Places series.
Photo Album of the Event | Podcast | Audio File
On Wednesday, April 13, 2010, faculty of the Department of Library Public Services, WKU had their meeting and celebrated National Library Week at the Glasgow Campus Library. The event was coincided with a visit to the library by the mayor of Glasgow, Kentucky.
Bowling Green death record, 1891
Kentucky did not maintain death records at the state level until 1911, but earlier records kept by municipalities can sometimes solve riddles for genealogists and other researchers. In the case of Bowling Green and Warren County, WKU’s Special Collections Library holds a unique collection of almost 3,500 “Return of a Death” certificates dating from 1877 to 1913.
Submitted to the city clerk in order to obtain a permit for burial within the city of Bowling Green, the Return of a Death certificate was filled in by both an attending physician and undertaker. Although many certificates are not complete in all respects, they offer information about the deceased including: date and cause of death, age, race, birthplace, residence, place of interment, and parents’ names (if the deceased was a minor). If the death occurred elsewhere and the remains were sent back to Bowling Green for burial, additional documentation from the place of death is frequently present.
Besides supplying genealogical data that might not otherwise be accessible, these death certificates provide a fascinating and sometimes heartbreaking glimpse at the types of disease and injury that afflicted local citizens and the frequency of child mortality in families during the late nineteenth century.
A complete alphabetical listing of Bowling Green, Kentucky death records (1877-1913), together with images of the records themselves, can be downloaded by clicking here.
One of WKU’s five founding institutions was the Southern Normal School and Business College, generally referred to as the Southern Normal. The teacher training school was founded by A.W. Mell and Tom Williams when they moved the Glasgow Normal School to Bowling Green in 1884. The University Archives holds some administrative records, publications, class lists and photographs for the school. An outline of sources and a finding aid are available online. These are available to researchers in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room Monday – Saturday 9 – 4.
WKU Libraries now subscribes to HeinOnline, one of the most valuable law databases in existence. We are very excited to offer this resource to our patrons.
HeinOnline, named to the 2007 EContent 100 “list of companies that matter most in the digital industry,” is the world’s largest image-based legal research database. With almost 50 million pages of legal information at the touch of a button, HeinOnline is a virtual treasure trove of resources for legal researchers and professionals worldwide.
All content within HeinOnline is image-based in PDF format, from inception and fully searchable, making it the most user-friendly database available.
A Core subscription to HeinOnline includes such valuable collections as: Legal Classics, Law Journal Library, U.S. Supreme Court Library, U.S. Federal Legislative History Library, Treaties and Agreements Library and much more! Also available in HeinOnline, are several unique a-la-carte collections, including: U.S. Congressional Documents, Foreign & International Law Resources Database, World Trials, Session Laws and many more.
From on campus, you can click here to access HeinOnline. When off campus, you can access HeinOnline through our databases page.