Monthly Archives: December 2010

Library Closing for Holidays

christmasThe Helm & Cravens Library will be closed for the Holidays from December 17th until January 2nd. Happy Holidays!

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New Land Grant is a Curiosity

Kentucky Land Grant

Kentucky Land Grant

Land Grant 425, the newest addition to the Kentucky Library & Museum’s Land Grant Collection is a bit of a curiosity.  Dating from 1826, the piece looks like many of the other land grants  in appearance.  For the most part these documents were large printed paper forms with blanks for pertitent information.  Many times a wax or embossed seal was attached near the bottom left margin.  Land grants were issued for military service or to pioneers willing to settle on theretofore unclaimed land.

Land Grant 425 was issued by Governor Joseph Desha  (1768-1842) in 1826 to the Trustees of Augusta College, a Methodist institution located in Bracken County, Kentucky.  It was certainly not unusual for educational institutions to receive tracts of land to underwrite their operating costs, but this particular grant included five hundred acres in Sumner County, Tennessee.  Why was the state of Kentucky allowed to issue a grant for land in another state’s territory?

This curiosity is acutally one of nearly 4600 grants that Kentucky issued for land in Tennessee between 1820 and 1926.  The land, as delineated in Land Grant 425, was located “South of Walker’s line.”  This disputed land  was part of a large sliver of land at Kentucky’s southern border that was inaccurately surveyed in 1779-80 by Thomas Walker.  The dispute was inconclusively settled with a new survey in 1859, but political wrangling over the matter continued for several generations.  Because of this boundary dispute, some people located in Cumberland County, Kentucky in the 1810 U.S. census are found in the Tenneessee counties of Jackson or Overton ten years later.

A finding aid and photograph of the land grant can be found here.

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WKU Libraries Celebrates Holiday and Awards Achievers

WKU Libraries' Holiday Party in Maria's in 2010At noon on December 16, 2010 in Mariah’s Restaurant, Bowling Green, KY, the WKU Libraries celebrated the Holiday and gave annual awards to faculty, staff, students, and a team that excelled in the past year. The Margie Helm Awards are given in memory of Margie Helm, who used to be the Director of WKU’s library services in the 1950s.

This year’s faculty award goes to Christy Spurlock from the Library Special Collections, and the staff award goes to Eric Fisher, Library Facilities Coordinator. The team award goes to the “Far Away Places and Kentucky Live” planning group consisting of Peggy Wright, Brian Coutts, Haiwang Yuan, Bryan Carson, Daniel Peach, and Jason Hatman.

The student awards were given to Cassandra Matthews from the Dean’s Office, Tea Lacic from Library Technical Services, Courtney Hatley from Library Special Collections, and Arthur Petersen from the Library Public Services.

Besides good food, party goers also entertained themselves with intriguing games. The party has been organized by Amy Slowik, Amanda Hardin, Kath Pennavaria, Kathy Fushee, and Brent Fisk.

Photo Album (More are coming)

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And to All a Good Night

Kentucky Library & Museum Christmas collections

Kentucky Library & Museum Christmas collections

WKU’s Special Collections Library has a wealth of material documenting the celebration of Christmas by generations of Kentuckians.  Pictured above is a 1901 letter to Santa from young Elizabeth Coombs; a Depression-era greeting card; a card sent from post-World War II Holland to the Grise family of Bowling Green; a postcard greeting to Captain Edward Hines; a 1928 card from “Lola” to her friend Lila; and World War I-era greetings to Ray Howell from his brother.

Our Manuscripts & Folklife Archives include interviews with Kentuckians reminiscing about their childhood Christmas traditions, as well as many letters from soldiers stationed in war zones as they remember their loved ones over the holidays.

To find out more about Christmas in our collections, search TopScholar and KenCat.

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Chester Coleman Travelstead Papers Now Available

Chester Coleman Travelstead, 1911-2006

Chester Coleman Travelstead, 1911-2006

Over her 40-year teaching career at WKU, Nelle Gooch Travelstead (1888-1974) was known for her energy in the classroom, her civic activism, and her ferocious devotion to her two boys, Will (1909-1981) and Chester (1911-2006).  The papers of Chester Coleman Travelstead, now available at WKU’s Special Collections Library, document the lives of this indomitable single mother and her sons.

Comprising more than 4,500 items, the collection includes Chester Travelstead’s personal and professional correspondence and that of his mother, brother, and wife Marita.  Travelstead edited his mother’s papers, wrote a reminiscence of his World War II naval service aboard the USS Comet, and kept a journal of Marita’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  The collection also documents Chester Travelstead’s distinguished career as an educator.  A WKU alumnus, Travelstead received his doctorate from the University of Kentucky in 1950, and for the next 27 years served in faculty and administrative positions at universities in Georgia, South Carolina, and New Mexico.  He received four honorary degrees, and in 2004 the University of New Mexico named its College of Education administration building after him.

Prior to his appointment in New Mexico, Travelstead had been ousted from his position as Dean of Education at the University of South Carolina.  The trouble arose in 1955, after he spoke to a summer session on the topic “Today’s Decisions for Tomorrow’s Schools.”  Delivered in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the speech urged the timely integration of the nation’s public schools.  Travelstead’s speech and the resulting letter of dismissal are part of the collection, but so too are the accolades he later earned for his forward-looking views.  During its bicentennial in 2001, the University of South Carolina honored Dean Travelstead as a man of “uncommon courage in uncommon times.”

A finding aid for the Chester Coleman Travelstead Papers can be downloaded here.

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Library Finals Hours

Helm-Cravens Library will be open until 2am again this finals week from Sunday Dec 12 through Thursday Dec 16. As in past semesters Western’s Student Government Association is helping to underwrite this service to our students. The Student Technology Center on the second floor of the Helm Library will close at its usual time, but all other areas of the library will be open until 2am. Java City will be providing refreshments for students needing a study break.

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words or at Least 272

WKU Football

The University Archives holds thousands of photographs of thousands of people, buildings and events. We scan on demand for researchers and we scan those images we cannot identify in hopes that someone will be able to help us. Just such an occasion happened this week.  Below is an excerpt from an email regarding the photo above.

” . . . image f7592-1 — great shot . . . fooled me at first . . . magnifying bits and pieces of pic has corrected my first impression and, I think given us the answer on this one . . . first thought it was a FB game in 1930, just months before P.E. Building opened in 1931 . . . but not possible!!! — clothing styles much more like late 50s thru mid-60s era; work on P.E. is obviously remodel for transition into Margie Helm Library (see cutout in middle of  building for new entranceway we now have for  that building AND work on foundation for that addition to the building; work on roof is replacement, not new; obviously not new as well from condition of weathered stonework on side of building) . . . almost certainly fall, 1964 — work on P.E. Building (Diddle Arena already open; opened Dec. 7) conversion to library (which will open in the following fall — 1965 — as Margie Helm Library) . . . scoreboard reads Western 24, Opp O with 15:00 on clock for 4th quarter . . . cheerleaders at lower left wearing sweaters with “E” on them and photographer (guy near cheerleaders) most likely ???? . . . from Glasgow Daily Times — a student at WKU at the time — and camera he is carrying is 35mm that began to become common with media types in early-to-mid-60s . . . conclusion — pic made from top of old Western Stadium press box on Oct. 31, 1964 — Homecoming — a 24-0 win over Eastern Kentucky . . .”  Our thanks to Paul Just for his infinite knowledge of all things WKU sports and his willingness to share with us!

To date nearly 6000 University Archives images have been scanned and posted in our online catalog KenCat which allows researchers to share information with us, share images with friends as well as order prints or digital copies.  Please take a few minutes to check it out.  And if anyone knows the name of the Glasgow Daily Times photographer – please let us know!!


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First look at the new ERC


University Libraries faculty and staff got their first look at the new ERC on Friday, December 3. Furnishings and security system have not yet been installed.


The ERC will close December 17 and reopen on Monday, January 24. In between some 50,000 books and other materials will be packed and readied for movers. Boxes will be moved on Tuesday, January 4. The next day students and staff will begin shelving materials in the new facility. New Computer have been purchased for public areas and will be installed prior to opening day.


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Celebrate Christmas in Kentucky

Let’s celebrate Christmas in the Kentucky Building on Saturday, December 4, at 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. There are children’s activies, carloers, ornament making, and picture taking with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

This Christmas in Kentucky event is free, so bring your family to the event!

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Goldia McKeel Dunn Curd Photograph Album

Fisher Boarding HouseGoldia McKeel Dunn Curd attended WKU between 1920 and 1924. During her time in Bowling Green, she lived at the Fisher boarding house and kept a photograph album. The album has been digitized and is now available online at: album includes photographs of WKU faculty and students, Fountain Square Park as well as students in Russell Springs High School where Curd eventually taught school.

The photograph at left includes Gertrude P? Mamye Bagwell, Mr. Fisher, Earl Sherman, Reba B? Gladie Payne, Goldia Dunn, Jessie Sherman, Mrs. Fisher, Celia Hart and James Alvin.

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