Monthly Archives: February 2011

Celebrate Literacy Week with WKU Libraries!


As part of Kentucky Literacy Week (February 28 through March 4, 2011) the Educational Resources Center (ERC) in Gary A. Randsdell Hall in partnership with College of Education and Behavioral Sciences’ School of Teacher Education hosted its first ever “Read-In” Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 4:00 -5:00 p.m. Everyone in the WKU community was invited to participate by bringing their favorite book–appropriate for all ages!–and read a short selection.

Promoted statewide by First Lady Jane Beshear, the celebrations are intended to highlight literacy in Kentucky, celebrating the accomplishments and focusing on the challenges. The event drew a large crowd of participants including students, staff, faculty and children. WKU’s First Lady Julie Ransdsell opened with a story from Dr. Seuss; Gordon Baylis, Vice-President for Research, read a chapter from acclaimed London novelist Ian McEwan; the Provost, Gordon Emslie, read a classic baseball story by Roger Angell, sports columnist from the New Yorker which highlighted the final game of the 1978 American League season between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox (the Red Sox lost); the Dean of Libraries, Mike Binder, read a section from Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451. Brian Coutts, Department Head of Libraries Public Services, read a section from Man Martin’s humorous novel, Days of the Endless Corvette, Dr. Kay Gandy read from “The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America” by Bill Bryson, and Professor Haiwang Yuan read an ethnic folktale “The Mother Who Drives the Sun” from his book Princess Peacock: Tales from the Other Peoples of China. Other contributors included Ellen Micheletti and Jack Montgomery, both from the WKU Libraries.

Education students participated as well: Penny Allison read a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the first prominent African American poets, born in 1872 of parents who had escaped slavery in Kentucky; Jamie Silverberg read from the children’s book Enemy Pie by Derek Munson, Jonathan Large read a poem from Shel Silverstein’s popular Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Jessie Varner read from a picture book about Daniel Boone.

Roxanne Spencer, ERC Coordinator, co-hosted the Read-in @ the ERC event, along with Jennifer Montgomery, Literacy faculty member, who spearheaded this celebration. A reception followed.

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US Bank Celebration of the Arts


The US Bank Celebration of the Arts took place on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at the Kentucky Building on WKU campus. Over 370 art pieces from about 200 artists were on display and awards were given to the winners in the competition.

Photo Album of the Event

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Kentucky Live! presents Matthew Schoenbachler


This Thursday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, University of North Alabama historian Matthew Schoenbachler talked about Kentucky’s most famous murder case. After his talk, Schoenbachler signed his new book Murder & Madness: The Myth of the Kentucky Tragedy.

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Filed under Events, Flickr Photos, General, Kentucky Live, Latest News, People, Podcasts, Stuff

TopSCHOLAR® Downloads Exceed 200,000

With 5,446 items in WKU’s Research and Creative Activity Database, TopSCHOLAR® attained 201,219 full-text downloads to date and 121,999 downloads in the past year. Check out and contact for more information on how your efforts can be accessed globally! TopSCHOLAR® allows for hosting conference sessions, publishing journals, and extending other intellectual efforts to the world.

Connie Foster, Head

Department of Library Technical Services

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Filed under General, Latest News

Help Wanted

Author George Britt obeys a request to donate to the Kentucky Library

Author George Britt obeys a request to donate to the Kentucky Library

Since it opened in the 1930s, WKU’s Special Collections Library (formerly the Kentucky Library) has drawn inquiries about its collections from authors, historians, collectors and genealogists near and far.  Before Google searches, digital text or e-mail, library staff members Elizabeth Coombs, Mary Leiper Moore and director Julia Neal corresponded with both scholars and amateurs seeking to research their books and articles, locate a rare publication, or fill a gap in family genealogy.  In their replies, the librarians never passed up the opportunity to obtain a copy of the author’s latest work or a pledge to donate his/her personal papers.

A collection of this correspondence, now available at the Special Collections Library, dates from the 1930s to the 1970s and includes letters from authors such as Thomas D. Clark, Anne Pence Davis, Janice Holt Giles, Jesse Stuart and Joy Bale.

Sometimes the authors are interested merely in locating an elusive source; at other times, they write at greater length about their work and that of others.  “At present I am spending most of my time in collecting old drafts and photographing old coverlets,” wrote Kentucky master weaver Louisa Tate Bousman (“Lou Tate”).  “Do you have in your collection of Kentuckiana any manuscript account book or diary of some planter or farmer in which is enumerated the different expenditures in connection with the slaves?” asked J. Winston Coleman, Jr.  Responding to a request for her papers, Joy Bale admitted that she never kept drafts of her poems because “I am so glad when a poem of mine finally reaches what I consider MY best that I joyously tear up all beginnings.”  Writing from the University of Kentucky, James Thomas Cotton Noe asked for guidance in “the task of building a Kentucky collection for our library.”

A finding aid for the Authors Correspondence Collection can be downloaded here.  For other resources on authors in Kentucky and elsewhere, search TopScholar and KenCat.

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Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives

Java City Concerts

Java City in Helm Library has been filled with music this month.  February’s offerings wrap up tomorrow, Wed. the 22nd with Atlanta singer/songwriter Sarah Peacock.  Sarah’s pop country style combines is a little bit Sugarland, a little bit Ann Wilson of Heart and a little classic rock to keep things interesting.  It could be snowing or it could be 65, but its always cool in Java City! Check Sarah out here.

Thanks to Independence Bank for their sponsorship.

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Biographies, Biographies, Biographies!

WKU Libraries now subscribes to Biography Reference Bank online!

Biography Reference Bank contains biographies or obituaries for over 660,000 individuals, along with over 35,000 images. Many of the biographies are enhanced with feature articles, interviews, essays, book reviews, performance reviews, speeches, obituaries, and biographical content from other Wilson databases. Biographies are searchable by name, profession, title, place of origin, gender, race/ethnicity, date of birth, date of death, and keyword. The database contains selected full text of the articles from more than 100 reference books, plus the full text of the following titles published by H. W. Wilson:

· American Reformers

· Composers series

· Current Biography

· Greek and Latin Authors Series

· Junior Authors & Illustrators

· Nobel Prize Winners

· World Artists

· World Author Series

· World Film Directors

· World Musicians

Biography Reference Bank also contains the complete Biography Index, which indexes biographies published in books, magazines, and journals. Abstracts and full text are included if available. You can access Biography Reference Bank from our Database Page or directly here: Biography Reference Bank.

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Filed under Acquisitions, Events, Latest News

Kentucky Library & Museum Builds Architect’s Collection

Ingram's Architectural Class Project, 1925

Ingram's Architecture Class Project, 1925

The Kentucky Library & Museum (KL&M) has owned the drawings of architect James Maurice Ingram (1905-1976) since 1979.  These drawings came rolled in tubes, wrapped with butcher paper, and covered in coal dust.  Over the years, the staff has flattened, cleaned and cataloged each set of drawings. The collection has been used by local historic preservation professionals, architects, local home owners, and dozens of students in Architecture and Manufacturing Sciences, Folk Studies, History, Art, and Interior Design.

Recently Kasey Chappell, a graduate student in Folk Studies, began cataloging the drawings in KenCat, the KL&M’s online database.  She was also charged with gleaning materials from the collection for a forthcoming website related to Mr. Ingram.  Kasey was disappointed to learn that the KL&M didn’t possess a photograph of Ingram.  She did some online searching and found a Dr. James Maurice Ingram in Nebraska and wrote to him inquiring if he was related to our Ingram.  He replied immediately that he was the architect’s grandson.  He put us in contact with his father who was in Florida.  This Mr. Ingram, also an architect, practiced with his father for a number of years under the moniker Ingram & Ingram.

James Maurice Ingram, Jr. recently sent materials related to his father and his career, including his high school diploma, an album of photographs documenting projects done by the Ingrams, a photo of his parents, and a student project done by his father at Notre Dame  in 1925.  The project, seen above, was a drawing executed for a class in which Ingram displayed his learned skills in architectural history, drafting and shading.  Ingram designed dozens of homes, schools, industrial sites, and commercial buildings in Bowling Green and Warren County.  He practiced here from 1929 to the early 1940s, when he moved his office to Louisville.

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Far Away Places Presented Haiwang Yuan


On the evening of February 17, 2011, Professor Yuan gave a presentation at Barnes & Noble as part of WKU Libraries’ “Far Away Places” international talk series. He talked about the changes taking place in China over the history, particularly after it opened it up and went through the economic reform in the late 1970’s. He looked at China through the window of Tianjin, a large city he knows best because he grew up there and has frequented it almost every year since 2000.

Photo Album | Audio File | Podcast
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Filed under Events, Far Away Places, Flickr Photos, General, Kentucky Live, Latest News, New Stuff, People

St. Columba Academy

St. Columba Academy and Georgia Johnson's report card

St. Columba Academy and Georgia Johnson’s report card

The current observance of St. Joseph School’s 100th anniversary invites a look back even farther to the beginnings of Catholic education in Bowling Green.  In the late 1850s, Father Joseph deVries appealed to the Sisters of Charity in Bardstown to send teachers for a school to serve his Catholic constituents.  In 1863, despite the upheaval of the Civil War, he got his wish.  Sister Constantia Robinson and 3 other nuns set up shop in a rented building that had been variously occupied by Union and Confederate troops, and St. Columba Academy was born.

In 1869, St. Columba moved to a new home in the 1100 block of Center Street, where it accepted day and boarding students.  The curriculum was rigorous but, in accordance with custom, female students were offered “ornamental” subjects like embroidery, painting and piano alongside their studies in algebra, history, philosophy, botany and literature.

In 1910, the pastor of St. Joseph Church purchased a lot at Church and Nugent streets and put the sisters in charge of the new St. Joseph Parochial School.  Accordingly, St. Columba held its last commencement on June 14, 1911.  The old school on Center Street was sold to the city board of education and became home to Bowling Green High School and later the junior high.

WKU’s Special Collections Library holds a class register for St. Columba Academy covering (with a few gaps) 1887-1911, when the school enrolled about 140 children each year.  Turn past the final page, however, and the enrollment register for St. Joseph’s begins, running from 1911-1936–a testament to the continuity of Catholic education in Bowling Green.

A finding aid for the St. Columba Academy/St. Joseph School register can be downloaded here.  For more resources on the educational history of Bowling Green, search TopScholar and KenCat.

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Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives