Daily Archives: November 3, 2011

WKU Libraries Kicked Off Month-long Traveling Exhibition of Lincoln


On the evening of November 3, 2011 in the Western Room of Kentucky Building, WKU Libraries kicked off the month-long traveling exhibition titled “Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War with the “Background of Conflict and the Election of 1860” presentation given by Carol Crowe-Carraco, WKU Professor of History, and Nancy Baird, Kentucky Historian. This exhbition was organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs and was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Photo Album

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Josie Walker’s Book

Josie Walker's diary inscription

Josie Walker’s diary inscription

For a look into the daily lives of a Kentucky farm family late in the 19th century, WKU’s Special Collections Library offers this newly acquired diary, kept by an observant young woman in Columbia, Kentucky.

Josephine “Josie” Walker was nineteen when she began the second volume of her diary in October 1883.  Like most single women living at home, Josie organized her life around family, household duties, school, church, and social events.  She and her sister had their share of chores: “Sophie and I ironed some, churned, baked a cake & some apples and did a hundred other things,” she wrote on October 27.  The following summer, she enjoyed a day out at the county fair, where she feasted on watermelon, watched mule races, and admired prize-winning livestock and quilts.  Josie and her family, however, had decided not to go into town one day in March in order to avoid witnessing a scheduled public execution.  “I don’t see how a humane person could go to a hanging,” she confided to her diary.

Josie was also attentive to events in the wider world.  “This is election day.  Hurrah!” she wrote in anticipation of a new president in November 1884, but her hopes were dashed when Republican James G. Blaine narrowly lost to Grover Cleveland.  The Democrats, she grumbled, were uncharitably shooting off guns and making a “racket” to celebrate their victory.

September 6, 1884 had found Josie in a reflective mood.  “This is my twentieth birthday,” she noted, and two years had elapsed since she began to keep a diary.  “I suppose I am considered a grown lady by some,” she wrote, “but I feel as an ignorant timid child afraid to stand alone.  Let us hope the records of this year will be pleasant to refer to in years to come.”  With her diary now a part of our permanent collection, her wish can be fulfilled.

A finding aid for Josephine Walker’s diary can be downloaded by clicking here.  To find other diaries from Kentucky and elsewhere, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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November Reference Area Book Display

November is Native American Heritage Month. It is a nationally recognized tribute to the heritage of Native Americans, and to celebrate, the library’s reference area has created a book display showcasing WKU’s materials on Native American culture and history.

Books on Display:

  1. American Indian studies : a bibliographic guide / Phillip M. White. E77 .W55x 1995
  2. Encyclopedia of Native American shamanism : sacred ceremonies of North America / William S. Lyon. E98 .M4 L98 1998
  3. Notable native Americans / Sharon Malinowski, editor, George H.J. Abrams, consulting editor & author of foreword. E89 .N67 1995
  4. Biographical dictionary of American Indian history to 1900 / Carl Waldman. E89 .W35 2001
  5. American Indian religious traditions : an encyclopedia / Suzanne J. Crawford and Dennis F. Kelley. E98.R3 C755 2005
  6. Treaties with American Indians : an encyclopedia of rights, conflicts, and sovereignty / Donald L. Fixico, editor. KF8203.6 .T74 2008 (3 volumes)
  7. Encyclopedia of United States Indian policy and law / edited by Paul Finkelman, Tim Alan Garrison. KF8205 .E525 2009
  8. Chronology of native North American history / edited by Duane Champagne. E77 .C555 1994
  9. Gale encyclopedia of Native American tribes / edited by Sharon Malinowski … [et al.]. E77 .G15 1998 (4 volumes)
  10. A to Z of Native American women / Liz Sonneborn. E98 .W8 S65 1998
  11. Contemporary native American artists / Dawn E. Reno. E98 .A7 R45x 1995
  12. E98 .A7 R45x 1995

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