Monthly Archives: February 2012

WKU Cultural Diversity

It’s February and during Black History Month the WKU Archives is inundated with questions regarding Blacks and other minorities at WKU. We have created a website: Cultural Diversity at WKU which is a bibliography of resources regarding minorities on campus.

In addition, we have digitized vertical files regarding Jonesville, the African American community which became part of WKU in the 1960s as well as WKU Cultural Diversity.

There are also digitized records regarding desegregation and minority enrollments from the president’s office and a student paper regarding attitudes of WKU students toward minorities in 1970.

Photographs are being digitized weekly and added to KenCat our online catalog. 

WKU Archives staff will continue to post documents and add to the Cultural Diversity at WKU website.  Additional information may be found in the records of the Board of Regents and University Senate.

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Heartbreak Knows No Color

Copper Romance magazine

Copper Romance magazine

Last season, the PBS program History Detectives investigated the origins of a 1950s comic book called Negro Romance, unusual for its depiction of African Americans in the principal roles.  Excerpts from a similarly unique publication can be found in the collections of WKU’s Special Collections Library.

Copper Romance was a monthly magazine filled with short stories and novellas about African American characters navigating the stormy seas of love.  Like their white counterparts in Intimate Romances, True Story and Romance Confessions, the women in Copper Romance offered up their romantic anguish, sexual transgressions and relationship problems in such tales as “Desperate to Marry,” “Too Old For Love,” or “I Gave My Baby Away.”  Even more intriguing, however, is the fact that the author of some of these stories (including the three just mentioned) was the wife of a Russellville, Kentucky bank executive who typed out her pulp fiction on a pink portable typewriter at her rural Logan County home.

Anne Ridings Trimble (1909-1971) began writing for magazines in 1946.  A prolific author, she declared that she submitted about 50 stories a year to the romance magazine market and enjoyed an acceptance rate of about 33%.  A member of the Nashville Press and Authors Club, Trimble freely shared her productivity secrets at workshops and seminars.  Her provocatively titled stories–“His Horrible Secret,” “My Love Was a Killer,” and “I Was Trapped in a Snake Cult,” to name a few–were typical of the genre, but her “copper romances” added a distinctive element to her portfolio.

A finding aid for the Anne Ridings Trimble Collection can be downloaded here.  On this Valentine’s Day, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat for more collections relating to African Americans, romance, courtship and authors.

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Annual Macy’s Used Book Sale Benefits SOKY Book Fest


The annual Macy’s Used Book Sale began on Friday, February 10 and ended on Sunday, February 12, 2012 at the Depot. The event is co-organized by the Southern Kentucky Book Fest partners, namely, WKU Libraries, Warren County Public Library, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Book Fest.

Photo Album

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Former Senator Georgia Powers Attended Program Highlighting Her Career


Anne Onyekwuluje, Associate Professor of Sociology at WKU, spoke about her book titled Georgia Powers: A Grassroots Civil Rights Leader in Kentucky on Thursday, February 9 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Former Senator Powers was present at the event. She spoke to the audience and answered their questions. The event concluded with a book signing by both speakers.

Photo Album | Audio File | Podcast

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The Art of Mazie Thomas

Mazie Lee Thomas

Mazie Lee Thomas

Among the students at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial University (now Tennessee State) in 1953 was a 47-year-old resident of Adairville, Kentucky named Mazie Lee Thomas.  Born in Georgia, Thomas (1906-2001) had begun teaching herself to draw and paint at an early age.  One day, having grown tired of “piddling around” with her skills, she took a bus to Nashville to show some of her paintings to one of Tennessee A&I’s art teachers.  After the teacher made a personal trip to Adairville to secure her husband’s cooperation, she enrolled at the school for a year’s training.

In addition to painting in oil, watercolor and acrylic, Thomas fashioned greeting cards and craft items such as corn shuck dolls and paper mache figures.  Today, some of her paintings are held in the collections of Morehead’s Kentucky Folk Art Center and at WKU’s Special Collections Library.

The Library also holds manuscript materials documenting the work of this African-American folk artist.  Included are clippings and artwork collected by her niece into a scrapbook, slides of her paintings, and a short video of Thomas discussing her work.

Click here to download a finding aid for the Mazie Lee Thomas Collection.  For more on African Americans and folk artists, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

Mazie Thomas's artwork

Mazie Thomas’s artwork


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Growing Up in Chile in the 21st Century


WKU student Christopher McConnell was featured in the monthly library event We’ve Been Everywhere in Helm 100 on the morning of February 7, 2012. Christopher, who works in the DLPS Office, talked about almost every aspect of Chile, his parents’ native land that he has been frequenting. The talk was concluded with a show of Christopher’s culinary skill in making a Chilean salad and a tasting experience of the salad by the audience.

Photo Album | Audio File | Podcast

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Two Workshops Tomorrow on Libraries’ Newest Database Web of Science

Tracy Matthews will be on campus February 7 from Thomson Reuters in New York to do a workshop on “The Web of Science,” the Libraries’ newest and most comprehensive database.  We’ve scheduled two workshops tomorrow:

  • Gary Randsell Hall, Lab 1 (on the 2nd floor) at 10:00 a.m.
  • VPAL Lab (Cravens Library 2nd floor) at 1:00 p.m.

The Web of Science consists of the following major components:

  • Science Citation Index Expanded®:
    8,300 major journals across 150 disciplines — 1900 to present.
  • Social Sciences Citation Index®:
    2,697 journals across 55 social science disciplines, as well as selected items from 3,500 of the world’s leading scientific and technical journals — 1900 to present.
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
    Fully indexes over 2300 arts and humanities journals, as well as selected items over 250 scientific and social sciences journals— 1975 to present.

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February Reference Book Display


With Valentine’s Day coming up, the reference display this month is “The Sciences Look at Love” with a collection of books from both the hard and soft sciences regarding love and relationships. Selections include books from anatomy, physiology, psychology, anthropology and sociology.

Books on Display

1. The atlas of heart disease and stroke / Judith McKay and George A. Mensah with Shanthi Mendis and Kurt Greenlund. RC 683. M34x 2004
2. Atlas of the human brain / Jürgen K. Mai, Joseph Assheuer, George Paxinos. QM 455.M347 2004
3. Gray’s anatomy : the anatomical basis of clinical practice / editor-in-chief, Susan Standring ; section editors, Neil R. Borley … [et al.].  QM 23.2.G7 2008x
4. The encyclopedia of the heart and heart disease / Otelio S. Randall and Deborah S. Romaine. QP 111.4.R36 2005
5Atlas of human anatomy. QM 25.A798 2001
6. The Greenwood encyclopedia of love, courtship, & sexuality through history / edited by James W. Howell … [et al.]. HQ 21.G67125 2008 v.1 (of 6)
7. Marriage, family, and relationships : a cross-cultural encyclopedia / Gwen J. Broude. GN 480.B76 1994
8. Encyclopedia of human behavior / editor-in-chief, V.S. Ramachandran. BF 31.E5 1994 v.1 (of 4)
9. Encyclopedia of human relationships / Harry T. Reis, Susan Sprecher, [editors]. HM 1106.E53 2009 v.1 (of 3)
10. Encyclopedia of human emotions / edited by David Levinson, James J. Ponzetti, Jr., Peter F. Jorgensen. BF531.E55 1999 v. 1 (of 2)
11. The concise book of muscles / Chris Jarmey. QP321.J45 2008x

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“In Account With…”

John H. Brown's drugstore accounts

John H. Brown’s drugstore accounts

The question of how to streamline, share and protect medical records in an electronic age is high on the agenda for health care reform.  In the mid-nineteenth century, however, record keeping was far less complex and more likely to reflect the idiosyncracies of the health care providers of the day.  Take, for example, the account book of physician-druggist John H. Brown.  Born in Greensburg, Kentucky in 1832, Brown was raised in Illinois, where he took up his profession in the Mississippi River town of Cairo.  His account book, dating from 1856-1862 and now held by WKU’s Special Collections Library, offers a unique look at his trade with the local population, and how he kept track of a rather curious pageant of customers.

In particular, names were not always a necessity for Brown.  His book tallied charges for a “Little Scotchman” who purchased unspecified “Pills and powds.”  There was the “Old Gentleman who lived beyond Mr. Givins” and his modest account for “Tonic Powds.”  Brown sold some “medicine” to “Pastry Cook John” and similarly dosed the daughter of the “Dutch sausage maker.”  The aforesaid Little Scotchman must have provided a good recommendation, because soon afterward Brown sold a toothbrush, pills and “solution for mouth” to the “Big Irishman who stays with little Scotchman.”  No doubt the “Sore mouth gentleman at Mr. Hanes” required the same relief, although his account also included a bottle of “sherry wine.”  Sales to various customers “on boats” provided evidence of Brown’s ongoing trade as a riverside pharmacist.

But Brown’s account book was not as chaotic as it might seem, for at the front was an index allowing one to easily find “Gentleman, Old who lives beyond Mr. Givins” on page 59, “Boy at King’s brickyard” on page 62, or “Irishman, Big who stays with little Scotchman” on page 61.

A finding aid for John H. Brown’s account book can be downloaded here.  For other collections on medicine and medical-related topics, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Growing Up in Chile in the 21st Century

lago chungaraflat

Christopher McConnell is a student assistant for the Department of Library Public Services. He lived for 5 years in Chile, South America. Over those five years, he lived in Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, and Reñaca. Before moving back to the U.S. in June 2006 he crawled through mining channels hundreds of feet under the ocean in the south of Chile, walked through the Atacama desert and Valle de la Luna (Valley of the moon)  and achieved many honors such as class best friend and honors in Philosophy. While in Chile, he also toured the country playing rugby. He embarked on his adventure to Chile in order to spend more time with his family (on his mother’s side) in Chile, and strive for a better education. His mother enrolled him in the Mackay School (a Britannic Bi-lingual All Boys Private School). He achieved the National Society for High School Scholars where he shook hands with Claes Nobel and was a recipient of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. He is majoring in Accounting and Finance with a certification in Real Estate. At Western, he works in Helm-Cravens Library designing the Kentucky Live! & Far Away Places posters, flyers and post cards. His desires in life are to become an entrepreneur who will provide jobs, housing, products and services to world as a whole.

He will be speaking about his adventure in Chile on February 7th, 2012 at 10:00am in Helm 100.

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