Monthly Archives: April 2012

Folklife Archives Intern

Jessica Mather

Jessica Mather, Folklife Archives Intern

My name is Jessica Mather, and I am a senior at WKU.  This spring, I have been working as an intern in Manuscripts & Folklife Archives in the Special Collections Library.  I have really enjoyed my time here, since I have been able to work on projects that are close to my heart.  Both sides of my family are from Warren County, and I have been interested in Kentucky history, genealogy and local architecture most of my life.  I had been to the library several times for my own research, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to work here.

One project I worked on was indexing a collection of folk songs.  I love the old songs and am interested in how the stories of the past are carried to us through these songs.  I just wish I could sing, so I could carry them on! 

Another big project I worked on was creating finding aids for folklife projects.  These projects contain oral histories, genealogies, photographs and other materials that are valuable resources for researchers and people like me.  I enjoyed learning about communities both near my home and in other parts of Kentucky.  I also got to transcribe a taped interview with a woman who worked as a teacher in a coal mining community. Wow! What an experience!  I’m glad I got to be a part of making these resources easier for people to search and discover the treasures we have here in the Kentucky Library & Museum.

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May Reference Book Display

This month’s reference display is about medieval and renaissance culture. We have books on folklore, literature, warfare (including knights and castles!) and much more. With the weather warming up, it’s time for Renaissance Faires to start popping up in our more temperate climate, though there are faires to be found all year long. Head on over to  to find a listing of Renfaires in the Americas, and then get ready for the experience with books on costuming (as well as theatre and art) down in VPAL!


Books on Display:

  1. The Oxford encyclopedia of medieval warfare and military technology / Clifford J. Rogers, editor in chief. U37 .O94 2010
  2. Knights : in history and legend / chief consultant, Constance Brittain Bouchard. CR4509 .K55 2009
  3. Medieval world : an illustrated atlas. G1791 .M43x 2009
  4. Encyclopedia of women in the Renaissance : Italy, France, and England / Diana Robin, Anne R. Larsen, Carole Levin, editors. HQ1148 .W67 2007
  5. Encyclopedia of medieval literature / Jay Ruud. PN669 .R88 2006
  6. Medieval castles / Marilyn Stokstad. UG429 .G7 2005
  7. Historical dictionary of the Renaissance / Charles G. Nauert. CB361 .N35 2004
  8. Medieval folklore : an encyclopedia of myths, legends, tales, beliefs, and customs / Carl Lindahl, John McNamara, John Lindow, editors. GR35 .M43 2000
  9. A dictionary of chivalry/Grant Uden,  illustrated by Pauline Baynes. CR13.U3
  10. All things medieval : an encyclopedia of the medieval world / Ruth A. Johnston CB351 .J675 2011 (New Book!) (2 volumes)
  11. A dictionary of Western alchemy / Jordan Stratford ; foreword by Jeffrey S. Kupperman. (New Book!) QD23.5 .S77 2011

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Brian Coutts Presents Best Reference 2011


DLPS Department Head Dr. Brian E. Coutts presented Best Reference 2011 to his WKU Libraries colleagues in Helm 5 on the morning of April 27, 2012. The presentation was concluded with a cake reception.

Brian Coutts discussed the best reference books of 2011.  His selections appear annually in Library Journal the oldest library trade journal founded in 1876.

Thanks to the organizers Amanda Hardin and Dewayne Stovall.

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Mythagoe closes out the Java City concert season

Mythagoe performs at Java City

he University community was treated to the folk-rock sounds of Mythagoe on the Java City patio last Tuesday.   Local artists Artemus Sumetra and Julia Fisher sang a mixture of old and new songs in their unique style.  Photo by Richard Goff

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Libraries Faculty Honored at Faculty Award Dinner


On the evening of April 26, 2012, WKU presented Faculty Awards at a dinner in the Regents Room on South Campus. Among the faculty members honored at the presentation were two from the Libraries. They were Nancy Richey who received the Faculty Award for Research/Creativity and Haiwang Yuan who received the Faculty Award for Public Services. Provost Dr. Gordon Emslie presided over the presentation, President Gary Ransdell gave a speech congratulating the award recipients and thanking them for their work.

The WKU Forensic Team highlighted the award presentation with their spectacular performances.

New to this year’s Faculty Award ceremony was the gift of an engraved clock to each recipient in addition to the usual certificate.

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Robert Penn Warren Fellow


Kayla with Robert Penn Warren looking over her shoulder

My name is Kayla Wright; I am an English graduate student at WKU.  For the spring 2012 semester, I have been the Robert Penn Warren fellow.  Being the RPW fellow means that I’ve worked with the Robert Penn Warren collections in the manuscripts section of the Special Collections Library.

While working in the library, I’ve gone through transcripts of interviews that were conducted in order to learn more about people on whom RPW based characters.  I also worked on a finding aid for this same collection, which means I got to play detective for a little while and match up people and dates.  (Surprisingly enough, this was a lot of fun.  It strengthened my research skills, and I was always excited when I knew information matched up correctly.)

I have also been working on adding to the finding aid for RPW’s correspondence.  It’s been incredibly interesting reading correspondence between RPW and his friends and colleagues.  It is interesting to see what was going on in his life while he was writing different works.  While he was always busy working on something, I have also enjoyed reading about his family getaways to the country or to Italy.

I’ve learned a lot about Robert Penn Warren and his family; at this point, I feel as if I know them.  Overall, this has been a wonderful experience, and I have learned so much.

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Best Reference Workshop 2011

Tomorrow, Friday, April 26th, in Helm 5 from 10:00-11:00am. Brian Coutts, Head of the Department of Library Public Services will present his best reference books of 2011. He has been choosing the Best Reference Books for the past 26 years. Among some of the chosen titles are: American Menswear, Atlas of the Great Plains, The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, and the Oxford Companion to Beer. Please come and join us for the presentation followed by a discussion session and refreshments.

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Medical Society Alliance Donates Records to WKU

BGWC Medical Society Alliance

Membership Directory, 1980-1981

Members of the now disbanded Bowling Green Warren County Medical Society Alliance have donated the records of their organization to the Manuscripts & Folkife Archives at WKU.  If not for these posterity-minded individuals, the organization might only be remembered for two nursing scholarships that it administered for many years.  These scholarships–the Newman & Lena Harris Scholarship (begun in 1972) and the Maydelle Johnson Funk Scholarship (started in 1978)–will continue to be awarded annually to WKU nursing students under the aegis of the College Heights Foundation.

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Authors Reading in the West Lobby


During Southern Kentucky Book Fest on April 21, 2012, some of the authors read their books at the West Lobby in the Knicely Convention Center.

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Meet the Authors and Kentucky Literary Award Reception


Meet the Authors Reception took place on the evening of Friday, April 20, 2012, a night before the SOKY Book Fest took place at the Knicely Convention Center on WKU’s South Campus. The annual Kentucky Literary Award ceremony also came to pass in the same venue at the same time.

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