Monthly Archives: February 2014

February Out of the Box

Beta Gamma Sigma – photo collection inventory

The Elevator

The Elevator

Elevator – read the latest WKU news ca. February 1914

Faculty Senate Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 7, May 1979

Honors Program – collection inventory

Junior American Dental Hygienist’s Association – 1992 scrapbook

Letter Henry Cherry to George Cherry, 8/12/1927 re: WKU Talisman and the political climate in Kentucky

Libraries Update 2/1989 – newsletter created by WKU Libraries

Newman Center Dedication Program, 1968

Rodes-Harlin Hall – building history and sources

Teachers Side of the Case – poem by Miss Lincoln ca. 1920

Thomas Meredith Calendar File – collection inventory

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The Bowling Green Water Works

Bowling Green Water Works

Bowling Green Water Works

Back in the good old days, citizens of Bowling Green disposed of their waste in “sinks,” underground caverns and streams reached by drilling holes in the rock; they then drew their water from household wells often contaminated by those same sinks.  The result was a close acquaintance with cholera, typhoid, dysentery and, one suspects, really bad coffee.

To tap a better source, the city inaugurated a municipal water supply system in 1869, building a pump house and engine room at the foot of Chestnut Street on the banks of the Barren River.  Additions to the water works over the years included another pump house and a sedimentation basin, constructed in 1927.  When further renovation plans in 2000 called for the demolition of the 1869 structure, Bowling Green Municipal Utilities commissioned the study and documentation of this historic example of public architecture before it disappeared.

The resulting report, prepared by Kurt H. Fiegel and detailing the construction, history and significance of the 1869 water works, is now part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Special Collections Library.  Chronicling the original plans for the facility, Fiegel relates the supervisory role of engineer Charles Hermany, who assisted in the design of the Louisville Water Tower (1856), now the oldest existing structure of its type.  Accompanying Fiegel’s report are more than 25 photos showing architectural and construction features of the 1869 pump house, including its brick work, truss system, and cast iron spiral staircase–aspects of a now-vanished Bowling Green landmark that will interest students of both local history and engineering.

Roof truss system; spiral staircase, pump house (Kurt H. Fiegel)

Roof truss system; spiral staircase, pump house (Kurt H. Fiegel)

Click here to access a finding aid for this report.  Click here and here for additional collections relating to the Bowling Green Water Works.  For other collections documenting local architecture and municipal history, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Macy’s Used Book Sale

 WKU Libraries staff, faculty and students helped move more than 60,000 books to the Bob Kirby branch of the Warren County Public Library for this coming weekend’s Macy’s Used Book Sale beginning Friday at 7am.UBSMilitary

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Haiwang Yuan Shared His Trip to Tibet with Colleagues

haiwang_tibetWKU Libraries’ professor and web coordinator Haiwang Yuan received WKU’s 2012 RCAP grant and fall 2013 sabbatical, with which he embarked on a research trip to Tibet, the so-called “Roof of the World” for his book project Tibet Folktales in May 2013.

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, he shared his adventurous trip with his library colleagues. His presentation drew a large crowd. The audience savored the Tibetan butter tea, tsampa (a kind of bread), and meat pie he had fixed. His book is going to be published in the spring of 2014 by ABC-CLIO. The book not only contains an overview of Tibetan history and culture, but also tells more than two dozen beautiful Tibetan folktales. It also has the recipes of the food and drink he had shared during his presentation.

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SOKY Book Fest partners select finalists for 2014 Kentucky Literary Award

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership announces the five finalists for the 2014 Kentucky Literary Award. This year’s award will go to a work of fiction by a Kentucky author or with a significant Kentucky theme that was published in 2012 or 2013. The five finalists include:

Ghosting by Kirby Gann

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman by Sena Jeter Naslund

“The selection committee has spent the past year reading a lot of books that meet the criteria for the award, and they feel the finalists are a blend of excellent writing and compelling stories,” said Kristie Lowry, administrator of the committee.

The award winner will be announced at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest’s Meet the Authors reception to be held Friday, April 25–the night before the main Book Fest event. For more information about the program, contact Kristie Lowry, Book Fest organizer and WKU Libraries Literary Outreach Coordinator, at or 270-745-4502.

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest is a partnership of Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and Western Kentucky University Libraries. For more information, go to

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Dr. Carlton Jackson

Dr. Carlton Jackson, 1933-2014

Dr. Carlton Jackson, 1933-2014

Some might remember Dr. Carlton L. Jackson, who died on February 10, as the young bespectacled history professor who first walked the Hill in 1961.  Others might remember him as that smiling, bearded bear of a man who, as the University’s most senior faculty member, had the honor of carrying the new WKU mace at commencement in 1998.

In the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Special Collections Library, we remember Dr. Jackson as a prolific author of more than 30 books.  His works covered a variety of subjects and included A Generation Remembers: Stories from the Flu, 1918; Presidential Vetoes, 1792-1945; The Dreadful Month, about a 1907 epidemic of Kentucky mine disasters; Forgotten Heroes: The Sinking of the HMT Rohna; and P.S. I Love You: The Story of the Singing Hilltoppers, about WKU’s own chart-topping quartet.  In many cases, upon completion of a book project Dr. Jackson generously donated to us much of his research and related materials.

Black History Month is a good time to recall Dr. Jackson’s ground-breaking book Hattie: The Life of Hattie McDaniel, a biography of the actress best remembered for her portrayal of “Mammy” in the movie Gone With the Wind.  The first African American to win an Academy Award, Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952) performed in more than 300 movies and starred in the popular radio program Beulah.  She faced many obstacles as an African-American actress in the early 20th century, and endured criticism from the NAACP for appearing mostly in the roles of a maid or cook.  But, after stealing scenes in Gone With the Wind, earning an Oscar, and counting some of Hollywood’s biggest stars among her friends, Hattie could famously reply, “I’d rather play a maid than be one.”

For further information on Carlton Jackson’s papers in WKU’s Special Collections Library, e-mail  For more of our collections, search TopSCHOLAR  and KenCat.

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212° Academy students win Young Science Writers contest

212winners 212° Academy students Kaitlyn Lemily and Madelyn Yonts have been selected as the winners of the “SOKY Book Fest – 212° Academy Young Science Writers” contest. Lemily, daughter of Chris and Christa Lemily, wrote “A Marine Biologist Life for Me” and Yonts, daughter of Roy and Kimberly Yonts, wrote “Working at Logan Aluminum.”  Both of the winning authors attend Rich Pond Elementary school in addition to the Academy.


Honorable Mentions were awarded to Academy students Aidan Berry for his book “Lizards—The True Creepy Crawlies” and Vivien Seidler for her book “Under the Surface.”  Berry attends Plano Elementary and is the son of James and Amy Berry. Seidler attends Rockfield Elementary and is the daughter of Christopher and Karen Seidler.





“The judges were very impressed by the quality of the books produced this year,” said Kristie Lowry, WKU literary outreach coordinator and SOKY Book Fest organizer. “It was a tough decision and we’re proud of all the students who participated.”

According to Jennifer Sheffield, teacher for the 212° Academy, the goal of this project was to not only research and explore a variety of STEM-related interests, but to experience the process of crafting an online book for publication. Through an online self-publishing website, each participating student was assigned an official ISBN number and now has a published book.

The contest is a combined effort between the Southern Kentucky Book Fest partners and the teachers at the Academy. The four students will receive certificates of recognition and the winning authors are invited to participate in the Southern Kentucky Book Fest for book sales and signings.

 For more information, visit or contact Kristie Lowry at (270) 745-4502.

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Katherine Pennavaria Discusses Tangier Island

pennavariaflyer copy

Katherine Pennavaria talked about her recent trip to Tangier Island. It turned out to be “the strangest place you’ve never heard of,” she told the audience. Kath said she had been attracted to the island by the quaint accent the island people spoke. Tangier Island, dubbed the “soft crab capital” of the nation, is a unique island located in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. The people of Tangier, who speak with a lingering trace of Elizabethan accent, live here because they like the lifestyle and have no desire to live on the mainland.

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Mariah's then (Gary West photo) and now

Mariah’s then (Gary West photo) and now

They could be called Bowling Green’s founding family.  In 1797, brothers George and Robert Moore donated land for Warren County’s first public buildings.  A year later, five commissioners established a town here to be known as “Bolin Green.”

After George Moore’s death in 1812, his widow Elizabeth constructed a brick house at the corner of what is now State and 8th streets.  Completed in 1818, the home was Elizabeth’s until her death in 1862, and was then occupied by her unmarried daughter Mariah.  A local woman remembered Mariah around the time of Elizabeth’s death as “about 50, plain, somewhat stout & practical”–but, she sensed, carrying the regrets of a lost and “very pathetic romance.”

Since Mariah Moore’s death in 1888, her house has undergone many additions, remodelings and transformations, including those wrought by a major fire in 1995.  It has housed a plumbing business, a doctor’s office, a carpet store and–from 1979 until its planned move this April to Hitcents Park Plaza–the restaurant known to everyone in town as Mariah’s.

The Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Special Collections Library holds a recent project by a WKU folk studies student exploring the world of Mariah’s restaurant servers.  Interviewing six such employees, Whitney Kuklinski uncovered some of the attitudes, practices and even slang of their culture.  For example, the term “86” means that the restaurant has run out of a particular food or beverage.  Writing “Thank you!” on a check can increase the tip, and female servers generally collect more than males.  The work is at heart a social practice, with the server as a kind of performer.  One of them perceptively concluded that people often dine out “for the experience of being served and not for the food.  Sometimes I can tell people really just want to be served.”  And, of course, the stress of the work breeds that dark sense of humor shared by servers everywhere: “It’s like a misery loves company kind of thing.”

Click on the links to access finding aids for the relevant collections.  For more about the Moore family and Bowling Green historic homes, restaurants and other businesses, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Macy’s Used Book Sale hosted at new location, benefits SOKY Book Fest

The annual Macy’s Used Book Sale will be held Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 2 at a new location this year—the Bob Kirby Branch of the Warren County Public Library on 175 Iron Skillet Court. Thousands of materials will be available for sale at the event. Proceeds from the used book sale will benefit the Southern Kentucky Book Fest.

“We are pleased to host the Macy’s Used Book Sale in the new addition to the Bob Kirby Branch of the Warren County Public Library,” says Lisa Rice, executive director for Warren County Public Library. “The Bob Kirby Branch is located on Iron Skillet Court, off Scottsville Road, next to Greenwood High School.”

Donations of books, CDs, DVDs, and audio books are welcome at Macy’s, WKU Libraries, and all Warren County Public Library locations.

The sale will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, February 28, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 1, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 2. Sunday is “bag for a buck” day. All the books you can fit into the provided bags will be one dollar.

SOKY Book Fest is a partnership project of WKU Libraries, Warren County Public Library, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers. The partnership’s mission is to encourage reading and the love of books, and to be a positive force in promoting literacy in the region.

For more information, visit or contact Kristie Lowry at (270) 745-4502.

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