Monthly Archives: February 2015


Eclectic Book Club yearbook, 1957-58

Eclectic Book Club yearbook, 1957-58

During last week’s snowstorm, you might have spent some extra time relaxing with a book.  Bowling Green’s long history of literary clubs testifies to its citizenry’s love of the same pursuit, regardless of the weather.

Take the Eclectic Book Club, organized in 1939 by WKU librarian Edna Bothe with the expressed aim of promoting “the mutual enjoyment and mental development that result from the reading and discussion of good books.”  Throughout its 65-year history, the club’s members met regularly to exchange books and to deliver programs on travel, famous men and women, and other topics of intellectual interest.  Their reading was indeed eclectic–from Random Harvest, Berlin Diary, The Psychology of Christian Personality and God is My Co-Pilot to Famous Kentucky Duels, Essays of E. B. White, Jackie O!, The Bell Jar, Elvis and Me and Seabiscuit.  At the conclusion of business, however, all found common tastes in enjoying the refreshments served by that meeting’s hostess, arranging picnics, Christmas parties and pot luck suppers, and taking rueful delight in having a club name that was “more consistently misspelled in the local press” than any other.

The records of the Eclectic Book Club are part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives holdings of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Click here to access a finding aid.  For other collections relating to Bowling Green’s many literary clubs, search TopSCHOLAR and Ken Cat.

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No, Rosa Parks was never in Glasgow, KY but her defiant and freedom loving spirit was there ten years before her own historic act. It is noted she was not the first person to resist bus segregation and this article from the April 27th, 1944 edition of the Glasgow, (KY) Republican highlights this fact.  Lucy Franklin and Enna [Emma] Collins, sisters, who were in their early 30s, were visiting their hometown and grandmother, Harriet Allan in Barren County. Little did they realize, they were also a part of the birth of the Civil Rights movement and “mothers” also of the movement. They refused to move to the back of the bus, “We’ll sit just where we are. We paid our fare same as anyone else.” The newspaper report notes their arrest for this defiant act and that they “missed the bus.” Thankfully, their brave act in our local community finally allowed others to never “miss the bus” again. Lucy and Emma’s act, like many others, “strengthened blacks’ resolve and ability to resist their “second-class” status in the United States. Thus, their efforts in the period during and after the Second World War, aided by the international attention to race brought by that war and the Cold War, led to a modern civil rights movement. [This] would dismantle legally sanctioned segregation and discrimination in public accommodations within two decades. (CIVIL RIGHTS IN AMERICA: RACIAL DESEGREGATION OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS, p.31.)

Find materials about this topic and other subjects in the Department of Library Special Collections by searching TopSCHOLAR andKenCat or request more information from


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WKU Libraries opened during Winter Storm 2015


In an effort to allow students a study outlet, Cravens Library opened on Thursday, February 19 and Friday, February 20 from 10am-4pm. All classes were cancelled for the week; however, Cravens was open for business. Dean Connie Foster offered the students and staff donuts for breakfast and pizza for lunch while they worked at the Libraries.


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Meijer is a new sponsor for SOKY Book Fest


We are proud to announce that Meijer is a new sponsor for SOKY Book Fest. Gwen Tinsley and Bill Thompson from Meijer presented SOKY Book Fest Coordinator, Kristie Lowry, with a check today as they signed on as sponsors of the 2015 event.

Book Fest sponsors are how we keep our events and programs free, so please visit the sponsor page at The next time you visit a sponsor’s business or talk to one of their employees, thank them for their commitment to encourage reading and the love of books! #SOKYBF

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2015 Wendell Ford exhibit 2015Ford case WFord0002     In honor of Wendell Ford’s years of service to Kentucky and the United States, WKU Library Special Collections opens a case exhibit on President’s Day (February 16, 2015) which will be available to visitors until May 15, 2015 in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room of the Kentucky Building. The exhibit includes bumper stickers, campaign pins, a license plate, an emery board, photographs, invitations, a necktie, a toy shovel, a Christmas card, a campaign poster, and a Louisville Stoneware saucer.
Wendell Hampton Ford served as chief assistant to the Kentucky Governor from 1959-61; thus beginning, his forty-year fight for Kentuckians that included years in the state senate (1965-67), as lieutenant governor (1967-71), as Kentucky governor (1971-74), and as United States senator (1978-93). A Democrat, Ford was the first person to be elected successively lieutenant governor, governor and U. S. senator from Kentucky. He was only the second 20th century lieutenant governor who, as a Democrat, served under a Republican governor.
In his state of the commonwealth address, Governor Ford stressed the need for government to be reorganized, more responsible and more representative. No Kentucky legislative bill Governor Ford supported failed to pass and he vetoed several measures. As United States Senator, he served as Democratic Whip (1991-99), chairman, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences (1977-78), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (1977-82), Select Committee to Study the Committee System (1983-84), Committee on Rules and Administration (1987-94), Joint Committee on Printing (1989-1994).

Wendell Ford fought for Kentuckians.


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Architecture by Moonlight: Rebuilding Haiti, Redrafting a Life

Architecture by Moonlight (11)

Paul E. Fallon, an architect from Massachusetts who specializes in healthcare design, gave a presentation on his architectural design experience in Haiti, an earthquake-prone country in Central America, to an audience mostly of WKU students of architecture at Barnes & Noble on February 19, 2015. The presentation was part of the WKU Libraries’ “Far Away Places” speaker series.

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The NAACP in Bowling Green

Reverend Henry D. Carpenter was a leader in the Bowling Green NAACP.

Reverend Henry D. Carpenter was a leader in the Bowling Green NAACP.

On this day (February 12) in 1909, a group of activists in New York decided to reinvigorate African Americans’ post-Reconstruction quest for civil and political rights by forming the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  Exactly a decade later, the Bowling Green, Kentucky branch of the NAACP was organized.  At a mass meeting at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, after hearing the urgings of various speakers on “the good that can result from same,” the first 37 members enrolled.

The Manuscripts & Folklife Archives holdings of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections include copies of the membership lists and minutes of the Bowling Green NAACP from its inception to June 1927.  Meetings, which rotated through the churches of the city, featured music, prayer, speakers, and discussions of local issues affecting African Americans.  For example, at an executive meeting in March 1919, the problems of “unequal accommodations for our race in traveling,” the “unsanitary conditions existing in the colored Waiting Room at the [train] depot,” and “The Need of a lunch stand for our Race at the depot” were referred to a committee on grievances for follow-up with the proper authorities.  In May, a clergyman “spoke of indignities heaped upon our people by arresting them on suspicion and when proven guiltless nothing done to exonerate the suspect.”

The chapter also considered issues brought to its attention in press releases from the national organization.  At a meeting in June 1921, local churches were asked to take special offerings for the “stricken & suffering” victims of a destructive race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in October 1922 the executive resolved to collect funds to support the NAACP’s advocacy of a federal anti-lynching law.

Click here for a finding aid to the NAACP (Bowling Green Chapter) Collection.  For more collections on African Americans in Kentucky, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Dr. Lowell H. Harrison exhibit and painting unveiling

Courtesy of WKU Archives.

Courtesy of WKU Archives.

The career of Dr. Lowell H. Harrison, faculty emeritus, Department of History, WKU, is being celebrated with an exhibit which opened on Wednesday, February 3, 2015, in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room of Library Special Collections at the Kentucky Building. Utilizing artifacts, photographs, and manuscripts, the case highlights his national reputation as a scholar, educator, WKU faculty member, and public speaker.
On Monday, February 9th at 3:30 p.m., a portrait of Dr. Harrison will be unveiled which will hang permanently in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room. Artist Nancy Disher Baird, faculty emeritus, Department of Library Special Collections, will make brief remarks. The public is invited to celebrate with us.
The case exhibit will close on February 11, 2015.

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Measles: The Sounds and the Silence

Thomas E. Bramlette, immunotherapy counselor

Thomas E. Bramlette, immunotherapy counselor

Measles “attacked every part of our camp at once,” wrote John W. Tuttle, a native of Wayne County who served with the Third Kentucky Infantry during the Civil War.  In 1861, while at Camp Robinson near Danville, he noted the deaths of 61 soldiers and the suffering of countless others.  It “settled upon the lungs of hundreds, perhaps thousands, and more or less seriously impaired their constitutions.”  The effects were so debilitating that “at times, the spasmodic coughing” of the sick, especially in the cold, rainy autumn weather, made it “almost impossible” to hear orders during drills and parades.  Their commander, Colonel Thomas E. Bramlette, was so irritated by the cacophony of his non-immune troops, remembered Tuttle, that he once “severely reprimanded the men of his regiment for not having had the measles when they were children.”

In Breckinridge County toward the end of the war, Bevie Cain saw a different side effect of the illness.  “We are just recovering from a long round of the measles which has been in our family for nearly three weeks!” she wrote a friend.  “I have escaped thus far, though I am grieved that they have so sadly afflicted my brother, who is almost deaf.”  While out hunting near a road, the boy failed to respond when some passing soldiers called out to him.  “I do not know what the consequence would have been,” Bevie wrote, “if a friend of his . . . had not come to his assistance, and informed them of his misfortune.”  The proud young woman, an unrepentant Confederate sympathizer, mourned her brother’s condition.  “Oh!  I don’t know how I could bear the thought of his remaining thus all his life.”

These accounts of the measles are part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives holdings of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Click on the links to access finding aids.  For other collections documenting Kentuckians’ battles with contagious diseases, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Pet Rattlesnake, Heartbroken, Dies

The Biology Department is mourning the loss of its pet rattlesnake. Death came stealing in on Sunday night after Homecoming and claimed it for her own. Some seem to think that the rattler was so disappointed over Western’s loss to Murray that it felt that future life was not worth while, even if that life was to be devoted to science.

None of the other depart[ments] was affected, as no one but Death and the Biology Department would want a rattlesnake or care what became of it.

Yes, we are digitizing more College Heights Heralds.  I do enjoy reading through them and coming across tidbits like the one above from the Nov. 10, 1933 issue.  The October 27th issue had reported the 20 to 6 homecoming game rout.  Apparently it was too much for a devoted Hilltopper rattle snake to take.

The latest issues to be digitized are 1933-1941, 2005 & 2006.  Check them out in TopScholar – search by date.

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