Monthly Archives: October 2015

Hire Intern Scholarship, A First in Special Collections

HirschMy name is Sidney Hirsch and I am proud to be the first Dr. Delroy and Patricia Hire Intern in the Department of Library Special Collections this fall.  I am a senior at WKU with a double major in history and sociology with a minor in art history.  I have a strong passion for learning and researching history, specifically the history of the United States, and the people who built our nation.  I grew up on a farm in a rural community, so I enjoy learning about the early farmers and settlers of south central Kentucky presented in the Petersen collection, which I have been working with this semester.  I have also been working on a project concerning Joe Downing, an internationally known artist and native of Monroe County, Kentucky.  His abstract works of brilliant colors have hung in galleries from Kentucky all the way to Paris, France, and this collection has been particularly interesting due to my attraction to art history.

The research presented by Dr. Albert J. Petersen Jr., provides a range of slides and notes recording vernacular architecture of south central Kentucky that he hoped would become part of the National Register of Historic Places,

Photo of a single pen log cabin in Allen County from the Petersen Collection.

Photo of a single pen log cabin in Allen County from the Petersen Collection.

specifically Allen and Monroe counties.  Allen County was formed in 1815 from land which was previously part of Warren and Barren counties.  The architecture represented in the collection reflects the style of each county’s earliest settlers and their use of the abundant timber and local resources.  The research conducted by Petersen and his students sited that 48 of the 283 buildings recorded were single pen log cabins, characterized by one room and an exterior brick chimney.  Pictured is an example of this style recorded as the John Cole home.

Brick House

Photo of the Brick House in Monroe County found in the Petersen Collection.

Monroe County, founded five years after Allen County in 1820, was also a subject of research for Petersen and his geography students.  This area’s abundant supply of natural resources, both above and underground, brought the county’s population to nearly 5,000 at its establishment.  One of the homes photographed during the study of the county was a home with an interesting history known simply as the “Old Brick Home.”  The two-story house is thought to be the earliest brick home in the area having been built around 1806.  Its builder, William Howard, lived in and ran his relatively large farm of several hundred acres from this home.  Howard is also significant in the county’s history because he freed his slaves who would eventually go on to found the African American community of Freetown.

Dr. Delroy Hire was born and raised in Monroe County, the son of Osby Lee Hire and Lillian K. Garrison Hire.  He graduated from Tompkinsville High School in 1959.  Dr. Hire is a 1962 WKU graduate and a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He is board certified in anatomic, clinical and forensic pathology.  After furthering his education, Dr. Hire enlisted in the Navy and served for more than 20 years.  He retired as the Deputy Armed Forces Medical Examiner based out of Washington, D.C., and now lives in Pensacola, Florida.  “In the Department of Library Special Collections (DLSC) we have unique collections that allow students to literally touch history,” said Jonathan Jeffrey, DLSC department head.  “Dr. Hire is providing a scholarship for a student intern interested in the histories of Macon County, Tennessee, and Monroe County and Allen County, Kentucky.  It is more than a magnanimous gesture, it is an investment both in our collections and future curators of similar collections.  Sidney Hirsch is a fine example of Dr. Hire’s investment.  This is the first intern scholarship ever offered in our department.  We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to WKU students.”


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by | October 30, 2015 · 8:15 pm

“Behind the Scenes” tour of the Educational Resources Center

Library faculty and staff took a “Behind the Scenes” tour of the Educational Resources Center (ERC) October 28 to learn more about the materials, patrons, and resources available for use. Ellen Micheletti, longtime staff member of the ERC staff, escorted the group, offering interesting information and tidbits about the ERC.

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WKU Libraries honored Dr. Lyons and Anne Epperson for open access accomplishments

Dr. Scott Lyons, Associate Professor and Director for School of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport and WKU alum Ann Epperson were honored on October 22 at a reception in Helm Library as the inaugural inductees into WKU Libraries Open Access Hall of Fame.DSC_0558


Lyons is the founder and editor of the International Journal of Exercise Science (IJES) which debuted on TopSCHOLAR®, the research and creative activity database of WKU,  in 2007 with over 345,000 downloads to date.

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Epperson was honored in the student category for her thesis Internet GIS as a Historic Place-Making Tool for Mammoth Cave National Park which has been downloaded nearly 15,000 times.


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Filed under Events, Flickr Photos, Latest News, People

In the Footsteps of Fallen Heroes: France at War

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We’ve Been Everywhere: presented its first Fall 2015 speaker, In the Footsteps of Fallen Heroes: France at War, by Amanda Hardin.

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Filed under Events, Flickr Photos, People, We've Been Everywhere

It’s A Small World!

Primary source for family of Robert and Rhoda (Long) Ground

Primary source for family of Robert and Rhoda (Long) Ground










On Monday, October 19th, WKU Library Special Collections finding aids on KenCat and TopScholar provided access to a researcher accessing the Ground Family Tree from Italy. Although we had numerous hits in the past from all over the United States as the tree begins with Robert Ground, born 1767 in Thorney, Cambridgeshire, England, migrating to the United States around 1784.KL005

On Thursday, October 21st, we had a researcher interested in our Dorothy Grider Collection which was located via TopScholar.  We were able to meet the primary source request by sending the digital image above.

These are just two examples of how Library Special Collections now has a worldwide research population thanks to and TopScholar.  Our faculty are delighted to be making primary sources accessible around the globe!

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Filed under Reference, Uncategorized

WKU Archives Video Digitization Project ~ Grand Finale!

At the end of September we received the last shipment of 2-inch quadruplex

2 Inch Quad Videotape

2 Inch Quad Videotape

videotapes back to WKU Archives and along with the originals came DVDs of the converted tapes. We have completed uploading the videos to YouTube and the following are now available:

Kentucky Constitution Revision Debate – a town hall meeting to discuss the pros and cons of revising the Kentucky constitution with Lt. Governor Thelma Stovall and Richard Lewis debating the issue.

Installation of WKU President Donald Zacharias Part I & Part II, 1979 Continue reading

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“I have seen enough”

Verdun, 1918

Verdun, 1918

In May 1918, Simpson County, Kentucky native James Knox Polk Lambert (1864-1960) left his Chicago law practice to volunteer with the YMCA in ministering to American soldiers fighting overseas.  During his 15-month tour in England and France, Lambert witnessed the transformation of Europe: a last-ditch German offensive, the Armistice, the wild celebrations following successful negotiation of a peace treaty, and the appalling destruction left behind by the war.  He kept a diary of his activities, and reflected on his experiences in a lengthier journal.  Both are now part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.

After the U.S. entered the war, the YMCA was charged with bolstering the welfare and morale of American soldiers with entertainment, educational, religious and other programs.  The end of hostilities, however, did not signal the end of the YMCA’s mandate.  Millions of weary servicemen now turned their eyes toward home, and James Lambert and his colleagues faced the daunting task of keeping them emotionally, spiritually and recreationally occupied as they endured the logistic and bureaucratic trials of mass demobilization.

In addition to the ruin the war brought to the French countryside, Lambert was most struck by the ferocious impatience of the soldiers awaiting repatriation.  “The months of January, February and March [1919],” he wrote, “were marked by the most intense agitation of the boys to go home.”  He found most soldiers he encountered “in the grip of that mania,” unreconciled to the fact that, even at an exit rate of 300,000 men per month, it would take 7 months to get everyone home.  Some of the men, observed Lambert, were obsessed with a rumor that the government was secretly plotting to keep them in the Army for life; so high was the level of anxiety that General John J. Pershing, Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, actually feared a mutiny.  When Lambert suggested that the men spend their time sightseeing and enjoying some postwar tourism courtesy of the YMCA, the reply was predictable: “I have seen enough.  I never want to see this country again.”  For all he had seen, however, James Lambert’s experiences at the close of the Great War marked the beginning of a lifelong fascination with European history and culture.

Touring the battlefields

Touring the battlefields

Click here to access a finding aid for the James Lambert Collection.  For other collections about World War I, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives

New Displays at ERC

South Africa Display in large case across from ERC Circulation desk

IYO South Africa Display in large case across from ERC Circulation desk


WKU Libraries’ Educational Resources Center has installed new displays to advertise ERC resources as fall approaches. ERC Library Assistant Rebecca Nimmo was responsible for creating the displays, using her past experience in art installation and curation to better convey information in a visually pleasing and thought-provoking manner.

Patrons will see a Goosebumps-themed Halloween display in the Ellison Die area with a sample of ERC’s collection of spooky juvenile and young adult literature.



Goosebumps’ catchphrase “Readers Beware: You’re in for a Scare!” serves as the inspiration for the Halloween themed display



The Goosebumps theme to promote horror genre reading during the Halloween season


Inspired by WKU’s International Year of South Africa there is an art installation in the large display case across from the Circulation desk promoting notable South African figures Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela and South Africa books available in ERC.



Main display case promoting books about South Africa in ERC



ERC display supporting WKU’s IYO South Africa by honoring historic figures Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela


Finally Ready Reference display area currently hosts an installation honoring LGBT History Month, with an assortment of juvenile and young adult educational books and novels featuring LBGTQ+ characters.



LBGT History Month Display, including And Tango Makes Three


Display includes a sample of ERC's LGBTQ+ collection

Display includes a sample of ERC’s LGBTQ+ collection

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Filed under ERC, General, Latest News, Uncategorized

WKU Glasgow Library ribbon cutting

outdoor picYesterday we celebrated the newly renovated Glasgow Library with a Chamber ribbon cutting and numerous local people in attendance. See link below for full story.

Extensive library renovations finished

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Italian horror film “Suspiria” filled the Faculty House

DSC_0461 - CopyStudents filled the Faculty House last Friday, October 16 eager to see the cult classic Italian horror film “Suspiria” that was in its original 1977 form. Italian film expert Elizabeth Aslop from the English Department introduced the film and led a lively discussion at the end of the viewing. More than 40 students, faculty, and staff enjoyed complimentary food highlighting Italy with meatballs and bruschetta along with dessert options. Door prizes were given at the end of the night featuring a book and two Italian themed baskets of food, coffee, and treats. The next film and last one of the semester features Brazil with The Way He Looks on November 20.

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Filed under Events, Faraway Flix, Flickr Photos