November 10, 2015 Sue Lynn McDaniel from Library Special Collections gave a good argument about genealogical research and its academic relevance. Her research journey for both her own family and her husband’s illustrated how significant history is when searching for an individual’s heritage. McDaniel gave intriguing stories about the distances she drove and the discoveries she found after in-depth steps were taken to find family details. Her talk’s title “Cow Pastures, Courthouses, and Funeral Home Visitations: Searching for Lost Loved Ones” describes the lengths she took to fit the puzzle pieces together.
Monthly Archives: November 2015
Minute obstacles can cause huge delays when moving armies. If anyone doubts this, they need only see how a small accident or distraction can stymy traffic on a major interstate. During wars, strategic transportation routes are often heavily reconnitored or destroyed in order to impede an army’s progress. In Kentucky roads and railroads were of major importance for moving troops and supplies during the Civil War, particularly in the interior. Steamboats were more significant on the Commonwealth’s perimeters.
In a letter recently donated to the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit of the Department of Library Special Collections, Confederate J.J. Williams writes to his wife Emeline about how the southern army had played menace with the Louisville and Nashville railroad, which had only recently been completed through Bowling Green. To disable the railroad, Williams wrote, “our men had torn up the rail road some 5 or 6 miles and Blowed up the tunnel and burnt the ties[,] beat the rails to pieces with a Sledg[e].” They wreaked further havoc by blockading the Louisville and Nashville road “by cutting the trees a cross it for a bout 3 miles and Some other Place they have plowed up the road so they can not haul a thing a long it.” To see the finding aid for this small collection and a typescript of the letter, click here.
To search finding aids for hundreds of other Civil War letters in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit, click here.
As the memory of WKU, WKU Archives maintains records of past employees. Often, this information can be found as part of the records of various departments or committees, in university publications, and other places where the imprint of their presence can be found on the historical record. In particular, past employees generally have a personnel file. Personnel files have been designated as record group UA1D and become available to researchers after the employee has been separated from the university for 30 years or upon his or her death.
During 2015, record group UA1D has undergone significant expansion. Catalog entries for UA1D have also been revised so researchers can find information more easily.
Biographical Vertical Files Integrated
Before computer cataloging, newspaper clippings and other items regarding employees of the university were maintained in “vertical files.” Over time, these files grew to over six cubic feet. These were stored in the closed stacks and not catalogued in KenCat because they were not considered part of the collections, but rather as a reference tool. These materials have now been integrated into UA1D files so researchers can find them using KenCat. In some cases, this means a file exists for an employee who is still alive and is still employed by the university. The personnel file materials will be added to these files and become available to researchers in the future once they meet the criteria, above. Continue reading
WKU Libraries helped spread the Homecoming Spirit in front of Cravens Library with a circus-themed photo booth, Big Red, Wally the White Squirrel and free popcorn and candy. More than 100 students stopped by to join in the fun and take pictures with their own phones. WKU Libraries encouraged student to snap, post, and tweet their photos to spread the spirit by posting or using the hashtag “WKULibraryCircus.”
WKU Archives is staffed by a full time archivist (Suellyn Lathrop) a full time archives assistant (April McCauley) and a 10-hour per week student worker (Jack). We work Monday through Friday 8 to 4:30 and a couple Saturdays each semester.
Suellyn and April spend most of their time processing collections and doing reference work for patrons who come in or contact us by telephone or email. Jack spends his ten hours a week digitizing the stuff that Suellyn and April pile up for him to do.
Processing refers to the act of arranging and describing records so researchers can find what they want and need quickly. Processing can be very time consuming. Continue reading
WKU Libraries’ November 12, 2015 “Far Away Places” speaker series event at Barnes & Noble Bookseller, Bowling Green, Kentucky featured Professor Akiko Takenaka, who teaches the History of Modern Japan at the University of Kentucky. She talked about her new book Yasukuni Shrine: History, Memory, and Japan’s Unending Postwar, published this summer by the University of Hawaii Press.
100 years ago – Henry Cherry accepted the chairmanship of the Kentucky
Democratic Convention. Read his speech in this election season.
25 years ago – the Kentucky Museum published the Fanlight which highlighted an Eastlake style music cabinet, an old fashioned 4th of July celebration and instructions for barkin’ a chair.
75 years ago – the students at the Bowling Green Business University were talking about football and lamenting chemistry class in the BUWKY.
50 years ago – the College Heights Herald welcomed students back to campus and caught everyone up on summer happenings.
October is Archives Month and in Kentucky the theme was Civil Rights. This year members of Library Special Collections celebrated by co-hosting a Pecha Kucha about Civil Rights with the Kentucky Museum.
A pecha kucha is a powerpoint presentation consisting of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each so the talk lasts six minutes and forty seconds. Speakers have to hone in on the point and talk fast!
April McCauley – October is American Archives Month – discussion of archives that hold civil rights materials around the nation.
Karen Hogg – Kentucky Marriage Equality Oral History Project – presentation regarding Kentucky attorneys and plaintiffs involved in the recent marriage equality court cases.
Nancy Richey – Introducing the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia – an interesting overview of local people included in this hot off the press volume.
Jonathan Jeffrey – Juliette H. Morgan: A Librarian Civil Rights Hero – a brief biography of Montgomery, Alabama librarian turned activist.
We hope you enjoy our presentations and learn something new. Library Special Collections is housed in the Kentucky Building and our collections are open to everyone Monday – Friday 9 to 4 and most Saturdays 10 – 3.