Daily Archives: February 25, 2016

Leap Year 2016

WKU Library Special Collections often commemorates leap year with an exhibit. This year, our efforts to educate our viewers about the legend of the 5th century agreement between St. Brigid and St. Patrick that allowed women the right to propose for 366 days every four years and subsequent beliefs about laws, have broadened.
Sue Lynn McDaniel published an article “Leap Year: Chance, Chase or Curse?” in the January 2016 issue of The Ephemera Journal. See http://works.bepress.com/sue_lynn_mcdaniel/ Last week, she was the “Talk of the Town” in our local Bowling Green Daily News for her research on leap year and has curated an exhibit that closes March 31st in Library Special Collections entitled: “Time to Leap!” displays a portion of our collection.

A case exhibit provides a hint of all the sources now in the Selected Works Gallery.

A case exhibit provides a hint of all the sources now in the Selected Works Gallery.

But most  exciting  for  us this  year is  our  new opportunity to go beyond our doors by opening  the Library Special Collections’ Worth A Thousand Words gallery “Leap Year Postcards and  Ephemera.”  This  site functions as searchable permanent sources for  users not  necessarily OPAC friendly. Enjoying exhibit cases are limited by schedules and  the viewers’ ability to travel to the destination.   Nancy Richey will continue to add  all our postcards to KenCat, while Sue Lynn McDaniel adds ephemera to this online catalog, but  we anticipate wider usage and visibility of our primary sources through this  TopScholar  gateway.  Please  explore the Leap Year Postcards and  Ephemera, via http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ly_pe/  Once you have reviewed the materials, come hear Sue Lynn McDaniel’s presentation:  “Time to Leap” on Leap Day, February 29, 2016 at 4 p.m. in the Western Room of  the Kentucky Building.  For students, this  is  a swipeable event.



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Judgment Days

Samuel Carpenter's judgeship appointment, 1847

Samuel Carpenter’s judgeship appointment, 1847

As U.S. Supreme Court history turns a page with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, we see irrefutable evidence of the personal and professional lives of other august members of the bench in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Circuit Judge (and Bowling Green mayor) John B. Rodes, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Charles H. Reynolds, U.S. District Judge Walter Evans, and local judge John M. Galloway are among those represented in our collections.

In 1846, Judge Henry Ormsby Brown (1787-1852) wrote to his wife Lucy during his travels on the circuit in western Kentucky.  He was intrigued with the “thriving little town” of Cadiz, “with a better society than is generally found in such villages–a genteel courthouse & several churches.”  Anxious (a little whiny, in fact) for letters from home, Brown instructed Lucy to “ascertain by the time it takes this letter to reach you” whether she should write him there or address her letter to his next destination.

When Samuel Carpenter (1824-1900) was appointed in 1847 as circuit judge for the 13th Judicial District of Kentucky, his certificate noted his substitution in place of one John W. Helm, “who refused to accept.”  On the reverse was recorded Carpenter’s oath that he “would administer Justice without respect of persons and do equal right to the poor and the rich.”

Scrutiny of judges has, of course, become ever more contentious.  In 1987, Elkton, Kentucky attorney George Street Boone shared his thoughts with Senator Wendell Ford on the nomination of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Following the confirmation hearings closely, he found the controversial nominee “articulate, highly educated and intelligent,” but nevertheless more “radical” than conservative.  Given the Supreme Court’s “strong and stabilizing influence in this country,” he wrote, neither Bork’s record nor his performance at the hearings justified his appointment to the nation’s highest court.

Click on the links to access finding aids for these collections.  For more collections on lawyers and judges, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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