On Saturday, April 16, 2016, the Spring Political Americana Collectors of Kentucky show occurred in Louisville, KY. WKU Alumnus and PACK member Bob Westerman invited Kentucky Museum curator Sandy Staebell and Special Collections Librarian Sue Lynn McDaniel to exhibit items and our online access to the Rather-Westerman Political Collection. Our ephemera and artifact collection is the best worldwide for primary sources on campaigning by national, state, and local politicians in Kentucky.
We set up two computers. One allowed us to do Kencat searches on politicians, types of collectibles, and locations of interest. The second computer played the “Campaigning in Kentucky” gallery of Worth A Thousand Words: Special Collections Galleries in TopScholar http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/pol_camp_ky/. In addition, we brought some of our most unique items in protective display cases to create interest among the members viewing our booth.
The high point of the day was the arrival of charter member Julius Rather who began donating to Library Special Collections and the Kentucky Museum in 1983. Other PACK members rushed to greet Mr. Rather, his wife, daughter, and grandson. Mr. Rather enjoyed seeing other members and getting more familiar with WKU’s online presence of the Rather-Westerman Political Collection. For WKU, the day was a huge success as other members asked questions about making donations and accessing our collection. One vendor donated a stuffed toy donkey with a Democratic candidate’s pin on it to the Kentucky Museum.
Researchers interested in learning more about WKU’s Rather-Westerman Political Collection should visit kencat.wku.edu and search “Rather-Westerman” or the politician, county, or office of their choice. If you need assistance in online viewing, contact our Research Assistance Desk, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT. If you are a potential donor, we would love to talk to you about items you may have collected over the years. For a woman who disliked politics for her first 50 years, I can know say that the “Rather-Westerman Political Collection” and PACK shows are fun!