In the photographic holdings of the Kentucky Library Research Collections are several early photographic images by C. R. (Clement Reeves) Edwards. He was a photographer, portrait and landscape artist originally from Woodston, New Jersey. He came to Bowling Green in 1857 and opened a photography studio and also offered his services as a portrait painter. This ambrotype is
an example of his fine photography work. Although, the image is not identified, it may be Edwards’s farm and his third wife, Margaret Lewis, whom he married in 1858. He died on February 4, 1898.
The fragility of these one-of-a-kind photographs mandated that they be cased. In 1842, Samuel Peck patented a more durable case than the previous leather or wooden ones. These “Union” cases were composed of gutta-percha, an early plastic. They could be molded to hold any surface design and dyed. This Edwards ambrotypes has a “Union” case embossed with an elk and woods scene. Additionally, the Kentucky Museum has 14 oil paintings by Edwards. Ten are portraits including two self-portraits and four are landscapes. For more information about early photographs and their identification and care email email@example.com Other photographic and illustrative holdings of the Department of Special Collections may be viewed at KenCat at kencat.wku.edu
On Tuesday October 7th, Lyndsey Pender, a student assistant in the Department of Special Collections, was inducted into the National Society for Collegiate Scholars Honor Society. The National Society for Collegiate Scholars is an honor society dedicated to providing its members with opportunities to develop their leadership skills, and opportunities to positively change their campuses and communities by participating in service activities. These opportunities serve to enhance the member’s undergraduate experience while preparing them with skills necessary to succeed post-graduation. The WKU Chapter of National Society for Collegiate Scholars was chartered in 2005 and it inducts new members every fall.
Lyndsey is invaluable to the work we do in the KLRC. With her excellent skills in so many areas, she enables the library to accomplish not only daily tasks but long term goals. Like all student assistants, we are very dependent and thankful for each of them and their hard work. Congratulations to Lyndsey!
Each year the Kentucky Library Research Collection receives many valuable donations. Recently, we received a Woolsey Family Bible. The bible was an 1887 “Peerless” Edition of the Parallel Bible: containing the Authorized and Revised versions of the Old and New Testaments, arranged in parallel columns; a complete concordance; with a comprehensive Bible dictionary. Since one of our collecting strengths is genealogical, we greatly appreciated the marriages, births and deaths that were included starting with Sanford C. Woolsey and Angie Smith and their children. This genealogical information about this specified family also included photographs which made the bible even more unique. One of the marriages noted was also performed at Historic Diamond Cave in Park City, KY.
Family bibles were very important before the advent of official government records. Even many non-religious families chose to use a family Bible as a record keeper. These bibles were sold in stores, by mail order and by door-to-door salesmen. The selling factor was not the holy scriptures but the blank pages between the Old and New Testaments that were waiting to be filled in with names, dates of births, marriages and deaths. This may have been the only record of such important dates in the lives of our ancestors and may give us that elusive maiden name and include other information such as baptismal information or names of godparents. The bibles also became the repository for numerous keepsakes such as newspaper clippings, funeral cards, pressed flowers, and other items that were valuable or meaningful to the owner. Please see KenCat for a listing of our family bible holdings.
When the Panama Canal opened to traffic 100 years ago on Aug. 15, 1914, it was a great feat of innovation and skill and connected the world’s two largest oceans. The opening event drew many news outlets and photographers. Its appeal has continued throughout the years as evidenced by this photograph produced by the Galloway Company of New York. Native Kentuckian, Ewing Galloway (1881-1953) who was born in “Little Dixie,” in Henderson, started his career as a lawyer and city prosecutor. In 1920, he opened his own photographic company which would become the largest stock photograph agency in the United States. His studio trained many photographers who traveled worldwide taking images that focused on native peoples, transportation and commerce. The agency today has photographic image holdings that amount to over four hundred thousand. In 1937, Galloway donated nearly 1000 photographs to the Kentucky Library. The photographs cover a wide variety of national and international themes. The image shown here showcases the Panama Canal’s Pedro Miguel Locks, with Gaillard Cut (formerly Culebra) in the distance, and features a large steamship leaving one of the locks for Miraflores on to the Pacific.
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Maria Lewis, Library Assistant in the Department of Library Special Collections (DLSC), recently completed the 2013-2014 year-long training through the Staff Leadership Institute. This program is for WKU staff members who have demonstrated advancement potential in their work. Over the past months, Maria attended classes and workshops that taught and tested, improved leadership competencies, the ability to apply basic leadership principles and to employ knowledge of WKU resources campus wide. The program is sponsored by the Staff Council and Human Resources. Selection for participation in the program is competitive and requires recommendation and approval by supervisors and departments. The program notes that it “seeks to enhance job performance and personal development skills while challenging the spirit of each individual who participates.” Maria enjoyed the diversity of people and tasks in the program and learning more about the life of campus and how things work together. The Library Special Collections department is pleased that Maria was chosen to participate and was among the 2014 recent graduates. Congratulations to Maria!
A recent donation of 11 stereographic cards opens up a view of early Bowling Green, KY. These images are from 1886 and show downtown Bowling Green, the Barren River, an early school, the Fairview Cemetery, Southern Normal School, Main and State Streets and two bridges. Many of these albumen images have not been seen before. Stereographs like these were a vehicle for popular education and entertainment in the latter part of the nineteenth century. These images were mounted on cardboard with two almost identical photographs, side by side, and they had to be viewed with a stereoscope. Viewing them in this way created a three-dimensional effect. These images gave an opportunity for many to see views of far-away lands in a way that was not available to the general population. Their affordability and easy availability also made stereography a popular pastime that lasted over six decades. See other images of Bowling Green, KY by using KENCAT at kencat.wku.edu
Maurice K. Gordon was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky in 1878. He saw service in World War 1, achieving the rank of major and returned to Madisonville, KY where he worked as an attorney. Gordon was very involved with the American Legion and was a world traveler. He was also an avid collector of books, manuscripts and autographs many of which were purchased by the Kentucky Library/Special Collections after Gordon’s death in 1974. One of the most interesting acquisitions from this purchase was one of Gordon’s photograph albums (partial) that show his travels in the Mediterranean area, Western Africa and Israel. One horrific photograph (not identified) shows the loss of life and destruction of war. The Special Collections library holds many photographic images with global perspectives some of which may be seen by searching KenCat.
A broadside found in the Moore House at 801 State Street in Bowling Green reveals resolutions supporting Matthew Lyon and his bid for the election of 1802. Lyon was born in Ireland in 1749 but immigrated to Connecticut in 1764. He served with the Green Mountain Boys and lived in Vermont before moving to Kentucky. He served four terms as the Congressional Representative from the Western District of Kentucky and was first elected in the fall of 1802. Lyon was the first person to be put to trial for violating the Alien and Sedition Acts and criticizing President John Adams thus becoming a defender of free speech rights. The broadside entitled, Resolutions of the Corresponding Society was produced in Russellville, KY and condemns the criticisms of Lyon. For more information about this and other Special Collections library materials see our search engine, KenCAT.
In addition to the many print and microfilm resources in the WKU libraries’ Special Collections, we have DVD and tape visual resources. A recent find in our collection is a 3 minute 8mm black and white film that showcases former President Harry Truman’s visit to Paducah, Kentucky on October 24th, 1959. Truman’s Vice President, Alben Barkley was from Paducah and served as the 35th Vice President of the United States (1949–1953), under Truman. Barkley spent much of his life in Paducah, and has a lake, an airport and other landmarks named after him in the area. The film shows Truman going to a coffee shop, meeting with Paducah citizens and officials and speaking at a banquet during a fund raising dinner. We have converted the film to DVD and so it is available for inhouse viewing.
The Warren County Public Library’s American History speaker series concludes October 13 with David and Jeanne Heidler, bestselling authors of Henry Clay: The Essential American.
David and Jeanne Heidler have written numerous books and articles dealing with the history of the early American republic, the Antebellum period, and the Civil War
Their most recent work is Henry Clay: The Essential American. The Heidlers present Clay in his early years as a precocious, witty, and optimistic Virginia farm boy who at the age of twenty transformed himself into an attorney. They reveal Clay’s tumultuous career in Washington, including his participation in the deadlocked election of 1824 that haunted him for the rest of his career, and shine new light on Clay’s marriage to plain, wealthy Lucretia Hart, a union that lasted fifty-three years and produced eleven children.
The Heidlers will speak at Christ Episcopal Church (next door to the Main Library) on Thursday, October 13 at 6:00 p.m.
Free tickets are available at any library location or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WKU Students will be able to swipe their student ID for these events. For more information about these events, call 270-781-4882.