Category Archives: Acquisitions

Gift Donation to WKU Libraries from Sister City Kawanishi, Japan

Since 1995 the City of Bowling Green has participated in the Sister City Program with the City of Kawanishi, Japan, a city of 156,000 located in Hyogo Prefecture near Kobe, Japan. As part of this program WKU Libraries annually exchanges library materials with the public library in the City of Kawanishi. WKU Libraries sends materials related to Kentucky to Japan. This year’s gift from Japan range from novels to the history of Japanese paper, from children’s books to works with amazing photography and art.

Keiko Fujii, Project Manager of Cultural & International Exchanges, and Brian Coutts, DLPS Dept. Head coordinate these exchanges annually.

Among the books received include:

Maruyama-Okyo Maruyama-Okyopic









Tokubetsuten Maruyama-Okyo by the Osaka Museum featuring the artwork of 18th century Japanese artist Maruyama Ōkyo.

arikawa railway

Hankyū Densha (Hankyu Railway) by Hiro Arikawa

arikawa library wars

Toshokan Sensō (Library Wars) by Hiro Arikawa

Toshokan Sensō (Library Wars) and Hankyū Densha (Hankyu Railway) by young adult novelist Hiro Arikawa.


Washi bunkashi by Yasuo Kume about the history of Japanese style of paper known as “washi”.


11 Cats and a Pig by Noboru Baba


Picture of the Tōdai-ji












The gift also included children’s picture books such as 11 Cats and a Pig by Noboru Baba and Tōdai-ji Temple by Takeshi Kobayashi, featuring photography of Tōdai-ji. The 8th century Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and it also features the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha.

Comments Off on Gift Donation to WKU Libraries from Sister City Kawanishi, Japan

Filed under Acquisitions, General, Latest News, New Stuff, Stuff, Uncategorized

Raggedy Ann is 100!

For generations, Raggedy Ann has been an ageless playmate for children and collectors. In 2015, she celebrated her 100th birthday. Now thanks to the inspiration of Lesley Montgomery, the Western Room in the Kentucky Building is exhibiting books from Library Special Collections and the co-curators’ loaned dolls.  A total of ten children’s stories written by Raggedy Ann author Johnny Gruelle in the 1920’s are also featured in the exhibit.

Still very collectable, this Raggedy Ann in her original package was for sale on eBay on November 13, 2015

Still very collectible, this Raggedy Ann in her original package was for sale on eBay on November 13, 2015.

Lesley is donating the 1947 edition of Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle (published originally in 1918), a favorite since her aunt gave it as a Christmas present to her as a three-year-old in 1959. Lesley’s loaned pair of “Fifties” Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls sit on the top shelf. Santa brought co-curator Sue Lynn Stone McDaniel’s Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann in 1973. Coincidentally, the child’s soda fountain chair in which Sue Lynn’s doll sits was a

The back of this original box on eBay shows the many sizes of dolls.

The back of this original box on eBay shows the many sizes of dolls.

Christmas present to Sue Lynn’s aunt in 1921 and passed down to Sue Lynn before 1977, giving her doll a comfortable chair. Sophie Trent, a Kentucky Museum student employee, is bringing her pair of dolls to join the exhibit after Thanksgiving, once again proving the enduring joy these dolls bring to kids of all ages.

The second case exhibits children’s stories Johnny Gruelle wrote and a book entitled Johnny Gruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy. Several of WKU Library Special Collections’  books are one of less than ten reported to WorldCat.

We encourage readers to comment on this blog with your own stories about your Raggedy Ann books and/or dolls.  The exhibit will be open through December 11, 2015.

Comments Off on Raggedy Ann is 100!

Filed under Acquisitions, Uncategorized

Tearing Up the Roads

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.

A Civil War era illustration from Frank Leslie's.

A Civil War era illustration from Frank Leslie’s.

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.

The salutation of J.J. Williams' letter to his wife, 13 January 1862.

The salutation of J.J. Williams’ letter to his wife, 13 January 1862.

Comments Off on Tearing Up the Roads

Filed under Acquisitions, Manuscripts & Folklife Archives

1866 Stereoviews of Mammoth Cave

mc28The Department of Library Special Collections at WKU recently acquired a complete set of Charles L. Waldack’s 1866 stereoviews of Mammoth Cave. The collection of 42  stereoviews are magnesium light views about Mammoth Cave, and include scenes of the Hotel, guests, the African American cave guides, and many interior shots of cave formations. Stereoviews, also known as stereoscopic photographs or stereographs, were introduced in the early 19th century for viewing two almost identical images through a stereoscope to offer a 3D illusion.

Originally from Belgium, Waldack came to the United States in 1857, and is the first photographer of the cave. Waldack was noted for bringing “sunlight” to the interior of the cave by the use of magnesium to create images of the cave and the surrounding area.  The 42 views of Mammoth Cave were published by E. & H.T. Anthony & Co.

According to the Journal of Speleological History, “These were the first high quality photographs produced underground in any cave.” Waldack had a photography shop at 31West 3rd Street in Cincinnati and made many excellent views between 1857 and 1873. His most significant were his 42 stereoviews of Mammoth Cave. Twelve of his photographs were printed as engravings in the 1870 book A Historical and Descriptive Narrative of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky by William S. Forwood.

“WKU has long been a premier research institution for speleology and karst studies, and we have a particular interest and emphasis on Mammoth Cave due to its proximity and its long history as a tourist destination,” said Jonathan Jeffrey, Department head for WKU’s Library Special Collections.  “The Waldack stereograph collection is a major and unique acquisition for WKU; we are thrilled to make them available to our researchers.”

These stereoviews can be seen by visiting or by viewing it on the KenCat collection at;keyword=waldack;dtype=d

Comments Off on 1866 Stereoviews of Mammoth Cave

Filed under Acquisitions, Latest News

WKU Libraries participates in Kentucky Building 75th Anniversary Cellebration


Faculty, staff, students and community members joined together Friday, November 14, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Kentucky Building. President Ransdell spoke of the significance of the Kentucky Building over the years and the direction the board plans to take the Museum in the future. Library Special Collections Department Head Jonathan Jeffrey gave a brief history of the building, including original intentions in design, funding sources, and time frame to completion as well as Dr. Cherry’s sentiments. Professor Jeffrey concluded with naming several recent acquisitions that were donated to the Special Collections, including (getting info from Jonathan). Cake, punch, and tours of the building were given at the end of the program.

Some recent acquisitions:

These speeches by Dr. Gary Ransdell are representative of the one and a half cubic feet of speeches that were transferred to WKU Archives in 2014.  WKU Archives holds approximately 350 cubic feet of WKU President’s Office papers dating from 1906-present. WKU Archives

This model bayonet was issued to US soldiers fighting in World War I and was based on a bayonet first produced by the British.  It is one of three weapons recently donated to the Kentucky Museum by Thomas Redford, a 1951 graduate of WKU.  Today, the weapons collection includes 200 plus firearms, edged weapons, and accessory items.  Donated by Thomas Redford. Kentucky Museum


The Sears Family papers contain a large copy book (1850-1870) used by Chauncey Sears, a Shaker from Mt. Lebanon, New York.  Opened is a manuscript hymnal commenced by Polly Ann Smith in 1848; she and Chauncey later married and moved to Ohio.  This collection also includes several loose hymns that Polly intended to enter into the hymnal.  The papers also include genealogy related to the Sears family and some correspondence.  Donated by Drs. Karl & Beth Laves. Manuscripts & Folklife Archives


Josephus, Flavius.  Phlabiou Iōsēpou Hierosolymitou hiereōs Ta euriskomena…  Coloniae:  Sumptibus Mauritii Georgii Weidmanni, 1691.  Anonmyous donation. Kentucky Library Research Collections

(A history of the Jewish nation after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Flavius Josephus;  parallel texts in Latin and Greek)

Photo Album

Comments Off on WKU Libraries participates in Kentucky Building 75th Anniversary Cellebration

Filed under Acquisitions, Events, Latest News

New Faculty Orientation & Information Fair


Faculty Orientation Agenda 2013

The faculty and staff of University Libraries participated in this year’s 2013 New Faculty Orientation on Friday, August 16.  Jack Montgomery, John Gottfried, and Jennifer Wilson answered questions at the lunch time Information Fair.


(From Left to Right) John Gottfried, Jennifer Wilson, and Jack Montgomery at the Information Fair.


John Gottfried and Jack Montgomery answering questions from new faculty members.







The afternoon presentation included a welcome from Dean Connie Foster and then presentations on reference services, LibGuides and databases from John 2013-08-28 16_07_17-New Faculty Orientation & Information Fair _ WKU Libraries BlogGottfried, catalogs and TopScholar from Deana Groves and Research Instruction from Bryan Carson.  Jack Montgomery explained collection development and our desire to partner with teaching faculty.  He also introduced our new Patron Driven Acquisition program which will launch this fall.  A collection of selected resources will be added to our TOPCAT online catalog and become part of our permanent collection the second time they are selected by patrons.  Katie King introduced the libraries’ social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blog and our newest Pinterest).  The latter features pages on 2013-08-29 11_01_42-Greenshot capture formprograms and recent library acquisitions.  Brian Coutts talked about this year’s Literary Outreach programs including the Faraway Places and Kentucky Live series, the Kentucky Writer’s Conference, the Southern Kentucky Bookfest, One Book One Community reads program and Faraway Flix, a new series of foreign film nights.  He also discussed STACKMAP our new newest technical application which allows patrons to click on MAPIT in the public catalog to determine exact locations of circulating materials. Timothy Mullin talked about Library Specials Collections.  The New faculty received a copy of the libraries’ Centennial History.


2013-08-29 14_13_00-Greenshot capture form2013-08-29 14_18_07-Greenshot capture form







2013-08-29 14_19_01-Greenshot capture form2013-08-29 14_19_41-Greenshot capture form








2013-08-29 14_20_17-Greenshot capture form2013-08-29 14_20_47-Greenshot capture form







Link to the New Faculty Orientation Powerpoint:

New Faculty Orientation PowerPoint

Comments Off on New Faculty Orientation & Information Fair

Filed under Acquisitions, Events, Far Away Places, General, Kentucky Live, Latest News, New Stuff, Past Events, Reference, Stuff, Uncategorized

“Extra Ordinary” Worship in 1802

Camp Meeting

No building could accommodate the crowds that swarmed to these religious meetings.

The Reverend John Steele was in the right place at the right time to observe the natal days of America’s Second Great Awakening, a great religious revival that spawned novel methods of worship and new Christian denominations. Reverend Steele (b. 1772) was a minister within the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 1801, he was serving as pastor of a congregation in Bourbon County, Kentucky, when the tremendously influential religious camp meetings took place at Cane Ridge. His religious background provided a unique perspective when he witnessed the events occurring at Cane Ridge.

A Steele letter from February 1802, recently added to the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit of the Special Collections Library, contains some of the cleric’s observations to another minister, John Hemphill of Chester County, South Carolina. He begins his missive by asking Hemphill if he has “heard about the news of our Country…I mean that concerning religion?” He then describes the “extra ordinary” modes of worship exhibited at these peculiar outdoor services. “They fall down some as in swooning fits,” declares Steele, and are “quite motionless” while “others are affected when they fall as if in a convulsive fit. Usually after they recover they address those around them in declaring what comfort they have had with God & their surety of salvation & exhort all around them to come to Christ. When they fall a number usually encompass them & sing hymns around them and they also pray over them — Generally I understand more fall under the singing than under that of preaching.”

Not fitting his decorous style of worship, Steele called the meetings ones “of confusion and disorder” where “in the same house & in the same assembly you may hear & see people engaged in preaching, praying, exhorting, singing, falling, rising, running, walking, talking, sitting, lying.  See people in all positions–in all situations, all exercises at the same time–their united sounds of different voices” making “the Sylvan plain to reecho from afar.” Steele doubted the sincerity and veracity of the erratic worship, telling Hemphill:  “I cannot find on what principles I can call it the Religion of Jesus.” After leaving Kentucky in the early-1830s, Steele continued to pastor Associate Reformed churches in southern Ohio.

To see other religious related collections in Manuscripts & Folklife Archives search TopSCHOLAR. To see a finding aid for the Steele small collection or view a full-text typescript of the letter click here.

Comments Off on “Extra Ordinary” Worship in 1802

Filed under Acquisitions

Oh, The Places You Can Go…..Through Photographs

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.RevolutionYoung Woman of Bethlehem

Comments Off on Oh, The Places You Can Go…..Through Photographs

Filed under Acquisitions

Invest Locally!

Bowling Green Savings & Building Association stock certificate, 1932

Bowling Green Savings & Building Association stock certificate, 1932

Stock certificates often provide interesting information about a generation’s cultural and financial history. This certifcate for the Bowling Green Savings and Building Association was recently added to the Manuscripts collections in WKU’s Special Collection Library. The 1932 certificate documents the establishment of an independent savings and loan assocation which was funded solely through local stock purchases. The proceeds were used to make loans for local home and land purchases. The Association sold $750,000 worth of $3 shares within six months. The business, ran by John A. Logan, operated until he began to experience poor health in the mid-1940s. Logan owned extensive land holdings in the Smiths Grove area. He also worked as an attorney for the Kentucky Rock Asphalt Company in Edmonson County and served as president of Smiths Grove Deposit Bank.

Although Logan chaired three of Edmonson County’s Liberty Loan drives during World War I, he later opposed the patriotic pressure placed on the American public, particularly poorer rural citizens, to purchase government bonds over simply saving their money in local banks. In 1933 he wrote:  “The using of the savings of rural country people in the purchase of government bonds instead of depositing their money with their banks and building and loan associations has done more to deplete the cash reserves of banks than any other one thing. The withdrawal of money from banks to purchase government bonds forces the banks to press the people and to collect their outstanding notes in order to keep up their cash reserves required by law.”

The Bowling Green Savings and Building Association was founded to invest local funds in local financing. This was a real boon to people who experienced difficulty borrowing from faltering, or heavily regulated, banks at the time. This certificate indicates that Elbert Eugene Cook purchased three shares of capital stock in the Association for three dollars per share.  Click here to see a finding aid for this small collection.

Comments Off on Invest Locally!

Filed under Acquisitions

Vogue Archive at WKU Libraries

Western Kentucky University Libraries have recently added the complete archives of Vogue magazine to our electronic resource collection. As the publisher describes this useful database:

“The Vogue Archive contains the entire run of Vogue magazine (US edition), from the first issue in 1892 to the current month, reproduced in high-resolution color page images. Every page, advertisement, cover and fold-out has been included, with rich indexing enabling you to find images by garment type, designer and brand names. In addition to the editorial content, all covers, advertisements and pictorial features have been captured as separate documents to allow for searching and discovery. You can also limit your search by journal editor, to find items published during the editorship of, say, Diana Vreeland (1963-71) or Anna Wintour (1988-present).”

This database will be a highly valuable resource across many disciplines, including:
• Textiles and dress
• Fashion history
• Popular culture
• Gender studies
• Photography and graphic design
• Marketing and advertising

This resource if available both on- and off-campus (off-campus users will log in with their NetID and password). We are delighted to be able to offer the Vogue Archive, and we invite all our library users to try it out soon!

Need help? Call Library Reference at 270-745-6176, or ask us online.

Comments Off on Vogue Archive at WKU Libraries

Filed under Acquisitions, New Stuff, Stuff