The debate team, now known as the WKU Forensics Team, has been around nearly as long as WKU. And they’ve been winning awards all through the years. The WKU Archives holds some documents regarding the team. These include programs for oratorical contests dating back to 1910, group photos and photos of individuals in debates. These records are part of record group UA68/6/2 English Department Student Organizations. This picture includes Mary Grise and Lerond Curry, but the remaining team members have not been identified. Please contact the University Archivies at firstname.lastname@example.org if you recognize it. Members of the team from any era are invited to share memories of great debates for inclusion on Shared Memories.
Tag Archives: Archives Month
Shari Theroux contributed “Archives are not a good place to eat,” to the list of what an archives is not.
Archivists, like conservators generally follow the rule of “do no harm” to the collections in their care. One easy way to do this is to prohibit food and drink in rooms where records are stored, processed and used by patrons.
The obvious damage comes from spillage onto documents that at worst would make them completely unreadable and at least deface them irreversibly. Mold can set up in wet documents rather quickly and spread to other documents. It is difficult and expensive to erradicate once it takes hold.
Food is prohibited because it can attract rodents and insects. Once insects have found their way into books, they can be removed through fumigation or freezing. Insects can eat their way through a collection rather quickly leaving only fragments behind.
Removing human food and drink from the archives prevents them from becoming the insects’ and rodents’ favorite snack bar.
The red towel tradition began in the 1940’s. According to Chip Royal, an AP feature writer “A towel came flying down out of the air at Madison Square Garden and landed on a spectator’s head — and another basketball fan met Ed Diddle, the colorful Western Kentucky State coach.” Royal’s article was printed in the Daily News on February 14, 1943. The towels continued to appear and disappear as the athletics and physical education departments swiped towels back and forth. Diddle decided to dye the athletic department towels red to differentiate from the physical education supply.
Through the years the towel tradition has grown. Now few fans appear at a game without a red towel. In 1970, athletics director John Oldham drew a sketch of an arm waving a towel on the back of an envelope which he gave to Dr. Chuck Crume to develop into a logo. These original drawings are now housed in the University Archives along with personal papers of Ed Diddle, John Oldham, Chuck Crume and others involved with the athletic program.