The University of Kansas Libraries
Spring 2010 (PDF, 1.5MB)
- Welcome Coach Gill!
- Marion Ellet: Essential impressions of Kansas history
- Generous donors continue to show support for KU Libraries
- Gift to KU Libraries celebrates Wilt Chamberlain’s legacy
- Get the inside scoop via Facebook, Twitter, and more!
- Barbara Backus McCorkle contributes “Cartobibliography” to KU Scholarworks, gifts in kind to Spencer Research Library
- The Center for Digital Scholarship: Raising the profile of research
- Learning Studio update
KU Libraries welcome Turner Gill, KU head football coach, pictured here as a University of Nebraska student athlete (no. 12) playing in KU’s Memorial Stadium.
Marion Ellet: Essential impressions of Kansas history
A recent gift to KU Libraries offers a glimpse of a spirited figure in Kansas history. Several hundred books, as well as photos and scrapbooks from the private collection of journalist Marion Ellet, were recently given to Spencer Research Library. Ellet was a contemporary of William Allen White and wrote a recurring column called “Mugwump Musings” for the Concordia, Kansas, newspaper, the Blade-Empire. The column first
appeared in the Blade-Empire in 1926.
“She was quite outspoken and passionate about her work, her community, and politics, a newswoman in a man’s world,” said Sherry Williams, SpencerResearch Library’s
curator of collections. “She was still writing up until her death in 1996.”
Ellet’s collection includes clippings of her own columns and books she acquired, as well as books handed down from her grandfather Frederick Wilmot Sturges, who settled in Concordia in 1871. Travel accounts by the first pioneers exploring the country, offer a view of a time when parts of Kansas were just being settled.
“You can read their impressions of the landscape during pioneer days,” said Karen Cook, interim special collections librarian at Spencer Research Library. “You can go back in time.”
The collection also includes books about a variety of subjects ranging from farming to philosophy, religion, literature and travel. An 1857 guidebook to Scotland was used by Sturges, who sailed there when he was 17. There are also songbooks, a book of poems published in 1873 in Topeka and Kate Douglas Wiggin’s Arabian Nights for children. Thaddeus of Warsaw, an early 19th-century British novel by Jane Porter, whose family papers are already in Spencer Research Library, is present in an American edition.
“The eclectic mix of topics reflects their owners,” Williams said. “The collection gives insights into the wide-ranging interests of Frederick Sturges and Marion Ellet.” Lee Lowell, executor of Ellet’s estate, and her husband, Brad, editor of the Blade-Empire, gave the collection to KU Libraries.
Cook said cataloguing the itemswill take time as the gift is quite large; the books alone occupy 46 boxes. Shesaid the items she has seen so far will
make an excellent addition to Spencer Research Library.
“This donation will enhance our collection, not only for the subject matter of the books, but also for what they tell us about their owners,” Cook
said. “The people who collected thesebooks played an important role in thehistory of Kansas.”
— Dylan Sands, PR intern
As 2009 drew to a close, generous past donors again chose to direct thei rsupport to KU Libraries. Sandra Gautt, a member of the KU Libraries Board of Advocates, madea $30,000 joint gift to KU Libraries and the Dole Institute of Politics for new and expanded programming and
exhibit opportunities. Gautt previously funded the Alyce Hunley Whayne Visiting Scholars Fund, which covers travel expenses for visiting scholars and graduate students conducting
research in the African American Experience archives. Dana and Sue Anderson gave $10,000
for the African American Experience collection, part of the Kansas Collection at Spencer Research Library. The Andersons have made many previous gifts to support studies of the region’s historical ethnic and racial diversity, and this new gift is already helping to further build this collection.
“We’re very excited about the new opportunities these gifts offer KU Libraries,” said Dean Lorraine Haricombe. “We are grateful for benefactors like Sandra Gautt and Dana and Sue Anderson, whose ongoing support enables us to continue and build on our tradition of excellence.”
Story by Dylan Sands
The wave of March Madness may have crestedin Lawrence, but a recent gift to the University of Kansas
Libraries will give Jayhawk fans the opportunity to celebrate KU’s basketball legacy well into the future.
Barbara O. Chamberlain-Lewis, sister of legendary Jayhawk Wilt Chamberlain,has given a collection of her brother’s letters, postcards and newspaper clippings to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library.
“This gift is unique,” said Becky Schulte, university archivist. “We don’t have these kinds of papers from any student athletes, so this is really significant.”
The collection includes Chamberlain’s correspondence with other luminaries from Jayhawk history such as former KU men’s basketball coaches Phog Allen and Dick Harp. The letters range from a simple note from Dolph Simons, Sr., editor and publisher of the then-Lawrence Daily Journal-World, welcoming Chamberlain to KU to more serious exchanges that demonstrate the racial climate of the time.
A letter sent to Chamberlain from former Oklahoma City University coach Abe Lemons details aheated game between KU and OCU in which OCU’s players were suspected of intentionally fouling Chamberlain, and spectators threw everything from food to seat cushions onto the court.
Other items in the gift include Western Union telegrams, newspaper articles and additional correspondence.
“Wilt had to deal with the changing ideals of his time,” Schulte said.“These things would interest not only basketball fans but also anyone interested in history and American studies.”
Chamberlain-Lewis made the gift while in Lawrence to attend a basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse and visit the Spencer Research Library.
“Wilt kept these documents as his special treasures,” Chamberlain-Lewis said of the gift. “I wanted them to go to the right place where the legacy can continue. They belong back in Kansas.”
The items are being cataloged and will reside in the University Archives, the repository for the records documenting the history of KU. The impact of Wilt Chamberlain has been felt by many who had lifelong friendships with the former University of Kansas basketball player, as well as by those who have been affected by his generosity.
Want to hear about what’s going on at KU Libraries—and join in on the conversation? Meet up with us on our “University of Kansas Libraries” Facebook page, or follow “KULibraries” on Twitter, to learn about new books and resources, find out about upcoming campus events, see pictures and videos, and catch up on what’s happening. We would love to hear from you, so visit www.lib.ku.edu/social today to get started!
Barbara Backus McCorkle contributes “Cartobibliography” to KU
Scholarworks, gifts in kind to Spencer Research Library
Last November, Barbara Backus McCorkle made the product of 30 years of her research on 18th-century maps freely available to all in KU Scholarworks. Her “Cartobibliography of the Maps in 18th Century British and American Geography Books” was published as an e-book in the University of Kansas digital repository at http://hdl.handle.net/1808/5564.
McCorkle’s “Cartobibliography” contains 470 individual entries about geography books and 6,700 entries for
individual maps within those books. “Something like this is a tremendous aid to finding the maps in the books,”
said Dr. Karen Cook, interim special collections librarian at Spencer Research Library.
“There was no bibliography of these items, so I made one,” McCorkle said of her book. Her work took her to libraries all over the U.S. and U.K.,
pouring over English geography books from the eighteen century, compiling details of every map on every page.
“I tried to see at least three copies of every book, because they varied between printings,” McCorkle said.
That scholarly attention to detail took time. “This was the one project that was always there,” McCorkle said. “Early on, the Special Libraries
Association gave me a grant to do some work, but it was something I had to fit in to whatever else I was doing.”
The project is significant toresearchers because “although many of these books are digitized and online, finding aids are not set up to help
scholars find specific maps,” McCorkle said. “Also, not everybody has access
to those databases.”
Accessibility to researchers was a major factor for McCorkle in deciding where her book would be published.
“I chose KU Scholarworks because I thought it would reach more people,” she said.
Accompanying the gift of McCorkle’s scholarship is a gift to Spencer Research Library of the research materials she gathered over the course of this project, such as photocopies of the maps she wrote about, and printouts of the English Short Title Catalogue record for every item in her book.
These follow an earlier gift of 125 geography texts, gazetteers and geographical dictionaries from the 18th century that McCorkle made in 2006.
Cook stressed the scholarly potential of the combination of McCorkle’s gift of print materials to Spencer and herelectronically published work.
“For the type of research that people need to do with old maps, they really need to work with the originals. There’s only so much you can do with the digital images,” Cook said.
McCorkle served as an associate librarian at KU from 1968 to 1974, then spent time at both Purdue University and Yale University, finishing her
career as map curator at Yale. In her tenure at KU, McCorkle helped expand KU Libraries’ collection of geography books. “We have extensive holdings, thanks to Barbara,” Cook said. “The collections at Spencer inspired the book, so it’s really coming home in a way,” she added.
In March 2010, McCorkle’s “Cartobibliography” was ranked fifth in the top 10 the most-viewed items in KU Scholarworks for the preceding 12
— Sarah Kanning
Analysis (CRMDA) in Watson Library. KU Libraries and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences brought the two centers together this spring on the fourth floor of Watson as a strategic collaboration that supports KU scholars more efficiently and effectively. CDS advances research at KU by helping researchers design and publish digital research and produce unique digital content. The center provides training in digital production by appointment, consultation in digital publishing, assistance in developing
scholarly journals through Journals@ KU journals.ku.edu and support for KU ScholarWorks.
CDS works with faculty, departments, and other cultural heritage centers to produce and organize visual image collections. The CDS also offers statistical computing consultation, and assistance with projects using geographic information systems consultation in conjunction with the GIS and Numeric Data Lab in Anschutz Library. Together with CRMDA, CDS provides expertise and consulting, formal and informal meeting spaces, equipment, workshops, and educational opportunities for researchers and students engaged in developing research and producing scholarship at KU.
KU Libraries are moving aheadwith plans for the Learning Studio project, which will transform the third and fourth floors of Anschutz Library
into a flexible learning space for individuals and groups, designed to help achieve Chancellor Gray-Little’s goals for student recruitment and
The first phase of the project, to be completed this fall, will cost $500,000. There are many opportunities for private support of this project.
To learn more, contact Kevin Kelly at KKelly@KUEndowment.org
Bibliophile is published in print and online semi-annually by the University of Kansas Libraries for alumni, friends and benefactors. Printing is paid for with private contributions. Correspondence should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
502 Watson Library
1425 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
Dean of KU Libraries –Lorraine J. Haricombe
Editor – Rebecca Smith
Design and production – Kristina Crawford, design intern
Contributing Writers – Sarah Kanning, Dylan Sands, PR intern