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Sources: Tony Crawford, 785-532-7456, arcford@k-state.edu;
and Cliff Hight, 785-532-3420, chight@k-state.edu
Photos available. Download http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/jul11/0718archives1.jpg,
http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/jul11/0718archives2.jpg,
http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/jul11/0718archives3.jpg
Cutlines: No. 1 -- Famed author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow donated $10 to Isaac Goodnow to assist in the founding of Bluemont Central College. The transaction is noted in Goodnow's financial ledger in K-State's university archives. No. 2 -- Van Halen, Chicago, the Moody Blues, Willie Nelson and numerous other performers have entertained K-State fans with concerts through the years. No. 3 -- President Ronald Reagan gave his second Landon Lecture in 1982. Additional Landon Lecture records are stored in the university archives.
Video available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtTisho5Jz8
News release prepared by: Tyler Sharp, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Monday, July 18, 2011

MAINTAINING MEMORIES: UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES TRACE HISTORY THROUGH COLLECTIONS, ARTIFACTS

MANHATTAN -- Personal correspondence from a best-selling author, a record album collection from a noted music producer, and recipes and writings from an internationally known food writer are just some of the hidden treasures tucked away in a special place on the Kansas State University campus.

The university archives are a part of the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse department of special collections on the fifth floor of K-State's Hale Library. They feature countless holdings of significance not only to the university and its history, but also to researchers around the world.

Development of the archives serves both administrative and historical needs, according to Cliff Hight, university archivist, and Tony Crawford, curator of manuscripts. But the most important function of the archives is to help the university preserve K-State's legacy.

"We embrace President Schulz's vision for K-State to become a top 50 public research university and believe that the university archives and K-State Libraries will serve a major role in supporting undergraduate, graduate and faculty research," Crawford said. "Many of our manuscript collections are national in scope and support the level of scholarly research that is required of a major academic library."

The archives feature approximately 25,000 linear feet of collections ranging from personal papers to departmental records -- campus departments are required to retain their records for varying lengths of time, depending on the nature of the material. Transferring permanent records to the archives is coordinated through Hight. Donations of personal collections, including papers and other items, are coordinated through Crawford. Photocopy and scanning services are currently available to researchers. The department is planning a more aggressive program for digitizing significant holdings on a selective basis.

Among some of the holdings of the archives that Hight and Crawford say represent significant areas of university history include:

* Truman Capote letters. Capote visited K-State several times while writing for the New Yorker magazine on the Clutter family murders in Holcomb, Kan. The murders inspired his best-seller "In Cold Blood." The letters were to then K-State President James McCain. Later letters demonstrated McCain and Capote developed a familiar and cordial friendship. A copy of "In Cold Blood," Capote later signed for McCain, is also a part of the collection. Capote stayed at the K-State's president's residence and at Manhattan's noted Wareham Hotel on separate occasions. "Capote's letters and accounts of his visit to Manhattan provide an interesting description of his idiosyncrasies," Crawford said.

* Gail Kubik's papers. Kubik, an internationally recognized composer, received many prestigious awards for his compositions, including two Guggenheims and one Pulitzer Prize. Kubik composed the dedication piece for McCain Auditorium, "A Record of our Time." His papers were originally housed at the Library of Congress, but his brother and representatives from K-State arranged for their transfer to the university.

* Manuscripts by Gordon Parks. The famous photographer, writer and movie director was a Kansas native. Known for his photo essays in publications such as Life magazine in the 1940s, exhibits of his images in prestigious museums and his books and poetry, the archives has the manuscripts for two of his books, "Whispers of Intimate Things" and "A Choice of Weapons." Parks' papers can be found in other repositories, including the Library of Congress.

* Clementine Paddleford papers. After graduating from K-State in 1921 with a degree in industrial journalism, Paddleford wrote for several publications from the 1920s to the 1960s, most notably as food editor for the New York Herald Tribune. All of her papers are housed in the university archives; it is one of the archives' more popular collections. "It's probably our most heavily used personal collection because of her international reputation and the variety of recipes and types of foods that she wrote about. She toured the country and wrote a book about her dining experiences," Crawford said.

* Jerry Wexler LP record collection. Wexler, a K-State alumnus, was a longtime music producer who coined the phrase "rhythm and blues." He donated a collection of 2,000 long-play record albums to K-State in 1986. Included in these recordings are many of the artists Wexler worked with over the years, such as Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles.

* Landon Lecture records. K-State's prestigious lecture series, named for the former Kansas governor and onetime presidential candidate Alfred Landon, has featured a variety of influential public figures in its 45 years. Audio, video or text -- and sometimes all three -- is available for each of the 158 speakers in the series' history. A variety of photographs accompany the speech records.

* Isaac Goodnow's ledger. Goodnow led the New England Emigrant Aid Society and was the co-founder of Manhattan and K-State. He used this ledger to record donations for Bluemont College, K-State's predecessor. Included in the ledger are the names of a variety of Boston luminaries, Goodnow's previous home. The benefactors included Jared Sparks, president of Harvard University from 1849-1853, and famed author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The ledger also includes information related to the founding of Manhattan and initial organizational meetings.

* Boyd family papers. Mamie Alexander Boyd, the namesake of the university's Boyd Hall, was a 1902 graduate of K-State. Her personal papers are in the archives and include classroom notes. Boyd's studies were concentrated in printing and general science. Notes from one of her classes pertain to hygiene standards of the era. The lecture titles include "How to stand," "How to take a cold bath" and "Rules for clothing." Boyd's family formed a continuous line of K-Staters that included Huck Boyd, a newspaperman and Republican political figure. Though Huck Boyd was a longtime Republican, he was once a Democrat and a signed picture from President Franklin D. Roosevelt is included in his collection.

* College bell clapper and rope wheel. From a variety of different spots, the college bell signaled the beginning and end of class for several generations of K-State students. The last official ringing of the bell was in 1965, when the first electric carillon was installed near the bell in the Anderson Hall tower. The bell rang once more to signify the death of former K-State President Milton S. Eisenhower in 1985. The bell was removed from its perch in Anderson in 1995 and installed adjacent to Bluemont Hall in 1996.

* Concert promotional material. Numerous rock and roll performers have appeared at K-State throughout the years. Chicago, Def Leppard, Van Halen and Willie Nelson have helped the campus rock and their concert posters provide a historical record of their appearance. Nelson notably performed after a K-State football game against Austin Peay State in 1987 at KSU Stadium, now Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Tickets for the concert and football game could be purchased for $15. "To see a college football game and a Willie Nelson concert for $15 is something you cannot do today," Hight said.

The reading room of the department of special collections is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The department also can be contacted at 785-532-7456 or archives@k-state.edu.