Thursday, December 10, 2009

Divided Loyalties & Sharing Stars

Hathaway Family Collection pa59m113-0014
Available on KDL:

During the Civil War, Kentucky was a valued border state, which meant though both Union & Confederates wanted it (partially due to its resources & strategic geographic location), it declared loyalties to neither - in theory, of course. In practice, the official state government flew a Union flag over Frankfort's Capitol Building. However, the Confederacy also accepted the ordinance of secession from a convention representing 64 counties, and, on December 12, 1861, Kentucky became the 13th - and, purportedly, the center star on the Confederate flag. A version of the Confederate flag is pictured above.

Kentucky's Confederate government was never more than a provisional government; formed quickly and readily mobile, until a permanent, stable one could be established. As with much of history, it is arguable when this process truly began, but secessionists and southern delegates first met to discuss joining the Confederacy in October 1861. The following month, a sovereignty convention, chaired by John C. Breckinridge, met in Russellville for 3 days. This time, the shadow government formed adopting the 1850 Kentucky Constitution, a capital (Bowling Green, though they conceded to meet anywhere, for realistic purposes), a Governor (George W. Johnson), and a 10-member council, with judges and other officials, as necessary. Their first act was to secede from the Union. Though it was through irregular procedure, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a native Kentuckian, had reccommended their admittance when he first heard of their meeting - and accepted!

Success of Kentucky's Confederate government was not to be, however. Union forces had a general stronghold on the state, meaning the mobile government stayed behind the Confederate lines, which changed greatly throughout the constant Kentucky battling over the following year. The Confederacy required militia quotas from each state, which they were never able to fulfill. Even Confederate KY's first Governor volunteered, only to die at the Battle of Shiloh. His replacement was Richard Hawes. Despite seizing area banks, Confederate KY was never able to pay the required taxes either. Nevertheless, they attempted to establish their permanent government with an inauguration at an occupied Frankfort in October 1862. This again, failed, leading to the Battle of Perryville. For the remainder of the war, Confederates (with the exception of raiders) never officially saw their home state. The shadow government only existed on paper and with the Senators and Representatives in the Confederate Congress. When the Confederacy disappeared, so did Confederate Kentucky.

The image above commemorates the Confederacy, its flag, and the efforts of those who seceded from the United States of America. But is it in a proud manner or is it satire? What do you think?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Celebrating the Holidays: postcards from 100 years ago

Curated by Jeff Suchanek and Gary Chaffee. Scanned by Lewis Warden.

NOTE: Slideshow does not work with Internet Explorer but seems to work fine in Firefox.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Postcards of Lincoln on Exhibit |

Postcards of Lincoln on Exhibit |

To see these images and more please visit the Carl Howell Postcard exhibit at the Margaret I. King Building.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Racing For Love, Life, & Freedom?

Keys' Sadie Hawkins Day Race - UK Stoll Field (1951)
Source: 1952 Kentuckian, p. 278

Gals, grab your guys! Sadie Hawkins Day is upon us!

This pseduo-holiday debuted in Al Capp's Li'l Abner comic strip back in November 1937, and quickly caught on, in American pop culture for decades to follow. The story began when Sadie Hawkins, the "ugliest" female residing in the fictional Dogpatch, KY, tried to find her fella. So, her father set up a foot race for umarried girls to chase after the unclaimed bachelors of the town. Two years later, Life magazine reported that a couple hundred college campuses, including the University of Kentucky, picked up on this popular trend.

The tradition carried on for another 40 years or so, with young women chasing down young men; all dressed up in caricature or and stereotypical "hillbilly" outfits. Later, after the "Sally Mae"s caught their "Li'l Abner"s (both characters from the comic), a Sadie Hawkins Day dance typically ensued, where the best Sally Mae and Li'l Abner were chosen.

Though the exact date of Sadie Hawkins Day is often debated, it's generally around mid-November; most often either the Saturday after November 9th (unsure of this basis) or on November 15th (the anniversary of its 1st appearance in Al Capp's comic strip). Either way, it should NEVER be confused with another cited "Sadie Hawkins Day" date - February 29, or Leap Year - when women are "allowed" to propose marriage to men. The true Sadie Hawkins Day was set (though unintentionally) by Al Capp, in 1937, in his fictional little mountain town in KY.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

WUKY: Big Blue Sports Archives Preserves Memory Of "The Shot" (2009-11-05)

WUKY: Big Blue Sports Archives Preserves Memory Of "The Shot" (2009-11-05)
On the cusp of another UK basketball season, we visit with the school's archivists and revisit a Memorial Coliseum Magic Moment featuring the 1958 National Championship Team.

Click on the WUKY link above to listen to Doug Boyd and Deirdre Scaggs talk about one of the great moments in UK basketball history.

Hear more stories and learn more about the history of UK at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Halloween Ghost Race?

2007ua015_134 Ben Williams negatives

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The New and Improved Explore UK

The Explore UK website has received a face lift and a considerable amount of new content. Thousands of images, depicting men's and women's basketball and football, have been added to the site. Oral histories, including several interviews with Bill Keightley, covering the history of UK athletics are also new. In addition memorbila, including UK Basketball trading cards, men's basketball programs, Cat's Pause and a collection of post cards have also been added to Explore UK.

Another exciting feature is a comment section, which will allow visitors to the site the opportunity to help us expand Explore UK. We continue to add content to the site in the coming months including Adolph Rupp oral histories, women's basketball programs and football programs. Please keep in mind that the site is new and we are still working to get all the bugs fixed but we hope you enjoy.

To all Kentucky Basketball Fans

HOLD THE DATE – Tuesday, October 13th for a celebration of the life of legendary broadcaster Claude Sullivan – and benefit for the Big Blue Archives at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington! The evening kicks off with a Reception at 5:30 pm, Dinner at 6:30 pm and the Celebration begins at 7:30 pm. Ralph Hacker will emcee; Coach John Calipari will be speaking.

You won’t want to miss this exciting evening with many other local sports figures in attendance, while helping UK Archives continue to preserve the history of UK athletics dating back to the 1890s.

A reserved table for 10 is $1,000; individual tickets are $115 each. Cocktail attire. For more information, contact Esther Edwards at or 859-257-1742.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Farewell to Ted Kennedy

Governor Martha Layne Collins, Senator John Sherman Cooper and Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy at the dedication of the John Sherman Cooper bust at the capital rotunda in Frankfort, Kentucky 1987. John Tuska Collection.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Former UK President Frank G. Dickey, 1917-2009

Frank Graves Dickey served as fifth President of the University of Kentucky, from 1956 to1963, succeeding Dr. Herman Lee Donovan. During his relatively brief tenure, the University experienced remarkable growth and witnessed the genesis and early development of a number of institutions and programs of lasting effect and significance.

Born in Wagoner, Oklahoma in 1917, Dickey received his primary and secondary education in Wichita Falls, Texas, and in Lexington. He was graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. degree from Transylvania College in 1939, and received both his Master of Arts degree and a Doctorate of Education from the University of Kentucky in 1942 and 1947, respectively. In 1940 he was married to Elizabeth Drymon, of Lexington; they had three children-two sons, Frank, Jr. and Joseph, and a daughter, Ann Elizabeth.

Following a stint as a teacher in the Lexington public school system from 1939 until 1943, Dr. Dickey entered the armed forces, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant by the time of his discharge in February 1946. His first position following completion of his graduate education was as instructor in secondary education and administration in the UK College of Education. Within two years, in 1949, he was named Chief Administrative Officer of the University's Bureau of School Service, and in 1950, a mere six months later, he was appointed Dean of the College of Education. One of his major responsibilities as Dean was the direction of the off-campus and field service educational program of the University; in this capacity he worked closely with more than 20,000 Kentucky public school teachers, administrators, and school board members. During a year's leave of absence in 1952-53 he served as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard, where he did advanced study in educational administration. In June of 1956 Dickey was named President of the University of Kentucky at age 38, the youngest man ever to attain that position.

The creation and establishment of the Medical Center are the Dickey administration's lasting legacy. In 1954. as a result of a special feasibility study begun a year earlier at the behest of President Donovan, the University developed plans for a campus Medical School-to include colleges of medicine, dentistry, and nursing, a hospital, a student health service, and a medical library. State funding was requested for the project, and, in 1956, with Governor A.B. Chandler's public support, following a personal appeal by President Dickey to the Kentucky General Assembly, and with political pressure generally mounting in Frankfort, an initial appropriation of $5 million was approved for the proposal. Dr. William R. Willard, Dean of the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center, in Syracuse, was selected as the University's first Vice President for the Medical Center and Dean of the College of Medicine. The initial phase of construction was begun and completed, and the first medical students were admitted in the fall of 1960.

The Dickey years were characterized by a significant increase in campus enrollment and major physical growth, stimulated and evidenced by an ambitious building and building renovation program and by the extensive addition of land. The opening of off-campus Extension centers gave impetus to the creation of the University's Community College System several years later. Academic standards were enhanced and programs broadened and extended, particularly as the result of a new emphasis upon international educational exchange and cooperation.

Dickey resigned the University presidency in 1963 to become Director of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, in which position he served until 1965. From 1965 to 1974 he headed the National Commission on Accrediting of Colleges and Universities, and from 1974 to1976 was Provost of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. In 1976 he took a position as vice president of an educational consulting firm.

The Dickeys lived in retirement in Lexington, where they maintained their connections with and interest in the institution they served forty years ago. A recent effort on his part was his lobbying to prevent the removal of the Community College System from the jurisdiction of the University.

President Emeritus Frank Graves Dickey passed away on August 7, 2009 in Lexington.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Supreme Court Justice Stanley Reed Oral Histories Online

The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History has completed an initiative to provide online access to the Stanley F. Reed Oral History Project--an impressive collection of interviews about his career as a Supreme Court Justice. Reed was from Mason County, Kentucky and served the Supreme Court from 1938 to 1957.

Colleagues, relatives, and law clerks discuss various aspects of Reed's career as well Reed's ideology and judicial philosophy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Basketball royalty

Given basketball's place of honor in Kentucky, and the storied tradition of the sport at the University of Kentucky, perhaps it is no wonder that there have been several fathers and sons who have coached or played on the team. In fact, three of the last six UK coaches have coached their own sons on the team.

The "Baron of Basketball," Adolph Rupp coached his son Herky from 1959-1962. Herky was a forward who didn't see a lot of playing time despite being the coach's son. He played in 14 games over those three seasons, and scored a total of 11 points during that time.

Adolph Rupp, 1976 -- 2004ua046_17688_009
Herky Rupp, circa 1959 -- 2004ua046_2020_002

Eddie Sutton's son Sean joined the team just two years after Sutton became coach. Sean played for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State after his father resigned as coach at UK. Sean went on to follow in his father's coaching footsteps, as did his brother Scott.

Eddie Sutton, circa 1988 -- 2009ua017_02_035

Sean Sutton, circa 1988 -- 2007ua023_325_006_05

Tubby Smith's sons G.G. and Saul both played college basketball, but only Saul played at UK. Saul played his entire college career at Kentucky, from 1997-2001. Saul is currently assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, where his father, Tubby, is head coach. Son G.G. (who played for Georgia) is now assistant coach at Loyola.

Tubby Smith (left) -- 2007ua023_127_039
Saul Smith, 1997 -- 1997 Men's Basketball Media Guide

Father and son players have been rarer than coach and player, but there are at least two fathers who have passed down the UK basketball genes to their sons. Allen Feldhaus was a forward-center at UK from 1959-1962, playing a total of 72 games with 299 total points. Twenty-five years later, his son Deron played as a forward in 124 games with a total of 1232 points.

Allen Feldhaus -- 2007ua023_156_080a
Deron Feldhaus -- 2007ua023_079_006_05

Joe and Joey Holland are another father and son team. Joe Sr. played forward from 1945-1948, playing in 105 games with 504 total points. Son Joey was a guard from 1974-1976, playing in 17 games with 14 total points.

Joe Holland -- 2006ua056_01_111

Joey Holland -- 2007ua023_228_018_02

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

They don't make them like they used to

We have all heard the line they just don't make them like they used to. Well it certainly applies to former University of Kentucky Men's Basketball player Vernon Hatton. During the 1956-57 season Hatton overcame considerable adversity to help UK win the Sugar Bowl Tournament. The adversity was an inflamed appendicitis, which was misdiagnosed before the final two games of the tournament. Despite feeling ill Hatton added 12 points against a troublesome Virginia Tech and 17 points against Houston in the Championship game.

Upon returning to Lexington following the tournament "the attacks began anew and an immediate operation was ordered to remove his appendix, which doctors said was acutely inflamed and in a condition that should have prevented him from seeing action for at least a week previously," reported Ken Kuhn of the Sports Publicity Office on July 2, 1957.

Hatton returned to action a month after his surgery helping prevent an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Mississippi. A reporter was so impressed with Hatton's performance that he wrote, "It may become standard procedure for Rupp players to have appendix operations in mid-season." Vernon scored 14 points in less than twelve minutes for the Cats that day.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Funny Flickr Photos

7/31/1953. The multi-headed cabbage, John C. Wyatt photographs: 2004AV001

Every archives sees its fair share of funny, or just plain odd, photos. Now there is a place to share them: the Funny Photos From the Archives group on Flickr. UK is now participating in this photo group, as are 19 other archives. Tag a photo, let us know what you think, and be sure to bookmark the site as we'll continue adding to our photostream.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Quiet Day At The Ostrich Races

That's University of Kentucky sports legend Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones urging the giant bird to victory with a broom.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Does this thing have a USB port?

Altec computer in Memorial Coliseum, ca. 1950. Mack Hughes negatives. 2006ua052

Feast your eyes on the state-of-the-art (circa 1950) Altec computer. This high-tech gadget was the brains behind the sound system in Memorial Coliseum, the then-newly built home for the UK men' s basketball team. It may not be compatible with today's technology, but it does have an FM radio!

Friday, May 15, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?

UK vs. Georgia Tech, 3/6/48 - Cliff Barker, Jim Line, Ken Rollins, Alex Groza. University of Kentucky basketball and football negatives: 2006ua56

Harold Ross Hickman, 1955. Mack Hughes negatives: 2006ua052
Sometimes you look at a photo and recognize that something is wrong, but you just can't put your finger on it.
Spotted it yet?
At least twice during UK basketball history, the name "Kentucky" was misspelled on the uniforms. In the 1948 photo, you can clearly see from Jim Line's (25) and Cliff Barker's (23) jerseys that the "c" and "k" in Kentucky are transposed. Another misspelling occurred in 1955, seen in Harold Ross Hickman's jersey which inexplicably includes the letter "t" in Kentucky. Hickman was most likely a freshman, so perhaps the misspelled jerseys were relegated to freshmen that year while the varsity uniforms were correct?
Theories welcome.

Monday, May 11, 2009

UK Blog Wins Web Award

A big pat on the back to Jason Flahardy, UK's Audio Visual archivist and a winner of the ArchivesNext "Most Whimsical Archives-Related Website" award. Winners were nominated by readers of the ArchivesNext blog, then voted on by a panel of judges. Flahardy's Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century blog brings together a virtual collection of photographs showing 19th century men and their mustaches and provides a running waggish commentary to which other "mustache lovers" often respond. As Kate Theimer (creator of the ArchivesNext blog) puts it, Mustaches is "a masterful re-purposing of something almost every archives has a lot of–unidentified photographs." Take a break in your day to have a laugh at Jason's insightful comments, gather ideas for your own mustache-growing experiments, or learn the technical terms of mustachery by browsing through the glossary linked from the front page of the blog. Congratulations, Jason!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Old Blue

Boarding "Old Blue," 1976. University of Kentucky general photographic prints. 2001ua025.

A 1982 article in a men's basketball program proclaimed "A little bit of the United Kingdom has come to the University of Kentucky." The author was referring to "Old Blue," the 1953 double-decker tour bus purchased by the Alumni Association and presented to the university in 1974. Fixed up and given a fresh coat of (blue) paint, "Old Blue" made it's first run September 16, 1974. The bus could be found on the north side of the Administration building every Monday-Friday at 2 p.m., waiting to take visitors on a free 30 minute tour of north, central, and south campus. It was staffed by student tour guides and was a big hit, especially for kids on field trips or attending basketball camps at UK. According to one tour guide, "Kids really think it's fun to ride on the upper deck of 'Old Blue'."

Restoration work on "Old Blue," circa 1974. University of Kentucky general prints. 2001ua025.

Having seen photographs of "Old Blue" in the collections, we wondered what ever happened to the bus. An article by Don White in a local publication, The Chevy Chaser, provided the missing pieces of the puzzle. The bus was bought at an auction for less than $3000 and stored at a towing company until Ed Nighbert agreed to store it at his A-127 storage business in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. There it sits for the moment, although Nighbert says they do have plans to get it back in shape and running again. Today, campus visitors are given a guided walking tour instead of a ride on "Old Blue." We are still unsure of the date of the last "Old Blue" tour, so would welcome comments from anyone who knows.

"Old Blue," 1984. University of Kentucky general prints. 2001ua025.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Your guess is as good as ours

Pictured above are two photos which came from the Ben Williams negatives. They depict two booths. The first is called the Case of the Curious Bride and has a peep hole cut in a sheet the other is called April Showers and appears to be two women holding guns and two holding candles. Some user generated feedback would be nice since both photos have us stumped.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A truly wild Wildcat

" TNT," the second live mascot, circa 1922-1923. 1998ua002:2528.

Modern UK fans are used to seeing the Wildcat mascot at sports events: a man in a wildcat suit rallying the crowd, dancing, playing pranks. But the history of the wildcat mascot goes back to 1921, when the wildcat was not a man in a suit, but a live bobcat (Lynx rufus, referred to as a wildcat in Kentucky). The first live mascot, "Tom," was purchased by Dick Webb, an assistant football coach. Tom was lauded in the press and paraded out in his cage during games. The wildcat, a human-shy, mostly nocturnal and solitary mammal native to the state, does not take well to captivity, and Tom died in less than a year. He was replaced by "TNT" the next year, who died in a few months only to be succeeded by "Whiskers." There was a long line of live mascots up until just before World War II, the cats either dying or being released into the wild again.

In 1947, the school newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel, ran an article entitled "Live Wildcat Years Ago, Why Not Now?" The article sparked a flurry of alumni activity to set the plan for a new live mascot in order. A 20 pound female cat was captured from the wild in Whitley county and named "The Kentucky Colonel." The Colonel lasted longer than most -- seven years before being sent to the state wildlife farm, where she died of pneumonia. In the late 1950s, a stuffed wildcat was purchased from a taxidermist and trotted out at games for 10 years. The last live mascot was "Baby" in 1969. Athletic Director Harry Lancaster put an end to Baby's appearances after two games due to a fan's complaints about the cat's treatment.

"Tucky," a stuffed wildcat, at a game circa 1960. 2001ua025_0167.

Happily for wildcats and animal lovers, 1976 saw the beginning of the human-dressed-as-wildcat tradition at the University of Kentucky. Gary Tanner was the original mascot. Today, UK claims "Blue," the male wildcat at the Salato Wildlife Center as its official live mascot. Blue was born and bred in captivity and is never present at events.

"The Kentucky Colonel," live mascot for seven years. Photo originally from Kentucky Kernel, 1947. ukawcp1988_12_35_022.

Much of the information for this post was obtained from an article by Russell Rice in "The Cats' Pause" newsletter from August 27, 1988. Volume 12, number 35.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blast from the past

From 1987 edition of The Cats' Pause newsletter

From 1987 edition of The Cats' Pause newsletter

Over the past three months, I have been scanning basketball programs and The Cats' Pause newsletters for an athletics website project in University Archives. Sometimes, what is most interesting (and also provides some diversion from the subject at hand) are the advertisements in these publications. Some remind me of long-forgotten businesses or events in Lexington, while others are a reminder of better-off-forgotten fashions and pop-culture.

What caught my eye with the military registration ad were the references to popular music at the time: "The Boss, New Edition, Rush." Even the reference to the "stereo" is dated, since 18 year olds are far more likely to be plugged into their iPods these days. In the Ashland Oil ad, it was the acid-wash jeans and big hair. And while the earliest ad is before my time, I do remember when the Welgo store was still around, and also appreciate the now kitschy qualities of the drawings.

From 1957 University of Kentucky basketball program

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Women's basketball tradition at UK

University of Kentucky's (then Kentucky State College) first women's basketball team, 1903. University of Kentucky general photograph collection, 2001ua025.

University of Kentucky women's basketball team with trophy, circa 1920s. Louis Edward Nollau photographic print collection, 1998ua002.

The University of Kentucky women's basketball program was established in 1902 - one year earlier than the men's basketball team. The first women's game was played on February 21, 1903. For the first few years of its existence on UK's campus, the women's basketball team mostly played interclass scrimmages, only playing one or two intercollegiate games per season. All games were carefully monitored by Florence Offutt Stout, the women's physical education director and first Dean of Women, and no spectators were allowed. Stout was a proponent of "medical gymnastics," a more gentle form of physical exercise targeted at promoting physical health and eliminating obesity, and considered competitive sports at odds with this program.
In 1909, the women's basketball team complained via a petition to the faculty senate stating that Stout did not support the development of the sport and asked that the athletic association take over the management of the team. This started a power struggle which stretched over almost two decades between Stout, women students in favor of the sport, and the athletic association. In 1924, bolstered by the support of Sarah Blanding -- the new Dean of Women -- Stout finally convinced the University Senate and UK President Frank McVey that basketball was "too strenuous for girls." McVey cited this "strenuousity" and the claim that road trips for the team were prohibitively expensive due to "the necessity of proper chaperonage" as reasons for banning women's basketball. This was in spite of the fact that the 1923-1924 women's team had won the Southern Intercollegiate Championship after an undefeated 10-0 season. All women's intercollegiate varsity sports were discontinued on November 13, 1924. Ironically, the 1924-1925 season marked the first season of men's basketball play in Alumni Gym and a rise of popularity in the game on campus.
In the next decades, women's basketball continued to be played in physical education classes, and later as an intramural sport, but organizing campus dances became the primary focus of the Women's Athletic Association. It was not until 1974 that women's basketball was reinstated as a varsity sport, with Sue Feamster serving as the first coach of a varsity team in fifty years.
Gregory Kent Stanley has written a fuller account of the early years of women's basketball and the campus politics affecting it in his book Before Big Blue. UK Athletics offers a historic timeline of women's basketball achievements on its website under "History and records."

Friday, March 13, 2009

The "Madness" Continues

Even though the Wildcats are out of the running for this year's NCAA Tournament, the University of Kentucky Archives has materials from more than 100 years worth of glory days to revel in! Test your knowledge of UK basketball history with these "fun facts."

1. Scotty Baesler, mayor of Lexington from 1982-1993 and 6th District U.S. Congressman from 1993-1999, is also a former UK basketball player (1959-1963). What was Rupp’s nickname for Baesler?
a. Cab
b. Garbage Collector
c. Frog

2. Which former UK basketball coach toured with the Harlem Globetrotters for a year?
a. Rick Pitino
b. Adolph Rupp
c. Joe B. Hall

3. Who was the first All-American named from the University of Kentucky basketball team?
a. Carey Spicer
b. Basil Hayden
c. Forest “Aggie” Sale

Answers: 1-b; 2-c; 3-b

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nunn Center Launches Online Resource on Digital Technologies

the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History has launched its new online initiative Oral History and Digital Technology to provide a series of educational resources on digital technologies associated with oral history fieldwork. The series has begun with informational videos by Nunn Center Director Doug Boyd discussing popular digital recorders beginning with the Marantz PMD 671 solid state recorder.

Other informational resources will accompany the videos including a resource which will discuss the basics of digital recording. Stay tuned and subscribe to the Nunn Center channel on YouTube

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Madness

1904 University of Kentucky Men's Basketball Team -- 2001ua025:0023
Head to the Hub in W.T. Young Library to see the exhibit "March Madness: A History of UK Basketball in Images." In addition, other screens in the Hub will be showing historic games in UK Men's Basketball, including the entire 1978 NCAA Championship game against Duke. The exhibit runs through March.
About athletics materials in the University of Kentucky Archives:
Since its creation in the 1930s, the University Archives has endeavored to preserve the history of UK athletics. During these 60 years, the Archives has amassed one of the finest athletics collections in the United States, which now includes over 5000 videotapes, 1500 audiotapes, 1500 films, 3000 photographs, 30 scrapbooks, and 250 boxes of clippings, programs, and media guides. The collection is heavily used by researchers, often requiring reproductions of films, videotapes, and photographs.
Sports are a part of our collective popular culture and also connected to the tradition of excellence at the University of Kentucky. Long after sporting events have faded from recent history the images, the accomplishments, and the records set continue to live in our collective memories. The University Archives has the important role of ensuring that the sights, the sounds, the facts, and goals are more than a memory.
Later this year, Explore UK will launch an amazing online resource for Kentucky basketball fans and researchers including basketball programs, Cats Pause, ephemera, and photographs!

Kentucky's role in the war effort

The notion of the war effort can be traced back to the French Revolution when leaders called for citizens to form a lavee en masse to prevent monarchist forces from reclaiming control of government. The World II version took a slightly different approach. People were encourage to feed their families with food they had grown so food could be shipped to the troops fighting overseas.

The Kentucky Extension Service's war production effort in 1943 included the canning of 86,392,244 quarts of foods, nearly 70 quarts for every man, woman and child on the farms in the state. Kentuckians also preserved 9,068,097 containers of butter, jams and jellies. A total of 114,452 families, nearly half of those living on Kentucky farms, grew 75 percent or more of their food supply.

Pictured above is Mrs. Guy Penick of Fayette Co., KY showing off some of the 1,200 jars she canned in 1943 as part of the war effort.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You never know what you will find

This photograph is further proof that you never know what you are going to find at University Archives and Records Program. Pictured here is Mrs. C.H. Ray of Elizabethtown, KY. She is posing with her winning entry in the national "Fowl Fashion" competition. The competition, sponsored by the Poultry & Egg National Board, was one "in which the feathered folk strut their stuff in costumes their ingenious owners had created for them from poultry feed bag material," according to Jane Watson former publicity director of the Poultry & Egg National Board. Although the date of the photo is unknown there is something about a "fowl fashion" competition that is perhaps timeless.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How the times can change

We at Special Collections were a little concerned when we came across this photograph while processing an agriculture collection. It depicts "war-famed DDT bug bomb for civilians." Published in 1962 Silent Spring, by American biologist Rachel Carson, warned of the environmental and human health concerns associated with the indiscriminate spraying DDT. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides potentially caused cancer and were detrimental to wildlife. The particular canister in this photograph "is said to contain enough insecticide to debug several average-size homes." Perhaps a case of overkill?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Online Resource

Search or browse University of Kentucky Yearbooks!

Explore thousands of historic images!

Discover the Board of Trustees Minutes!

see for yourself at

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Elvis

So, perhaps this is a stretch - even for me. Nonetheless, Happy Birthday Elvis! In honor of the Elvis Sandwich (fried bread, peanut butter, BANANAS, and some say bacon) we post this photo of women buying bananas from Phil "the fruit man" Pearling's banana cart. This cart was an early campus vending operation, circa 1880s.