Browse Exhibits (48 total)
“Devise, wit! Write, pen! For I am for whole volumes in folio.” Armando, Love's Labour's Lost, Act I, Scene 2
On 8 November 1623, Isaac Jaggard, printer, and Edward Blount, bookseller, went to the Stationers Hall in London to register their publication: Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, finally completed after two years’ effort. Although perhaps little noticed at the time, we now see this act as a monumental historical moment.
Why commemorate the 400th anniversary of this publication? The 1623 Folio is remarkable for at least three reasons. First, this book created a milestone in English literary history because it put together a collection of Shakespeare’s plays, without which we would not know of roughly half of the plays by England’s most important dramatist—a major act of preservation. Second, this folio stands out in printing history, there being nothing quite like it before: a triumph of skill and perseverance on the part of compositors, pressmen, and financiers. This is the first folio wholly dedicated to professional plays. And, third, for the first time in printing history two actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, gathered the material, secured rights, and watched over the process as a tribute to their colleague and dear friend.
This exhibit spans precursors to the First Folio, the Folios of 1623 and 1632, and successors. Case 1 contains the Ben Jonson Folio of 1616 which he arranged for the publication of his poems and plays; it clearly became a model for the Shakespeare Folio. Also, this case has the folio edition of King James’s works, also of 1616, showing the typical “serious” work worthy of folio format. Case 2 provides fragments of the Shakespeare Folios of 1623 and 1632, a cultural phenomenon in which pieces of the folio were sold separately. Case 3 displays a ground-breaking facsimile of the 1623 First Folio with its iconic Shakespeare portrait. Case 4 presents the Spencer Library copy of the 1632 Second Folio, a page-by-page reprint of the 1623 one. This case also includes William Prynne’s 1632 attack on the presumptuous idea of publishing plays in folio format. Case 5 offers the collected plays of Shakespeare’s contemporaries Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher in the Folio of 1679, an obvious successor to the Shakespeare ones.
This special exhibit not only celebrates Shakespeare, but also highlights some of the extensive holdings of the Spencer Research Library, with outstanding collections of unique value and importance to the local, national, and international research communities. The library’s resources are available to the public, and all are welcome to explore. These selections are just one way the library embodies and sustains the teaching and research mission of the University of Kansas.
David M. Bergeron, Professor Emeritus of English
Beth M. Whittaker, Director, Kenneth Spencer Research Library
In Spring 2023, Kenneth Spencer Research Library hosted the traveling exhibit Photographic Treasures of Historic Leavenworth, Kansas. It was developed by the Leavenworth County Historical Society to “reveal a notable segment of American history in surprising detail and reframe the rich legacy of Leavenworth in a new light.” The exhibit showcased seventeen enlarged reproductions of historical photographs from the post-Civil War era, with interpretive captions. The images included downtown and city panoramas, studio portraits, and close-ups of downtown businesses as well as photos of the old Fort bridge, a steamboat, and the first train depot. The traveling exhibit also included fifty additional photographs that were displayed using the library’s projector and three panels of contextual information about the Historical Society’s Everhard Glass Plate Negative Collection.
In conjunction with the traveling exhibition, Spencer Research Library showcased a selection of collection materials – including original books, documents, maps, and photographs – related to Leavenworth’s history between 1865 and 1900. These are the materials reproduced here, with their exhibit labels.
This is an online version of a physical exhibit that was on display in Kenneth Spencer Research Library, February through June 2023. The exhibit was created by Caitlin Donnelly Klepper and Kathy Lafferty, Public Services. Contact Caitlin or Kathy with questions.
This is an online version of a physical exhibit that was on display in Kenneth Spencer Research Library from through May 2023. The exhibit was created by Walter Sours, Student Assistant with Public Services at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Walter is a History and American Studies student at the University of Kansas. This exhibit is adapted from research that he did on Radicalism in Southeast Kansas for his Honors Undergraduate thesis in History. He chose this topic because he is from Southeast Kansas and feels that the history of the region is rich and largely unexplored.
This is an online version of a physical exhibit that featured samples from a large collection of Italian bound business records dating primarily from the 16th-18th centuries. It was on display in Kenneth Spencer Research Library in the fall of 2022, created by Whitney Baker, Head, Conservation Services.
In the year 1910, a collective group of racial reformers founded the National Urban League in New York City. Its mission today seeks to advance “economic empowerment, equality, and social justice” for African Americans and other underserved groups. Through research on the disparities of common welfares for African Americans, the National Urban League uses their findings to assist and counsel in the areas of housing, education, job placement, and employment discrimination. The League has generated millions of dollars in funding that has supported educational scholarships, informational programs, and employment networks. They are known for assisting in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the planning of the 1963 March on Washington. Today, the organization comprises 90 Urban League affiliate offices in the states that act as a liaison between the national office and local communities. This relationship helps to ensure the closing of equality gaps that exist in underserved communities, and growth in economic empowerment, educational health, civic engagement, and social welfare.
This is an online version of a physical exhibit that was on display in Kenneth Spencer Research Library from March 2019 through April of 2022. The exhibit was created by Tyler Allen, Student Assistant with the African American Experience Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library.
The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the expansion of the women’s rights movement at the University of Kansas. For years women on campus had been working towards a more equal standing on campus.
Spurred by a lack of action on the Unversity's part to establish an Affirmative Action Program, a group of women calling themselves the February Sisters organized the occupation of the East Asian Studies building on campus to bring attention to the problems women faced on campus. Twenty women and four of their children occupied the building at 1332 Louisiana on February 4th, 1972. The February Sisters fought to bring about an Affirmative Action program planned and directed by women, a campus daycare center financed by the University, the hiring of more women in upper level administrative and faculty positions, an end to unfair employment practices (including the large wage discrepancies between women and male employees), a Women’s Studies department, and a women’s health program.
After achieving some success in a meeting with University Senate Executive Committee the night of the occupation, the following years on campus saw the majority of the February Sisters’ demands realized. The peacefully and successfully protested gender inequality on KU campus. The protest united generations and feminist groups, bringing students and staff together to force institutional change at KU.
In this exhibit can be found original documents, photographs, and memorabilia that tell the story of the women’s right movement at the University.
This is an online exhibit from Spring 2022. The exhibit was created by Molly Herring, Associate Archivist, University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library.
This exhibit is part of Conserving Campus Collections: A Collaborative Model, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a partnership between The University of Kansas Libraries and the Spencer Museum of Art to bring together the two institutions around common objectives that advance KU priorities.
Mary Huntoon (1896-1970), a Kansas-born artist and early pioneer of art therapy, is well represented in the collections of the Spencer Museum of Art and the Spencer Research Library, totaling over 400 works on paper such as prints, drawings, and paintings, in addition to her personal papers. Mary Huntoon: Artist and Art Therapist, focuses on three themes: Huntoon’s contributions to the development of the field of art therapy; her artistic career; and an inside look at the conservation examinations and treatments completed for the collection. We would like to thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for enabling this collaboration.
Unless otherwise indicated, all art on display was created by Mary Huntoon, born Topeka, Kansas, 1896; died Hoyt, Kansas, 1970.
“Art is a graphic expression of an experience. The artist is showing what he saw, what he feels and sometimes what he thinks but cannot put into words.” - Mary Huntoon