“Not only is Louisville famous for its annual event at Churchill Downs but it has also become famous for its many social courtesies extended those who visit at Derby time.”
The University of Louisville Libraries’ collections include visual and written documentation of Derby races and parties. Travel back in time to Derbies past through these images freely available in our Digital Collections.
Most Card fans know that the University of Louisville has a history of winning basketball teams–we are no strangers to championships. And we are no strangers to Wichita State: in February 1963, the University of Louisville Board of Trustees voted to join the Missouri Valley Conference, which then as now included the Wichita State Shockers.
50 years and three (soon to be four) conferences later, the University of Louisville Cardinals return to the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament for the 10th time on Saturday night, facing their former conference rival.
Photos from the University of Louisville Yearbooks show past meetups between the teams, such as these from the 1966-1967 season, featuring Louisville greats Wes Unseld (#31) and Alfred “Butch” Beard (#14).
The University of Louisville’s women’s basketball team dates back to 1909 when the dean of Arts and Sciences, John L. Patterson, heeded the request of a handful interested in forming a team.
It’s African American History month, and UofL Libraries is pleased to announce the addition of a new online resource and a new participatory opportunity relating to local African American history.
The Louisville Leader Collection features all extant issues of an African American community newspaper covering local, national,
and international news published in Louisville, Kentucky from 1917-1950. The building which housed original copies of the paper was badly damaged by a fire, and the remaining issues, loaned by Kentucky State University and the widow of the publisher, were microfilmed by the University of Louisville, with the digital files created from that microfilm.
The long and winding road the texts have taken toward digital representation has made them less than ideal candidates for optical character recognition (OCR), which has difficulty transcribing faded, torn, or misaligned texts, even when they are readable to the human eye. We are therefore soliciting the public’s help to make these articles easier to search and discover by transcribing them. The transcriptions created through this “crowdsourcing” initiative will then be added to the digital collection, improving its accessibility.
October is Archives Month, and this October 12 is the Day of Digital Archives.
Kentucky has chosen a sports theme this year, and since it’s also baseball playoff season, so our Leonard Brecher Tobacco & Chewing Gum Card Collection is an apt digital collection to highlight.
These baseball cards housed in the Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library at the University of Louisville date back about 100 years, when advertising tobacco to young people was not yet considered objectionable, and the Chicago Cubs won games.
Shortstop Joe Tinker (at left) was one-third of the Chicago Cubs double-play lineup memorialized in the 1910 poem “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon,” by Franklin Pierce Adams. Images of his teammates Johnny Evers and Frank Chance are also available in the digital collection.
At the time of Ray Bradbury’s death last week, I had just read something by him for the first time in decades: his short reflection called “Take Me Home” in the Sci Fi-themed special double issue of The New Yorker (88(16): 66, June 4-11, 2012).
Reading his nostalgic piece invoked my own fond memories of the enthusiastic Junior High English teacher who first introduced me to Bradbury’s work. It also, along with the spate of obituaries and tributes that followed that last published work, highlighted some connections between Bradbury’s influences and my current profession.
Ray Bradbury championed libraries, to which he attributes his education as a writer. His “How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated from Libraries or, Thoughts from a Chap Who Landed on the Moon in 1932″ (Wilson Library Bulletin 45(9): 842-851, May 1971) is stored in UofL Libraries’ Robotic Retrieval System.
In addition to the role libraries played in his formation as a writer, Bradbury was influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs. So was my colleague George McWhorter, who established the Nell Dismukes McWhorter Memorial Collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the largest institutional collection of Burroughs materials in the world, in the Special Collections department at UofL’s Ekstrom Library. McWhorter confirms that the collection includes letters from Bradbury.
Bradbury is not the only writer to acknowledge his debt to Burroughs. The Library of America has published two Burroughs titles, with introductions by Junot Díaz and Thomas Mallon; Michael Chabon contributed to the screenplay for the recent film John Carter, based on a story by Burroughs. The U.S. Postal Service is celebrating the centennial of Burroughs’ publications by issuing a Forever stamp of him later this summer.
A History Channel miniseries on the legendary Hatfield and McCoy feud is drawing renewed attention to that chapter in Appalachian history. Many local news outlets have seized this opportunity to promote tourism to the region.
Eastern Kentucky native Jean Thomas (1881-1982) celebrated the musical traditions, dialect, folkways, costumes, legends, and lore of the mountain people through an annual American Folk Song Festival as well as writings and photographs.
Her photo collection, donated to the University of Louisville’s Photographic Archives in 1968, is available online on our Digital Collections website. It includes photos of Hatfield and McCoy descendents as well as kin of the lesser-known Tolliver-Martin Feud of Rowan County, Kentucky. She seemed to enjoy reuniting the formerly feuding families for photo opportunities.
The online finding aid for Jean Thomas’ papers, housed in the University of Louisville’s Dwight Anderson Music Library, reveals that she wrote several pieces about the feuding families, and collected lyrics to songs documenting their stories.
Check out the complete run of UofL yearbooks online at
October is Archives Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of archives and those who work in and with them.
- Fun fact #1: archives, a noun describing the place where records of enduring value are preserved for posterity, is plural, even if you’re only talking about one such unit.
- Fun fact #2: the UofL Libraries has two archives: University Archives and Records Center, on the 4th Floor of Ekstrom Library, and Photographic Archives, on the lower level of Ekstrom Library. There are also archival collections in the Art Library, Music Library, Health Sciences Library, and Law Library.
- Fun fact #3: A growing number of rare and unique images, maps, documents, and oral histories from each of those libraries and library units are freely available to a worldwide audience via our Digital Collections website.
Today has been designated Day of Digital Archives, so I hope you’ll take the opportunity to explore some of the 50,000+ items in the UofL Libraries Digital Collections! For example, in keeping with the Kentucky Archives Month military history theme, check out the André Jeunet Collection of World War I images, or the Civil War-themed General Orlando M. Poe Collection.
I have a great fondness for the products of the Works Progress Administration. I think it’s fascinating that the U.S. government found a way to hire unemployed workers during the Great Depression to protect land and build infrastructure, create art, and document society (and I love that, as a product of the U.S. Government, these materials are in the public domain!).
Some of the documentation, such as the collecting of slave narratives, reached back into the past but occurred just in time, before all those who remembered living in slavery were gone. Other projects documented then-contemporary society, providing a very detailed view of life in the United States during the 1930s. One such project was the “Real property survey and low income housing area survey of Louisville, Kentucky,” which is now available online via the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections. This set of 15 maps, created in March 1939, depicts information about Louisville housing and its owners/renters, including housing in poor condition and lacking private bathrooms; average monthly rental values; and race of household.