KHC Staff Picks

Here are some articles, news, and tidbits that caught the attention of KHC staff this week.  We have work on our minds as we prepare for the kickoff of “The Way We Worked in Kansas” in September.

  • Nominate your favorite Kansas hotel clerk, waiter/waitress, or other visitor service representative to be one of four faces of Tourism in KANSAS! magazine. –Kansas Travel and Tourism
  • Who you gonna call? Drought Busters! –The Hutchinson News
  • Photographer Tom Parker continues to document the way Blue Rapids works. –Dispatches from Kansas
  • The butchers at Kansas City’s The Local Pig are reviving the old-time butcher shop. – Harvest Public Media
  • Is all this talk of work making you sleepy? Try taking a nap. – Daily Infographic

History, Digitized

“Baby on a rug,” August 8, 1914. Stafford County Historical Society.

Families in their Sunday best. Cherubic babies posed on rugs or sitting in bowls. Couples on their wedding day. In the early 1900s, Photographer W. R. Gray captured the milestones and memories of Stafford County residents at his St. John studio.

In 1986, Gray’s daughter, Jessie, donated nearly 29,000 glass plate negatives from the W. R. Gray Studio to the Stafford County Historical & Genealogical Society. With the assistance of three Kansas Humanities Council Heritage grants, the Stafford County Historical Society’s volunteers have conserved and catalogued one-third of the collection.

When it came to digitizing collection, the Stafford County Historical Society turned to the Forsyth Library at Fort Hays State University. Since 2008, Forsyth Library has digitized nearly 4,600 images from the Gray Studio collection and made them available online.  The library also provides best practices and on-going consultation to the staff and volunteers at the Stafford County Historical Society.

Here’s how it works: Stafford County Historical Society volunteers scan the images from the glass plate negatives and transfer them electronically to Forsyth Library. The library archivist uploads the images and metadata to the library’s digital archive, making the collection available online to researchers in Kansas and around the world. See the collection at Forsyth Library Digital Collections.

Hester Crawford, August 6, 1914. Stafford County Historical Society.

Does your historical society, museum, or library have a photo collection that you would like to digitize? KHC Heritage grants of up to $3,500 are available for photo digitization projects. Contact Murl Riedel, director of grants and programs, to find out more about applying for a Heritage grant to digitize your collection.


Drought Presents Opportunity

This Drought of 2012 brought parched land, dried crops, and blistering heat to Kansas. For the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, it brought an opportunity. This summer, the arboretum’s flood-prone Euphrates Creek is being dredged for only the third time since 1910.

The project is another chapter in the over 100 years of the Kansas “tree museum,” which was the subject of a short film produced  by the Bartlett Arboretum and filmmaker Jaime Green with the support of a KHC Humanities Grant.

New Speakers Bureau Catalog Available

Cover of Speakers Bureau catalogKansas nonprofits can apply to host a The Way We Worked Speakers Bureau presentation and discussion free-of-charge.

As part of “The Way We Worked in Kansas,” KHC’s statewide initiative examining the theme of work, The Way We Worked Speakers Bureau features over 50 topics by 45 presenters exploring work and working in Kansas and how these stories help define us: our way-of-life, our sense of who we are, and the values we hold important.

UPDATE: The Way We Worked Speaker Bureau was discontinued in February 2014. Click here for the most recent Humanities catalog.

KHC-Supported Doc Earns Emmy Nomination

“Country School: One Room-One Nation,” a KHC-supported documentary produced by Fourth Wall Films and KPTS public television in Wichita, is one of three films nominated for a Regional (Mid-America) Emmy® in the Historical Drama category. The documentary tells the story of the one-room schools that once dotted the rural landscapes of America,  including one-room schools in Kansas.

Congratulations to filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle! Learn more about the film and the Emmy® nomination here.

The Original Dream Team

As the basketball players of Team USA go for the gold in London, a new short film recalls the story of the first U.S. basketball team to compete in the Olympics. The year was 1936 and the team included members of the Globe Refiners, an AAU basketball team made up of employees from McPherson’s Globe Refining Company.

The Globe Refiners were the team to beat. Tall and talented, they brought new techniques to the game, including the dunk and the zone press. The Refiners, along with their rivals the Universal Pictures Universals of Hollywood, California, formed the first U.S. Olympic basketball team. They traveled to Berlin, playing on a clay court in two inches of water, to defeat Canada and take the gold medal.

The “Oil and Gold” short film chronicles the remarkable journey of the Globe Refiners from a Kansas oil refinery to the gold medal podium. The film premieres on Saturday, August 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the McPherson Opera House. The McPherson CVB produced the film with filmmaker Keith Cantrell through the support of a KHC Humanities grant. More information about the event can be found here.

For more information about the McPherson Globe Refiners Olympic triumph, check out this recent Kansas City Star article and coverage on KMUW public radio in Wichita.