The University of Kansas Libraries are pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Alyce Hunley Whayne Visiting Researchers Travel Award. Paul Putz of Waco, Tex., and Curtis Inabinett Jr. of Ravenel, S.C., were selected in light of their research efforts surrounding the African-American experience in the Kansas region.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to expand onsite use of our African American Experience Collections thanks to a generous financial gift from Sandra Gautt,” said Deborah Dandridge, field archivist at KU’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library at KU. “It supports the unique treasure trove of local and national research topics documented in these collections.”
The award extends travel funds for any faculty member, undergraduate, graduate student or independent researcher who documents a research project requiring the use of materials held by the Kenneth Spencer Research Library. The library houses a significant collection of holdings on the African-American experience including personal and family papers and organizational records, serving as a worthwhile location for primary sources. The travel assistance will aid Putz and Inabinett, Jr. in utilizing Spencer’s collections for their ongoing research.
A doctoral student in U.S. history from Baylor University, Putz plans to conduct research on the Western Negro Press Association, an organization founded by African American newspaper editors and journalists in 1896. Putz will utilize documents that detail the communities that supported African-American newspapers, especially Nick Chiles’s Topeka Plaindealer, during the early 20th century.
Curtis Inabinett Jr., a longtime musician and saxophonist, is currently enrolled in the College of Adult and Professional Studies at Charleston State University. Inabinett, Jr. plans to complete his research for a book manuscript on Dr. William P. Foster, a KU alumnus who served as the marching bandmaster for the Florida A&M University Marching Band from 1946 to 1998. Inabinett, Jr. will utilize manuscripts and photographs in the career papers of Foster at the Spencer Research Library to gain better insight into Foster’s leadership role in revolutionizing college marching band techniques across the nation.
The award was made possible by a generous gift from Sandra Gautt in honor of her late mother, Alyce Hunley Whayne. Gautt has also donated family papers to the Kansas Collection in the Spencer Research Library.
The University of Kansas Libraries make up the largest library system in Kansas. KU Libraries have more than 4.2 million print volumes in seven campus facilities, including a state-of-the-art offsite storage facility. The Libraries have extensive international holdings, including notable collections in Slavic, Latin America and East Asian studies. The Kenneth Spencer Research Library is recognized worldwide for its rare book, manuscript, and archival holdings in history, literature and natural history.