Exhibition highlighting contributions, experiences of Kansas during WWI to open Oct. 12 in Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The University of Kansas Libraries will debut a new exhibition in Kenneth Spencer Research Library in October. “To make the world safe for democracy: Kansans and the Great War” explores the experiences of Kansas during World War I through soldier diaries, letters, photographs and more. All items included in the exhibit are drawn from the holdings of the Kansas Collection and University Archives in Spencer.

“We are pleased to be able to showcase a portion of the rich resources we have available for research and study on this important topic,” said Sherry Williams, curator of collections and the Kansas Collection.

The exhibit will focus on the contributions of Kansans, the state of Kansas and the University of Kansas during the United States involvement in World War I, from 1917-1918. Included are items from the Peggy Hull Deuell collection, the first accredited female war correspondent, as well as photographs and documents related to the building of Memorial Stadium and the Memorial Union at the University of Kansas.

“It is always a sobering experience to look at the letters and artifacts that reflect the young lives that have been caught up in war,” said Kevin L. Smith, dean of libraries. “One hundred years after the war that was supposed to make the world safe for democracy, we still have so much to learn from the history, and the humanity, of World War I.”

The opening reception, held in Kenneth Spencer Research Library on October 12, will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and exhibit viewing, followed by remarks by Williams and Becky Schulte, university archivist. This event is free and open to the public; those who plan to attend should RSVP to Jennifer Muse by October 6 at 785-864-8961 or libevents@ku.edu.

The exhibition will be available for viewing in Kenneth Spencer Research Library through January 5, 2018.    

Find our more information on Spencer’s exhibits at spencer.lib.ku.edu/exhibits

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