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“50 for 50: Celebrating 50 years of Kenneth Spencer Research Library” reception featuring anniversary exhibit to be held Nov. 8

Thursday, October 18, 2018

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Libraries will host a reception featuring a new exhibition titled “50 for 50: Celebrating 50 years of Kenneth Spencer Research Library” on Nov. 8 as one of many celebrations surrounding the library’s golden anniversary. 

In an effort to expand the depth of the exhibition and involve the community in the celebration, KU Libraries invited the public to submit suggested items from the collections at Spencer Research Library for inclusion in the physical exhibition. 

“We received over 100 submissions, which made the selection process a pleasant challenge. It was no coincidence that the number seemed to hover right around 50,” said Beth Whittaker, associate dean for distinctive collections and director of Spencer Research Library. “We made an attempt to represent all the areas of our collections and to focus on stories about how they have shaped the world through contact in classes, personal impact or publication breakthroughs.” 

Several of the items on display include a fragment of a moon rock, a postcard featuring the surviving members of Quantrill’s raiding band and a 17th century work extolling the benefits of coffee, tea and chocolate. The exhibit will be on display until Jan. 7, 2019. 

“Libraries touch lives every day as the resources they offer spark discovery and innovation,” said Kevin L. Smith, dean of libraries. “The collections of Spencer Research Library are a phenomenal and unique resource for KU, and the ‘50 for 50’ exhibit showcases some of those special moments over the past 50 years when a user found just that resource that could ignite their imagination.”

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by remarks by Jonathan Lamb, associate professor of English, at 6:45 p.m. Lamb will speak on the impact of Spencer Research Library and its collections on research and beyond. This event is free and open to the public. 

Those who plan to attend may RSVP online at rockcha.lk/KSRL-50 or to Bayli Rindels at libevents@ku.edu by Nov. 5.

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