Special Collections and Archives

Frequently Asked Questions

Kent State University History

Question  Answer  More Info 

When was KSU founded?

On May 19, 1910, Ohio Governor Judson Harmon approved the Lowry Bill, denoting that Kent, Ohio become the home of a normal school (i.e., a two-year school for training teachers). Classes for Kent State Normal School began in 1913. In 1915, due to the expansion of curriculum and the addition of four-year degrees, the Board changed the school's name to Kent State Normal College. In 1929, the school's name was changed to Kent State College. Finally, in 1935, with proposed new schools of business administration and graduate programs having been added to the curriculum, the State of Ohio House and Senate approved a bill that designated Kent State College as a university. The school's name was then changed to Kent State University.


Who have been KSU's presidents?

1. John Edward McGilvrey (1911-1926); (b.1867-d.1945); (2-year degree in eduction; BA in philosophy; honorary doctorate in philosophy)

2. David Allen Anderson (1926-1928); (b.1874-d.?); (AB, AM, and PhD in education and philosophy)

3. James Ozro Engleman (1928-1938); (b. 1873-d.1943); (2-year degree in education; BA, MA, and PhD in education)

4. Karl Clayton Leebrick (1938-1943); (b. 1885-d.1982); (BS, MS, PhD in law, history and political science)

5. George A. Bowman (1944-1963); (b.1893-d.1976); (AB and MA education and liberal arts)

6. Robert I. White (1963-1971); (b.1909-d.1990); (PhB, MA, and PhD in education)

7. Glenn A. Olds (1971-1977); (b.1921-d.2006); (AB, MA, and Phd in philosophy; BD)

8. Brage Golding (1977-1982); (b.1920-); (BA and PhD in chemical engineering)

9. Michael Schwartz (1982-1991); (b.1938-); (BA in psychology; MA in industrial relations; PhD in sociology)

10. Carol A. Cartwright (1991-July 2006); (b.1941-); (BA; MA and PhD in special education)

11. Lester Lefton (July 2006-Present); (BA and PhD in psychology)

Why are there black squirrels on campus?

In February 1961, ten black squirrels (also known as London Black Squirrels, from London, Ontario) were imported from Canada by Larry Woodell, superintendent of grounds, and M. W. Staples, a retired executive of the Davey Tree Expert Company. The squirrels have been a distinctive feature of the campus ever since. In addition to Kent, black squirrel sightings have been reported throughout northeast Ohio and other parts of the state as their population has expanded.

What is the history of the KSU mascot?

Kent State University has had several mascot characters over the years, including:

Silver Foxes - Named in honor of President McGilvrey, who had a silver fox ranch for a time.

Golden Flashes - Name submitted and selected in a contest in 1926 by a KSU student. Winner received $25.00 prize. Subsequently perpetuated by Oliver Wolcott of the Kent Courier Tribune.

Flasher - In 1951, a golden retriever was adopted as team mascot.

Grog - In 1966, the cartoon character was recreated in paper hair and plaster. Remained on the scene until 1971.

Golden Flasher - A golden palomino horse and masked rider in blue and gold, 1972 and 1973 seasons.

Golden Flash - A masked figure with lightening bolts in each hand, 1973-1975.

Flash - Our present mascot, a golden eagle. In 2003, the Flash mascot was named a National Cheerleading Association All-American.


What are the lyrics to the alma mater? Who wrote it and when?

E. Turner Stump wrote the lyrics, with music by Dwight Steere. The alma mater was first published in the Kent songbook in 1931.

Verse 1:
From the beauty land Ohio comes a universal praise,
'Tis the song of Alma Mater that her sons and daughters raise.
'Tis a Hail to Kent forever, on the Cuyahoga shore,
Now we join the loving thousands as they sing it o'er and o'er.
Hail to Thee, our Alma Mater.
O, how beautiful Thou art,
High enthroned upon the hilltop,
Reigning over every heart.

Verse 2:
From the hilltop Alma Mater gazing on her portals wide,
Sees the coming generations as they throng to seek her side,
Seek her side to win her blessing, throng her gates to bear her name,
Leave her gates to sing her praises go afar to spread her fame.
Hail to Thee, our Alma Mater.
O, how young and strong thou art,
Planning for the glorious future,
Firm enthroned in every heart.


What are the lyrics to the KSU Fight Song? Who wrote it and when?

The words and music were by Edmund Siennicki in 1946.

Fight on for KSU! Fight for the Blue and Gold!
We're out to beat the foe; fight on brave and bold!
Fight on for victory, don't stop until we're through
We're all together, let's go forward,


What is the history of Robert I. Smithson's Partially Buried Woodshed located on the Kent campus?

n 1970, artist Robert I. Smithson created the Partially Buried Woodshed at the corner of Summit Street and Rhodes Road. Considered a pioneer of the "earth-art movement," Smithson used a bulldozer to pile dirt against an abandoned woodshed and formed what would become one of Kent State's most recognizable and controversial pieces of art. An unidentified arsonist burned part of the shed in 1975, and in 1984 the structure was removed permanently from campus.

A collection of archival materials related to Smithson and the Partially Buried Woodshed is available in the Department of Special Collections and Archives.

What were the circumstances leading to the Black United Students' (BUS) walkout in 1968?

In November 1968, approximately 250 African-American students left the Kent campus for several days in response to the presence of recruiters from the Oakland (CA) Police Department. Despite the Oakland department's reputation for violence against African-Americans and civil rights abuses, they were granted permission to recruit on campus because, the administration argued, to forbid them to do so would violate the university's policy of academic freedom. BUS and SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) disagreed, and a sit-in, a walk-out, a teach-in, and a boycott followed. According to A Book of Memories: Kent State University 1910-1992, the walkout was a catalyst for founding the Department of Pan-African Studies in May 1969.


Kent State University Athletics and Sports History

Question  Answer  More Info 

Do you have information on the history of sports at KSU or specific athletic programs at the University?

Special Collections and Archives has a wealth of information on the history of sports and athletics programs at KSU. The Sports Information collection contains records of various KSU sports programs, individual athlete files, and records on athletics personnel. Special Collections also has back issues of the Daily Kent Stater as well as yearbooks dating back to KSU's inception that include sports information.

What information about the implementation of Title IX at Kent State do you have?

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 forbids sex discrimination in schools, applying particularly to academics and athletics. Title IX states: No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid.

Special Collections has limited materials regarding Title IX. However, the 1975 Chestnut Burr yearbook, available in Special Collections, features a fairly comprehensive article (pp. 188-193) devoted to Title IX's impact on women's sports.


Kent State University Buildings and Maps

Question  Answer  More Info 

How do I find information about campus buildings?

Special Collections and Archives has basic subject files on campus buildings and an extensive collection of building photographs.

You can also find information on campus buildings at the Architecture Library located in Taylor Hall. Additionally, the Architecture Library has created a webpage that includes basic data about campus buildings.

Where can I find campus building blueprints?

Special Collections and Archives has blueprints for some, but not all, buildings. Floor plans for many buildings are available at the Architecture Library. Also, the office of the University Architect may have blueprints on file for some buildings.


Where can I find campus maps from different time periods?

The Department of Special Collections and Archives has many campus maps from various time periods available. Selected campus maps have been digitized and are available online.

Kent State University Diplomas and Transcripts

Question  Answer  More Info 

How may I request a copy of my student transcript?

Special Collections and Archives does not house student transcripts. They are administered by the Office of the University Registrar. Please contact the office of the University Registrar to request a copy of your transcript or for questions about your student record.

This applies to transcripts for the University School (high school) as well.

Do you have diplomas of former KSU students on file?

Special Collections and Archives keeps only a few sample diplomas from various time periods on file. If you have lost your diploma and need a duplicate copy, please contact the University Registrar.

Kent State University Enrollment

Question  Answer  More Info 

Do you have statistics on KSU enrollment?

Enrollment statistics are available in Special Collections and Archives beginning with the year 1971. Additionally, there is scattered enrollment data from 1912 to 1970 available here. For the most recent enrollment data, see the KSU Fact Book, updated annually.

Kent State University Salaries and Pay Grades

Question  Answer  More Info 

How do I find FACULTY salaries?

Faculty salaries may be found in the Board of Trustees minutes that are prepared and made publicly available after each Board meeting. These Board books are available in the Department of Special Collections and Archives.


How do I find UNCLASSIFIED STAFF (Admin/Professional) salaries and pay grades?

Salaries for specific staff members are also published in the Board of Trustees Minutes, available in Special Collections and Archives. If you are interested in Unclassified Staff pay grades, by job title, you may access them online via Human Resources.

How do I find CLASSIFIED STAFF ("civil services") salaries and pay grades?

Salaries for specific staff members are also published in the Board of Trustees Minutes, available in Special Collections and Archives. If you are interested in Classified Staff pay grades, by job title, you may access them online via Human Resources.

Kent State University Theses and Dissertations

Question  Answer  More Info 

I'm looking for a KSU dissertation, thesis, or SLIS research paper. Can you help me?

KSU theses and dissertations are available in both the main library collection (circulating copy) and in Special Collections and Archives (non-circulating copy). Library and Information Science research papers are also available in Special Collections and Archives. Please see our Theses and Dissertations FAQ for more details.

Children's Literature

Question  Answer  More Info 

How and why did KSU acquire the Babar Collection?

The Babar Collection was bequeathed to Kent State by John L. Boonshaft in 1992 and arrived following his death in 1997. The collection fits into the Department's concentration in children's literature.

I need some information on the Saalfield Publishing Company. Please help.

Please read our Saalfield FAQ page for details on the Saalfield collection.


Question  Answer  More Info 

I am searching for vital records about an ancestor. Do you assist with genealogical research?

We have Chestnut Burr yearbooks, catalogs, and other university records that may contain information about KSU alumni. Additionally, we have some regional histories that include information about prominent citizens from Portage County, Kent, and nearby areas.

The University of Akron Archival Services holds vital records for Summit, Portage, Stark, Tuscarawas, Coshocton, Holmes, Wayne, Ashland, and Richland counties. The Western Reserve Historical Society holds vital records for Lorain, Medina, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Ashtabula counties. Records for Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, and Harrison counties are held by the Youngstown Historical Center.

True Crime Literature

Question  Answer  More Info 

I am trying to locate a particular issue of a detective or crime pulp magazine. Do you have any detective or crime magazines?

Special Collections holds some periodicals in the detective and true crime genres, including pulps. Please search KentLINK for listings, as well as the finding aids for the Borowitz Collection. If you are having trouble locating or recollecting the name of a crime magazine or a particular article, Patterson Smith Antiquarian Bookseller and Publisher's Web site is a valuable resource.

What materials do you have in the "true crime" genre?

Please see the Borowitz Collection page for more information on our holdings in true crime literature.

Appraisal and Preservation

Question  Answer  More Info 

I have a book that I believe may be valuable. How do I find an appraiser who can determine its value?

Special Collections and Archives cannot provide appraisals. Appraisals require expertise in the subject matter covered in the book and knowledge of the fair market value of books. The American Society of Appraisers offers an online appraisal referral service through which you can search for qualified appraisers in your area. Most appraisers do charge for their services.

Also, some antiquarian/out-of-print book dealers offer appraisal services. In northeast Ohio, the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society produces a directory of member/dealers, some of whom offer appraisal services. Additionally, you may wish to search the directory of members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America in which you can search for dealers by specialization and geographic location.


How can I preserve a book, photograph, or other materials in my personal collections?

The most important factors in preservation are storage environment and care in handling. There are many simple things you can do to help preserve the items in your personal archive or collection. The Library of Congress offers a Web site with information about preservation. Should you need to have an item professionally repaired, you should consult a trained conservator in your area.

How do I find someone to repair or perform conservation work on a book, photograph, or other item?

While we don't make specific recommendations for bindery and conservation work, you might be interested in viewing a list of resources located on the Ohio Preservation Council Website.

How to Use Materials in Special Collections and Archives

Question  Answer  More Info 

Are any of the materials in Special Collections and Archives protected by copyright? Can I use these materials for a project or publication?

Although some materials in Special Collections and Archives are part of the public domain, the majority of materials in the collection are protected under copyright laws. In many instances, Special Collections does not own the copyright for the materials in its collections. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the patron to secure formal, written permission from the copyright owner(s) in order to use the materials in a publication or other type of project. However, in most cases, the Department can provide duplications of materials for personal research use. Please view the department's Duplication Policy for more information.

Do I need to make an appointment to visit Special Collections?

During the fall and spring semesters, public service hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday from 1-5 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-8 p.m. It is not necessary to make an appointment during these times. Weekday morning or evening research appointments may be made with advanced notice. Out of town researchers are encouraged to contact the department before making travel and lodging plans.

Why do I have to fill out a form to use materials in Special Collections?

Special Collections and Archives requires annual registration to use materials in the collection, due to security protocols and in order to gather statistical data on use of the collection. The information gathered in these forms are stored in a secure server and are subject to library patron privacy policies.

Why can't I check out materials in Special Collections?

Due to the fragile, unique, and/or rare nature of materials in the collection, they must be used in the reading room and cannot be checked out. In many cases, replacement of damaged or lost materials would be difficult, if not impossible. These security and handling policies help to ensure that rare materials are preserved and available for future research use.


I noticed that your finding aids include references to the cubic footage of a collection. What are "cubic feet" in relation to archival collections?

For our purposes, a cubic foot refers to a record storage box measuring approximately 10" x 12" x 16" (roughly the size of a copier paper box). We include this information in our finding aids in order to give researchers an idea of the size of a collection. For example, a collection containing "250 cubic feet" will be comprised of approximately 250 boxes of documents, photographs, audio recordings, or other materials, and would be considered a large collection. Smaller collections may be comprised of fractions of cubic feet, such as ".5 cubic feet" (one smaller box).


How is it determined that a book should be located in Special Collections?

There are several reasons why a book might be located in Special Collections. It may be an early, rare or unique edition of the text, or the item may be too fragile to be housed in the library's circulating collection. It may also be part of a subject- or genre-based collection. Collection development decisions are based on the department's collection development policy.

Unlike most books within University Libraries, those in Special Collections do not circulate (the status field in KentLINK will read "LIB USE ONLY") and may be viewed only in the Reading Room on the 12th floor of the library.

If you need to locate a circulating copy of a given book, the staff of Special Collections and Archives or the Reference department can assist you in searching for a copy that can be checked out. However, if the book is very rare, it may not be possible to locate a circulating copy.