Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Special Collections and Archives

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Special Collections and Archives

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

Special Collections & 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 (ASA) 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 (NOBS) 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 (ABAA) 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 (OPC) Website.

Children's Literature (including Saalfield Publishing Co.)
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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 have a Saalfield book that might be worth some money. Can you tell me how much it's worth?

Some Saalfield books are collectible. Special Collections cannot provide an appraisal or value to you. Please see our general FAQ regarding appraisals, for more information.

Where can I purchase Saalfield books for my own collection?

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America publishes a directory of its member dealers by specialization. They also offer a directory on their website which might help you to locate a book dealer who sells Saalfield books (HINT: search under specializations of "Children's Books" and "Juveniles.") You might also be able to locate Saalfield publications through online auction houses, such as Ebay.

Where can I find information on a Saalfield author or illustrator?

Special Collections & Archives does not have information files on most Saalfield authors and illustrators. Instead we have examples of their publications. Your local library may be able to help you to track down biographical information about Saalfield authors and illustrators. Reference works such as Something About the Author and Contemporary Authors (published by Gale) may include the person you are researching. Many Saalfield authors and illustrators are not well-known or well-documented, so your search might be difficult.


I want to have reproductions of a Saalfield illustration or text sent to me. How do I order this?

Although Special Collections & Archives physically owns many of Saalfield's publications, we do not own the literary rights or copyright to the items in the collection. If you are using copies for research purposes only, we can provide copies in accordance with our Duplication Policy. If, however, you wish to use images or texts for commercial purposes or in published works, it is your responsibility to obtain permission for duplication from copyright owners. In most cases, we do not know who owns copyright and cannot research that information for you.

If I want to visit Kent State in person, is the Saalfield Collection available for use?

Yes, the collection is available for research or general interest use on site. If you are traveling from out of town, you are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections & Archives as far in advance as possible. Please review our finding aids ahead of time to identify specific parts of the collection to view in person. For more details on using our collections, see our Usage Policy.

Why is the Saalfield Collection located at Kent State University? How did you acquire the collection?

In 1977, the Saalfield Publishing Company ceased operations. During the process of liquidating the company's property, a large collection of Saalfield publications was discovered in a room in one of the former Saalfield buildings. Kent State University Libraries offered to purchase this material for $4000 in 1977 and was able to raise the funds for the purchase through an anonymous donation, a gift from Mr. and Mrs. A. Clarke Mack, and some library funds. The materials in this archive are part of the Department's collection development emphasis in children's literature.


I have a Saalfield book that does not include a publication date. Can you tell me in what year it was published?

Many of the books published by Saalfield were issued without dates. In most cases, it is difficult for us to determine a precise date. The binding style, illustrations, and other features of the book often can provide clues to an estimated time period of publication.


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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.

May 4, 1970 (Kent State Shootings)
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Where can I find photos of the events of May 4, 1970 and Tent City?

Please see our guide to Photographs in the May 4 Collection.

Where can I find films, film footage, or documentaries relating to the Kent State shootings?

Please see our guide to Films in the May 4 Collection

Where can I find audio footage and recordings relating to the Kent State shootings?

Please see our guide to Audio Footage in the May 4 Collection.

How can I get help with my National History Day project?

Please see our guide to National History Day Help: May 4 Collection.

Why did the Ohio National Guard fire on the students? Whose fault were the shootings?

There are many possible answers to these questions. Historical analysis is interpretive in nature. Please refer to our annotated bibliography containing references to several books, articles, and Websites, many of which attempt to answer questions such as these.

Also, a paper written by Professors Jerry Lewis and Tom Hensley called "The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University: The Search for Historical Accuracy" provides answers to many common questions related to the May 4 shootings.

How old were the four students who were killed on May 4, 1970 and how did they die?

  1. Allison Krause (Age: 19; Date of Birth: April 23, 1951; Pittsburgh, PA (attended high school in Silver Spring, MD); freshman, Honors College; chest wound)
  2. Jeffrey Glen Miller (Age: 20; Date of Birth: March 28, 1950; Plainview, Long Island, NY; sophomore, psychology; head wound)
  3. Sandra Lee Scheuer (Age: 20; Date of Birth: August 11, 1949; Youngstown, OH; junior, speech and hearing therapy; neck wound)
  4. William Knox Schroeder (Age: 19; Date of Birth: July 20, 1950; Lorain, OH; sophomore, psychology; chest wound)

Who were the nine students wounded?

  1. Alan Canfora; Age: 21; Barberton, OH
  2. John Cleary; Age: 19; Scotia, NY
  3. Thomas Mark Grace; Age: 20; Syracuse, NY
  4. Dean Kahler; Age: 20; Canton, OH
  5. Joseph Lewis; Massillon, OH
  6. Donald MacKenzie; Summit Station, PA
  7. James Dennis Russell; Teaneck, NY
  8. Robert Stamps; Age: 19; South Euclid, OH
  9. Douglas Wrentmore; Age: 20; Northfield, OH

See also Kosnac, Erin and Melissa Hostetler. "Then I Was Shot." The Burr. (Spring 2000) for additional information on the injured students.

What are the lyrics to the song "Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young?

We suggest that you search one of the many lyrics sites available on the Internet in order to locate the lyrics to this song.


What was the effect of the shootings on enrollment?

These statistics reflect full time enrollment on the Kent campus only taken from Fall quarters or semesters, from 1969-1995.

1969: 21,198; 1970: 21,370; 1971: 20,794; 1972: 19,755; 1973: 18,559; 1974: 18,458; 1975: 20,060; 1976: 20,374; 1977: 19,353; 1978: 18,331; 1979: 17,796; 1980: 18,938; 1981: 19,660; 1982: 19,615; 1983: 19,687; 1984: 20,066; 1985: 20,173; 1986: 20,830; 1987: 21,503; 1988: 22,753; 1989: 22,727; 1990: 24,434; 1991: 24,524; 1992: 24,099; 1993: 22,700; 1994: 21,413; 1995: 20,972

Kent State University History (general topics)
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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 education; 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-d. 2016); (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-June 30, 2014); (BA and PhD in psychology)
  12. Beverly Warren (July 1, 2014-present); (BS; MS; Ed.D. in administration of higher education; Ph.D. in exercise physiology)

Why are there black squirrels on campus?

According to our research of historical files and newspaper accounts, 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, official 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?

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

Special Collections & Archives has a wealth of information on the history of sports and athletics programs at Kent State. 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 Kent State's inception that include sports information.

What information do you have about the implementation of Title IX in relation to athletics at Kent State?

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 in relation to athletics. However, the 1975 Chestnut Burr yearbook, available online and in Special Collections & Archives, features a fairly comprehensive article (pp. 188-193) devoted to Title IX's impact on women's sports at that time.

Kent State University Buildings and Maps
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How do I find information about campus buildings?

Special Collections & Archives has basic subject files on campus buildings and an extensive collection of building photographs. Photographs of many Kent State buildings are available in our Centennial Collection. You can also find information on campus buildings at the Architecture Library located in Taylor Hall.

Where can I find campus building blueprints?

Special Collections & 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 & 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
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Do you have diplomas of former Kent State students on file?

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

How may I request a copy of my student transcript?

Special Collections & 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 (Kent State University high school) as well.

Kent State University Enrollment
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Do you have statistics on KSU enrollment?

Enrollment statistics are available in Special Collections & 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 Kent State University Fact Book (now called FlashFacts), updated annually.

Kent State University Salaries and Pay Grades
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How do I find FACULTY salaries?

Faculty salaries may be found in the Board of Trustees minutes and supplements that are prepared and made publicly available after each Board meeting. These Board books are available in the Department of Special Collections & 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 and supplements, available in Special Collections & 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 and supplements, available in Special Collections & 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
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Where can I find a Kent State thesis, dissertation, or Honors College thesis?

There should be a circulating copy of each thesis or dissertation in the main library stacks. There is also one archival copy of each in Special Collections & Archives. This archival copy does not circulate and must be used in the Special Collections & Archives reading room (Library Rm 1212). You should check to see if there is a circulating copy available before coming to Special Collections & Archives.

Please note that theses and dissertations are shelved by the author's name in Special Collections & Archives, so make a note of the author's name if you plan on using the copy held in Special Collections.

Sometimes there is also a microform copy of the thesis or dissertation which can be requested in KentLINK. Click on the "Request Item" button and fill in the request form. Requests may also be made from the Periodical Services desk on the 2nd floor of the library.


What is the best way to search for KSU theses or dissertations in KentLINK?

If you know the author or title of the thesis or dissertation you need, simply perform a KentLINK author or title search to find its location.


I am a Kent State student, faculty member, or staff member. How can I obtain a photocopy of a Kent State thesis, dissertation, or Honors College thesis?

If there is no circulating copy of a Kent State thesis or dissertation in the main library stacks, you may request a photocopy from Special Collections & Archives. Please note that many theses and dissertations are lengthy. Copy requests are subject to staff availability and may not be filled on the day the request is made.


I am not affiliated with Kent State University. How can I obtain a photocopy of a Kent State thesis, dissertation, or Honors College thesis?

A public or academic library where you live may be able to request a photocopy of a Kent State thesis, dissertation, or Honors College thesis via interlibrary loan. If this is unavailable to you, please contact Special Collections & Archives to see if we are able to provide a photocopy to you for a fee.


What about electronic Kent State theses and dissertations?

Some Kent State theses and dissertations are now published electronically. You may access these as well as those of additional OhioLINK institutions at the OhioLINK Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Center (ETD).

Where can I find a School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) research paper?

A copy of each SLIS research paper is kept on file in Special Collections & Archives. You must know the name of the author before requesting a paper as they are filed by name.


How can I find a NON-Kent State Univeristy dissertation or thesis?

Please consult with the University Libraries Reference Services unit for assistance in locating a non-Kent State thesis or dissertation.

Where can I have my printed thesis or dissertation bound?

Check with your local copy or print shop to see if they offer binding services.


Special Collections & Archives: How to Use Materials
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Are any of the materials in Special Collections & Archives protected by copyright? Can I use these materials for a project or publication?

Although some materials in Special Collections & Archives are part of the public domain, the majority of materials in the collection are protected under copyright laws. In many instances, Special Collections & Archives does not own the copyright for the materials in its collections. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the user 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 & Archives?

During our regularly posted Reading Room hours,, it is not necessary to make an appointment. However, we can greatly enhance your research experience if you contact us in advance at so that we may prepare your materials before you arrive. 

Weekday appointments outside of our posted Reading Room hours may be made with advanced notice, depending on staff availability. 

Out of town researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the department before making travel and lodging plans so that we can ensure our availability and help you plan your visit. 

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

Special Collections & 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 & Archives?

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 & Archives?

There are several reasons why a book might be located in Special Collections & Archives. 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 & Archives 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 University Library.

If you need to locate a circulating copy of a given book, the staff of Special Collections & 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.

True Crime Literature
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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?

We have a large number of materials in the true crime literature. Please see the Borowitz Collection homepage for more information on our holdings in true crime literature or contact Special Collections & Archives for assistance in finding what you need.