Candle and Books (EKIS)

Behind the Scenes . . .

In the Early Kansas Imprint Scanners (EKIS) workshop, volunteers use scanners to make electronic copies of materials such as books and photographs, proof any text, and then add web designs to include these works in the Kansas Collection. Here's a look at what the volunteers are up to, behind the scenes:

       Notes from around EKIS:
         Online Partnership with Schools, the
         Andreas (Cutler's) History of the State of Kansas, the
         Andreas (Cutler's) History of the State of Nebraska,
         and EKIS projects in progress

       Volunteer Spotlight:   Meet mary ann thompson

Notes from around EKIS

KanColl's Online Partnership with Schools is growing. Recently we assisted a mother homeschooling her son with sources on the Oregon Trail, and provided ideas for a Kansas Day celebration to Toni Horton and other parents planning the party for fourth-graders in Leoti, Kansas. Toni wrote, "Well, the Kansas Day party went really well. One of the moms and her husband spent part of the afternoon teaching the kids how to make a rope (each student went home with a rope they helped make), and quilt a block wall hanging. We showed the kids how to play marbles and jacks and made a suede and leather pouch to keep them in--they got to choose either marbles or jacks as their 'party favor' and then each got a wooden top. They had fun playing with them. (The day of the party ended up being cold and snowy, so we just played inside) For refreshments we served lemonade out of an old crock, one mom brought sunflower cookies and I made your molasses 'buffalo tongues'! They were a hit with the adults as well as the kids! I also read the kids a couple of the 'memory stories' about the early settlers. We had telephoned Topeka and they sent out pamphlets, postcards and fact sheets about Kansas and we wrapped up our day with this more 'modern' information. Thank you so much for your willingness to help and for all of the information you shared with us. It helped us make the day a truly memorable one for the kids." [The "Buffalo Tongues" by the way are molasses cookies shaped like tongues and dusted with granulated sugar for the tastebuds!] This is just how learning about Kansas history should be -- fun, enjoyable, interesting -- and we salute the parents for their eagerness to share all this with the students, and for doing such a great job!....

The last section of the Territorial Days chapter in the Andreas/Cutler's History of the State of Kansas has been completed, thanks to the tireless Rosana Whitenight. Only a short section of "Early Expeditions and Explorations" remains to be transcribed!......

Work also continues on the Andreas/Cutler's History of the State of Nebraska. Jennifer Beatty has finished Saunders County, and Connie Snyder and Ted and Carole Miller collaborated to complete name indexes for Saunders and Douglas counties.....

Elsewhere in the EKIS workshop, Jim Sumner has finished Legends of the Kaw by Carrie De Voe, and is starting on transcribing Dr. Charles Sheldon's Red River. Lloyd Nichols has updated the look of three older KanColl selections, "Well-Known Visitors to Early Day Kansas," "Portrait Gallery of Eminent Kansans," and "Old Kansas Area Maps." Don Tharp supplied scanned copies of some of the missing maps for that renovation. John Maier continues his march through the second volume of Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Keith Taylor is transcribing Ed Blair's History of Johnson County, and the first few chapters have been installed as a work in progress. Keith is also doing the web design for this book, and is using some very innovative techniques! Mitzi Bateman contributed a lengthy 1904 memoir of early Kansas days written by Watson Stewart. Roger Pyle transcribed this manuscript and is now returning to work on Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-East Kansas, Illustrated -- a fascinating collection of biographies written in very eloquent style. And many more works are in progress!

Volunteer Spotlight:   Meet mary ann thompson

mary ann -- or mat, as she is also known -- has been a stalwart of EKIS and KanColl since the earliest days. (By the way, if you're wondering about our referring to her in all lower case letters, mary ann explains, "i don't use capital letters because it is faster to type without them and mat stands for my initials"). Among other projects, she has transcribed A Prairie Traveler by Capt. Randolph Barnes Marcy, contributed and transcribed "The Raynesford Papers" which contain notes about Kansas trails, and has always pitched in to help in any way she can -- providing information, making photocopies of sections from old books, and much else besides. It was no surprise to us to learn that the Hays Public Library, where mary ann serves as the Kansas Room librarian, was named as the 4th best library in the country for towns of 10,000 to 99,999, by the Journal of American Libraries. Her hard work and limitless willingness to help with any question certainly played an important part in this recognition! We are extremely pleased to introduce you to mary ann thompson, a very special lady indeed, who writes:

     "i was born in southern illinois in 1954. all i remember about the area is experiencing those kansas phenomena, tornadoes. we then moved to casper, wyoming, which i still call home. i have a history degree from the university of wyoming and, partially because i just wanted to keep being a student and partially because of a love of history, i went on to get a master's degree at ku, where i met dr. lynn nelson. while i did study ancient/medieval history there, i had lynn for history methods. after i graduated, i moved to cheyenne, wyoming where i held various and sundry peculiar (as opposed to odd) jobs and occasionally taught medieval history at the local air base. after a few years, i decided to get a library degree and the real job that it would help find (after a slight patriarchal push from the home front). i went to the university of denver (commuting from cheyenne) and specialized in archives and special collections, unwilling to drop my history inclinations. i applied only for special collection jobs west of the mississippi, blatantly showing my geographic biases, and landed the job i presently have--kansas room librarian at the hays public library in hays, kansas.

     "our kansas room contains over 7,000 books on kansas and u.s. west history. we also have hundreds of files of articles on various topics. these resources are a great part of how i answer those questions posed on the kansas-l discussion list. i am involved with various local groups, some history related and some not. i give walking tours of the early wild west days of downtown hays for our convention and visitors bureau every summer and for school groups. i help put together an annual conference, home on the range, which deals with a different literature/history type topic each year. (blatant advertisement--this year is women in the west). i am on the humane society of the high plains board of directors and the hays arts council board of directors and have recently been added to the kansas state historical society board (nominated in large part because of the work i do in association with kansas-l and ekis).

     "i have been active on the kansas-l discussion list for several years now. i have helped ekis put a couple of books on-line and i added the howard raynesford papers on the smoky hill trail (with great help from other volunteers) on-line. i am very proud of my association with kancoll and am impressed over what dedicated volunteers can accomplish. as through-out history, kansas once again leads the nation with information on-line due to everyone's work on kancoll and ekis."

-- mary ann thompson

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