Interview with Rebekah Harleston, Martha Jane Whiteside, December 15, 1976
Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project
Interview SummaryMartha Jane Whiteside and Rebekah Harleston recall working in the University of Kentucky library beginning in 1946. They mention Margaret I. King who would complete the final inspection of all catalogued books, and recall visits by President Frank L. McVey to the library. They describe the Margaret I. King library building and recall the open land where the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library (formerly King North Building) is now located. Harleston and Whiteside mention the rumors that the library sat above a cave, and talk about the basement of the library as a "dungeon." They also remember day to day situations in the library and the location of various materials.
Whiteside and Harleston recall that only faculty and graduates with permits were allowed to use the Congressional Record. They discuss the organization of the Reference Room and the location of various study areas such as the Graduate Reading Room. Whiteside and Harleston mention the collecting efforts of Dr. Thomas D. Clark, who gathered materials from various places such as Centre College, Transylvania University, and Kentucky State College. They also describe how Clark rescued state records and Court of Appeals decisions.
Whiteside and Harleston discuss the weekly schedule for the library, and recall changes in the hours that librarians were expected to work. They state that there was only one telephone in the building and that it was located in Ms. King's office. They mention the book budget and staffing, and talk about the increase in the student population after World War II. They mention the need for thriftiness and paper recycling. They reminisce about favorite reference questions, library humor, and having to cut the pages of new books. They recall that in 1947 the acquisitions department had three full-time people, several students and an accounts clerk, and state that the library staff always sent Ms. King a dozen American Beauty roses on her birthday.
Martha Jane Whiteside
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt73bk16ps43