New request and registration system

If you've used many materials here in Special Collections, you're probably all too familiar with these little yellow slips of paper.  They're our call slips, and until recently, we required all readers to fill one out for each item being requested from the stacks.


This summer the MU Libraries transitioned over to a new computer system, and we took it as an opportunity to try a new way of requesting and paging materials.  Instead of filling out your name and contact information multiple times, you'll be asked to do it once per year, on our new Patron Registration Form (you can even print it out from our website, fill it out in advance and bring it with you to the reading room if you want to save time). On subsequent visits, simply check in at the desk.  We'll be able to complete the rest of your request electronically – no handwriting or carbon copies required!

Although we don't yet have the capability to take requests online, you can, as always, email us to place materials on hold.  We're hoping that this system will prove easier and more efficient for everyone involved. No more repetitive request writing for you, and no more wrangling thousands of paper slips for us.  Our call slip mascots, the Special Collections sheep, might have gotten a little excited when they heard about this.

The new registration system takes effect August 1.  Although we've spent weeks practicing and trying to anticipate bugs, we'll probably need your patience as we learn this new way of doing things.  Please feel free to contact us with any thoughts, concerns, or problems.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas in July…

… we present Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.

In this collection of the Gospels from 1591, the text is written in both Arabic and Latin.  It's inscribed "With compliments to my friend Dr. W. Burggraaf, Christmas 1931."


A beautiful example of works in translation, the book also contains 149 woodcut illustrations.  They were, however, printed from only 68 blocks, so the careful reader can discern some copycat pictures in different places.  Like the two below, both used to illustrate a version of the same story in Matthew and then in John.

IMG_2929 IMG_2930

Reusing woodblocks was a fairly common practice, particularly in bibles where multiple versions of similar events or themes are told by the various authors of the books of the Bible throughout.  We've come across several other books in our collection where the illustrations give us deja vu.

That's it for the 12 Days of Christmas in July series!  Have a merry holiday, and if you should feel like celebrating with us, stop by and see us next week – we'd be happy to show you any of the books featured here, along with any of the others in our collections!

Tracking down the history of Booche’s

Earlier this week I put out a call on Tumblr for photos of present-day downtown Columbia and campus that we could match up with materials in our collections. Tumblr user thesetenthings contacted us to ask about the history of Booche's, the downtown Columbia pool hall that has been open since 1884.  Named for “Booche” Venable, the first owner, Booche’s is a bit of a Columbia legend for its atmosphere, its burgers, and its long history.

Having eaten many a cheeseburger at Booche's myself, I set about trying to find evidence of the pool hall in our digital collections: the Savitar yearbook, Missouri Alumnus, Showme Magazine, and the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.  And I found quite a bit! In fact, I found so much that I decided to make it a full-fledged post on this blog rather than a quick Tumblr photoset.

Booche's bounced around several different locations and advertised to students in its first 50 years.  If Booche's was the only pool hall in town in the 1880s (and I’m guessing it was; Columbia had less than 10,000 people back then), its first location was near Broadway and Seventh. This Sanborn Map shows a billiards business next to the lumberyard owned by W. P. Maupin.


The earliest reference to Booche’s I could find in print in our digital collections was in the 1903 Savitar yearbook (there might be earlier references, but they're not digitized, and for the sake of time for this post I was sticking to digital resources).  The 1903 Savitar has an ad that shows the interior but doesn't mention the location. The next year, it simply says “Broadway and Tenth," but doesn’t mention which corner of Broadway and Tenth.

Advertisement from the 1904 Savitar, page 246.

Why?  It might have been because Booche’s had three different locations on or near Broadway and Tenth between 1895 and 1911. Here’s the first I was able to find in the Sanborn Maps, which shows a pool and billiards hall near the southwest corner of Broadway and Tenth.


The next map, from 1902, shows a different business in that location and a pool hall on the northeast corner of Broadway and Tenth. This is probably the location shown in the photo ad from the Savitar.


In 1908, Booche's was back near its 1895 location on the southwest corner of Broadway and Tenth, except this time it had the corner storefront and had expanded into the storefront behind it as well.


Finally, in 1911, Booche's moved onto Ninth Street.  But it wasn't in its present-day location yet; it was across the street, on the second floor of the Virginia Building.  The ad below from the 1911 Savitar announces the move and shows what must have been the interior at Broadway and Tenth, since the same photo was used in an ad the previous year.

Advertisement from the 1911 Savitar, page 361.


[caption id="attachment_4967" align="alignnone" width="550"]show192010p0028 Advertisement from the 1920 Showme, page 28.

I wasn't able to verify this with maps, but according to this 1976 Missouri Alumnus article, Booche's moved into its present location in 1930.  Booche's advertised regularly in the Savitar yearbooks and the Showme magazine through the 1920s.  It changed hands several times, but it remained a popular student hangout.

“Booche’s hath many charms, too” from the 1945 Savitar, page 187.

Articles in the 1976 Alumnus and the 1983 Savitar discuss more about Booche's history – such as the fact that it barred women until the 1970s, that it was originally known for its ham sandwich, not its cheeseburger, and that you couldn't get a beer there until relatively recently.  You can read more from each of those articles in the links above, or browse through the digital collections on your own. They're freely available to everyone!

Books with Personality-Sneak Peek 5


Homer Croy

Our Will Rogers, c. 1953

Homer Croy, the author of “Our Will Rogers”, was an MU student from 1903-1907, where he was heavily involved in the publication of the school yearbook, the Savitar. Although Croy did not graduate from the University, he achieved great success as a playwright and novelist. In 1956, Elmer Ellis, the University of Missouri President, bestowed Croy with an honorary degree. Elmer Ellis donated this copy of “Our Will Rogers” to the University library. This volume gives us a wonderful peek into the friendship between Croy and Ellis. Throughout the book there are many notes and clippings from Croy to Ellis, which seem to be a gathering of inside jokes and friendly jabs. One can imagine what witty response Croy received in return.


Happy 175th Birthday, Mizzou!

Today is the 175th anniversary of the founding of the University of Missouri on February 11, 1839.  We're joining in on the celebrations by sharing the very first University of Missouri catalog, one of the oldest items in the University of Missouri Collection.  It wasn't issued until 1843 – that's the first year the university had a senior class – but it's an important piece of our history and shows just how far we've come over these 175 years. 

Title pageAs you can see below, the first senior class was made up of five students – two of whom were named Robert Todd.  If you've been around Columbia for a year or two, you may recognize some of the other last names on buildings and street signs around town.Student rosterThere were no majors back then.  Everyone took the same course of study, which was divided into three sessions per year.Courses of study"The University of Missouri having been permanently organized by the Board of Curators, and being now in successful operation, invites the candid attention of the public to its claims for general patronage."Other considerationsFor more on the history of the university, check out the digital exhibits available through the University Archives.

Welcome Back, Students!

Fall is in the air, and students are everywhere!  As we welcome members of this record-breaking freshman class, it may be interesting to see how their predecessors dealt with the first weeks of classes at MU twenty-five, fifty, and even 100 years ago.

100 Years AgoSavitar, 1911

The Savitar yearbook published a fictitious freshman's diary in 1911, which describes in humorous and exaggerated terms the experiences of a bumbling new student from rural Hemlock, Missouri.  He describes his first sight of the Quad, and the now-defunct tradition of freshman beanies:

The schoolhouses are all set around just like the town square at Hemlock except that there are six pillars covered with vines in the middle.  As soon as I came up on the walk on the square, some fellows grabbed me and made me shine shoes.  There are big signs pasted all over telling the freshmen to buy caps.  They tell me that I'll have to wear a red one but I won't do it because my hair is red. [see source online]

The university bulletin for 1911 records a total enrollment of 2,956 students in the Columbia campus.  One hundred years later, enrollment at MU is more than ten times that number.

50 Years Ago

Construction Nears End on Arts & Science BuildingThe current student newspaper, the Maneater, was in publication by 1955.  In the first week of classes in 1961, it reported that the new Arts and Science Building was nearing completion and would be in use later that semester. The new building would feature a language laboratory, increased classroom space, a public address and intercom system, and a special classroom equipped with closed-circuit television. And – perhaps most importantly – air conditioning.

The Arts and Science Building was home to the departments of English, History, German and Russian, and Romance Languages when it opened in 1961.  Classrooms and office space for these departments had previously been in Jesse Hall.

25 Years Agomaneater1986_lg

During the first week of classes in 1986, the Maneater documented registration delays.  Long lines of students snaked through the stairwells and corridors of Brady Commons, and the newspaper commented:

Director of Admissions Gary L. Smith said when the first online computers were used for registering students in April of 1985, approximately 40 to 50 students could be registered in five minutes.  But things were going a lot slower this week at Brady.

Student registrations were taxing the processing power of MU's relatively new computer network, causing the slowdown.  Over the past 25 years, various computerized registration systems have made waiting in line at Brady Commons obsolete – and Brady itself has become part of the new Student Center.

Want to Know More?

Records of of past student life, including documents, publications, photos, and memorabilia, are at the University ArchivesSpecial Collections also holds the student publications mentioned above, and over 100 years of the Savitar (1891-2000) are available in the University of Missouri Digital Library.