The purpose of this research project is to digitally archive the records and ephemera of the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council chapters at the University of Kansas in order to:
- Preserve the history of the Greek Chapters
- Add to the historical narrative of the social life at the University of Kansas
- To make these resources available to future researchers and to
- Build a platform on which the history of the chapters can be expanded and continuously recorded as Greek life evolves at KU.
This blog is to document my progress as I (attempt) to complete undergraduate research at KU through the History department. My main goal for the 2016-2017 academic year is to gather any and all materials relating to Greek life at KU that are not currently housed in University Archives at the Spencer Research Library on campus. Hopefully in the coming academic year, I am able to use the sources gathered to write a thesis. Better yet, I can graduate knowing that I have helped preserve the social history of this university.
My project came about in a number of different ways. I myself am a member of Kappa Delta sorority, so I have a unique research perspective about the chapters, Greek life at KU, and the different ways chapters document our accomplishments. On campus I work at the Spencer Research Library, which houses the University Archives. Through my job I’ve learned the importance of preserving history and making it accessible to future researchers- because what’s the point of knowledge without sharing it!
However, it wasn’t until a project in a history class that the idea for this project started to form. When researching Greek organizations at KU, a lot of them seemed to be wildly underrepresented for the number of years active on campus. I found that most of the chapters kept records in their chapter facilities without any archival treatment. My professor, Dr. Jonathan Hagel, realized that this could be turned into a research project, and hopefully down the line a senior thesis.
Each of my involvements on campus (History, KD, and Spencer Library) have combined in the best way possible to yield this research project. So anyway, here we are. Thanks for checking it out!