Members of the Fort Hays State University family and folks from the surrounding communities can enjoy an open house at Forsyth Library to honor the 150th birthday of Kansas.
The open house is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3, at Forsyth Library on the FHSU campus. It begins at 1:30 p.m. and continues through the evening. The exhibits at the open house will feature:
· Reproductions of petroglyphs from the area along the Saline River in Ellis and Russell Counties;
· Seven maps of Territorial Kansas and the State of Kansas dating from 1855 to 1879;
· Models of historical buildings from the town of Catharine;
· Paintings of Kansas wildflowers;
· A photographic display, titled "What Kansas means to me;" and
· A display of FHSU memorabilia.
A highlight of the open house will be a presentation at 2 p.m., "Cherishing Our Historical Legacy," by Marla Matkin. The presentation invites viewers to become active participants in the chronicling of the American spirit.
Archivist Patty Nicholas, Cataloger Sharon Severson, and student employees Kim Weber and Lacey Ward constructed the exhibit. The petroglyph collection was donated by Nova and Carl Wells, and the framed maps of Kansas were donated by Timothy Johnson. Jerome Schmidt built and donated the model buildings, and Lorraine Ross donated the Kansas wildflower paintings.
Nicholas, head of Special Collections, said, "Celebrating the 150th birthday of my native state is exciting for me, and I am looking forward to sharing parts of our collection with FHSU faculty, staff and students, and the community."
According to Mr. and Mrs. Wells, "The images in the petroglyph collection are among the works of America's very first artists. The images in this collection -- largely found along the Saline River in and east of Russell County -- are evidence of an advanced culture that existed long before the arrival of these immigrant 'visitors from the east.'" Nova and Carl Wells will attend the open house and will sign copies of their book about their work with the petroglyphs.
"The exhibit provides a very special look at the history of Kansas and an opportunity for the library and university to celebrate the Kansas sesquicentennial," said John Ross, director of Forsyth Library.