Katherine (Kasey) Chappell
Manuscripts & Folklife Archives of the Kentucky Library & Museum, 2011
My internship was in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives of the Kentucky Library & Museum during the spring semester of 2011. While conducting research to provide information for a National Register of Historic Places nomination of James Ingram-designed home, I discovered how prolific Ingram's career as a Bowling Green architect truly had been. He designed well over a thousand homes, schools, and businesses in and around the city from the 1930′s through the mid-1950s. Thanks to a donation made by his widow, Ruby Stephens Ingram, the Kentucky Library & Museum is home to nearly 1200 sets of his architectural drawings.
I approached Jonathan Jeffrey, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives Coordinator, about working with the Ingram Collection. During my internship I catalogued 200 of these sets and added them to a publicly accessible online database. I also transcribed a 1982 interview with Ingram's widow, in which Ruby Stephens Ingram talks about her husband's career, many of the people he worked with, and how he felt about the buildings he designed. I spent some time away from the museum in order to seek out many of the Ingram-designed homes still standing in Bowling Green; we wanted to match new photographs with the archival drawings and to reveal how influential, long lasting, and popular his designs were in the area.
I designed the content for a new website to honor Ingram and to showcase his prolific local career. Included will be excerpts from Ruby Stephens Ingram's interview, some representative samples of his drawings and photographs of the completed buildings, research on Ingram by former WKU students, and more.
One of my most exciting moments during the internship was being able to contact Ingram's grandson to let him know that his grandfather's work is still known and appreciated.
Thanks to my work in this internship, I was awarded one of three Russell M. and Mary Z. Yeager Graduate Scholarships. If you live in an Ingram-designed home or have your own Ingram memories to share, I'd be interested in hearing from you!