Skip to main content

About Sue Lynn McDaniel

A native of Bowling Green, Sue Lynn McDaniel completed a master’s degree in history at Western Kentucky University, focusing her research on nineteenth-century social and cultural history.  Her thesis topic, “Expressions of Grief in South Central Kentucky, 1870-1910,” allowed her to delve into resources and a region largely neglected by previous historians.  After two years as archivist at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, McDaniel earned a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Kentucky.
For five years, she served on the Western Kentucky University faculty as Manuscripts Librarian at the Kentucky Building.  While living in east Tennessee for the next four years, McDaniel continued her work with archives at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Carson-Newman College. Returning to Bowling Green, she served ten years as University Archivist for prior to accepting her current role as Special Collections Librarian for WKU Library Special Collections.  She regained her faculty status as an Associate Professor on July 1, 2005.
McDaniel first became interested in etiquette and reality while studying cultural history at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  There she recognized that her early training in family expectations relevant to courtship and funeral customs is deeply rooted in a Southern Victorian tradition.   She has published articles on late nineteenth-century Kentucky etiquette and Leap Year in The Ephemera Journal, The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society and the Filson Club History Quarterly.  Other publications include a discussion of collection management strategies for American Libraries, a World War II fighter pilot’s career for The Journal of East Tennessee History and an article on Annie Fellows Johnston and The Little Colonel books for The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society.


2007 Present Special Collections Librarian, Western Kentucky University
2005 Present Associate Professor, Western Kentucky University
20052006 University, Western Kentucky University University Archives
19962005 University Archivist and Records Manager, Western Kentucky University University Archives
19961997 Archival Assistant, University of Tennessee, Knoxville ‐ University Archives
19961996 Associate Professor, Western Kentucky University Library Special Collections
19931996 Assistant Professor, Carson-Newman College ‐ Library Special Collections
19871992 Assistant Professor, Western Kentucky University Library Special Collections
19871992 Manuscripts Librarian, Western Kentucky University Library Special Collections
19841986 University Archivist, Cumberland University ‐ Archives

Curriculum Vitae

Honors and Awards

  • Award for Public Service, University Libraries, 2016
  • Award for Public Service, University Libraries, 2006
  • Margie Helm Staff Award for Outstanding Performance, 2002
  • Bowling Green High School Hall of Honor, 2006


19861987 MLIS, University of Kentucky ‐ College of Library and Information Science
19821983 AM, Western Kentucky University ‐ History Department, Potter College of Arts and Humanities
19811982 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‐ History Department
19771981 BA, A. M. Stickles Scholar, Western Kentucky University ‐ Potter College of Arts and Humanities

Contact Information

206 Kentucky Building
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11092
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1092


Children's Literature and History (4)

Explores the impact of children's literature on its readers, both adult and children.

Media Contributions (2)

Funerary and Mourning Etiquette History (2)

Focusing on Kentucky between 1870-1930, this scholarship explores the differences between published rules of etiquette and public and private expressions of grief.

Courtship Etiquette History (3)

Includes bachelors, spinsters, old maids' conventions, and related topics.

Kentucky History (4)

Includes articles and presentations about Kentucky etiquette, artifacts, family papers and customs.

Genealogy (3)

"Putting the flesh on the skeletons" is the way McDaniel approaches genealogy. It isn't a fill-in-the-vital stats form, but a method to true understanding of the history our ancestors lived. Since 1979, McDaniel has delved into her family history on many occasions.

Leap Year Customs and History (2)

Includes the legends, publications and practice as it effects courtship and marriage.

Universities and colleges -- History (4)

The Glasgow Normal School, the Southern Normal School, the Southern Normal School and Business College, Western Kentucky State Normal School and Teachers College, Western Kentucky State Teachers College, Western Kentucky State College, Potter College for Young Ladies, Odgen College, and the Bowling Green Business University all are rich parts of Western Kentucky University's academic heritage. In addition, McDaniel has studied Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee and Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Archival & library science (2)

Manuscripts Librarian, Folklore Archivist, University Archivist (for three colleges), Special Collections Librarian responsible for cataloguing ephemera into College Management software for WKU's Library Special Collections and providing access via KenCat and personal knowledge to the breadth of non-book/non-journal materials collected by our department for more than 80 years -- all of the above give McDaniel unique insights into the best practices, the compromises when understaffed and underfunded, and the importance of transmitting institutional knowledge to new and future information specialists.