• Home
  • Collections
  • Kansas Collection

We are excited to welcome you to Spencer Research Library. Please note that our hours have changed and that the Reading Room is open by appointment only. Learn more about what to expect in Spencer and in other KU library locations during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Kansas Collection

Map of Nebraska and Kansas, 1855. Call Number: RH Map R253

Nebraska and Kansas
New York: J. H. Colton Co., 1855
Call Number: RH Map R253

The Kansas Collection is the regional history division of the University of Kansas Libraries. The Collection provides researchers with primary source materials that document the history of Kansas and the region. In order to support teaching and research, the staff of the Collection acquire, preserve, and make available resources such as manuscripts, photographs, maps, architectural drawings and blueprints, books, newspapers, periodicals, film and videotapes that document the "Kansas Experience." The Kansas Collection is also a depository for publications of the state of Kansas and for Douglas County records.

The bulk of the Collection's holdings cover the Kansas Territorial period (1854-1861) to the present. Materials beyond Kansas include documentation from the contiguous states and the Great Plains generally. Regional representation of agricultural, political and social movements, economic development, and overland trail migration expand both the time frame and types of materials available.



  • Sumner High School class of 1921

    The African American experience in Kansas and the region is a major area of focus, with the legacy of African American individuals, families, businesses, churches, and schools documented through substantial collections of correspondence, photographs, organizational, educational and business records, books, pamphlets and newspapers.

  • Map of Hiawatha, Kansas, 1879

    The history of Douglas County is well documented through an extensive collection of local Douglas County, Kansas records, for the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Included are marriage records, Deed and Mortgage records, Tax Rolls, Property Appraisal records, and District Court records.

  • Captain Ward group with bicycles, 1897

    Manuscript and photographic holdings in the Kansas Collection are extensive and provide resources needed for the study of social history.


Letha Johnson
Kansas Collection Librarian

Deborah Dandridge
Kansas Collection Librarian

1.5 million visits a year at 7 library locations
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection
—American Library Association
KU ScholarWorks offers access to more than 13,000 items created by KU faculty and students
An international leader in the open access movement
Users check out nearly 300,000 items every year
Users access more than 3.3 million articles online each year
More than 111,000 scores, books, sound recordings, and other volumes in Music & Dance Library
Anschutz Library serves as KU’s 24-hour study facility for students
More than 700 Vosper Society members support the mission of KU Libraries
KU Today