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Private support and philanthropy have made Kenneth Spencer Research Library a world-class research and special collections library, and a point of distinction and pride for the University of Kansas. Many of the collections at Spencer Research Library were established as gifts from collectors, and the building itself was the result of a gift from Helen Foresman Spencer as a memorial to her late husband, Kenneth Spencer.

Private support for Spencer Research Library is critical in these areas:

  • Collections: gifts of books, papers, photographs, maps and other materials, as well as financial support to enable strategic purchases of collections and individual items;
  • Preservation and Processing: monetary gifts that help us preserve valuable and irreplaceable items and ensure that items are well-documented in our catalog and research guides for scholars using the collections;
  • Digitization: support for creating high-quality digital versions of unique collections items of substantial scholarly interest, while observing stringent preservation protocols for fragile items, such as films, and making those digital collections broadly available;
  • Teaching and research: support for those who use our collections (e.g., providing travel grants for visiting scholars), and to create and maintain facilities that help teachers and researchers use the collections more easily, comfortably and effectively.

Your gift supports research across the disciplines at KU and beyond, and may qualify you to join the Friends of KU Libraries.

You can make a gift online or contact Christy McWard, KU Libraries Executive Director of the Office of Communications and Advancement, at cmcward@ku.edu or 785-864-0092.

Coronavirus Update

The health and safety of our patrons, staff, and community are our highest priority. In accordance with campus-wide policies regarding COVID-19, Kenneth Spencer Research Library is currently closed to the public until further notice.

Spencer staff members are working remotely and remain available to assist researchers virtually. We are able to provide research support and fulfill reproduction requests, although these services will be limited and delayed. Please submit all questions and requests to ksrlref@ku.edu.

Researchers can also browse KU Libraries' digital collections.


Christy McWard
KU Libraries Executive Director of the Office of Communications and Advancement

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