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Kansas Archives Contain a Treasure Trove

Bill Blankenship
Topeka Capital-Journal

The Topeka Capital-Journal recently described the Kansas State Historical Society’s archives as “Kansas’s scrapbook.” In the society’s archive wing you’ll find 70 million pieces of paper. These include government records; unpublished letters, diaries and other materials; an extensive photograph collection with images from all of the state’s counties; and books related to Kansas history.

There’s also a comprehensive collection of Kansas newspapers. In fact, the archives were started by newspapers. The Kansas State Historical Society was established during Reconstruction by the Kansas Editors’ and Publishers’ Association. These journalists and editors were eager to preserve their accounts of the Bleeding Kansas period and the state’s participation in the Civil War.

Some of the newspapers in the archive are in original form, but most are on microfilm.