Digital Collections

  • This digital collection features broadsides from the Kenneth Spencer Research Library’s William J. Griffith Collection of Guatemala and Central America.  Dating from the 1820s to 1922, the broadsides are primarily Guatemalan, with a smaller number from Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.  La colección digital consiste en volantes de la Biblioteca de investigación Kenneth Spencer pertenecientes a la colección de William J. Griffith sobre Guatemala y Centroamérica.

    Contact: Elspeth Healey,
  • The Digital Scriptorium is a growing image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. It bridges the gap between a diverse user community and the limited resources of libraries by means of sample imaging and extensive rather than intensive cataloguing. The University of Kansas Libraries are a contributing partner in this project.

    Contact: Karen Cook,
  • This online collection, selected from 25,000 photographs in the Dole Archive, includes images relating to Bob Dole's childhood, youth, college experience, sports involvement, war-time service and recovery, early law career, Congressional, Senatorial and Presidential campaigns, family, staff and colleagues. The images also highlight major legislative and humanitarian contributions by Senator Dole during both his political career and post-retirement projects.

    Contact: Audrey Coleman,
  • This database collects recent theses and dissertations from the University of Kansas. It will also soon contain turn-of-the-century theses and dissertations, many of which were handwritten, hand drawn, or hand colored.

    Contact: Marianne Reed,
  • The University of Kansas Libraries is pleased to provide access to a growing number of EAD formatted finding aids from the Kenneth Spencer Research Library. These inventories reveal the wide variety of materials found in manuscript collections, including photographs, correspondence, printed material, diaries and drawings.

    Contact: Miloche Kottman,
  • From the Ground Up is an on-going collaboration between artists living in Lawrence, and scientists and teachers from the the University of Kansas and the Kansas Geological Survey. The project seeks to capture the imagination of students of all ages who are interested in the landscape around them and exploring the connections between human history, art, geography, biology, and other disciplines. The collection is organized by content modules, each containing an archive of artworks which serve as a basis for, or a response to, work in other disciplines.

    Contact: Sarah Goodwin Thiel,
  • These KU Library topographic maps (Joint Operations Graphics or JOGs) are now available digitally via CartoDB and Google Earth. JOG maps are detailed and useful for geographic reference, showing roads, political boundaries, elevation, rivers, etc. This unique collection includes over 4,000 maps as georeferenced raster images, and the sheet map collection in Anschutz Library is also quite large. The original georeferenced raster images are available by request.

    Contact: Rhonda Houser,
  • As part of the KU 150 sesquicentennial celebration, KU Libraries and the University Archives are proud to present "In Their Own Words: Selected Interviews from the Endacott Society Oral History Collection." These interviews are a retrospective of the lives and careers of University of Kansas faculty and staff.

    Contact: Becky Schulte,
  • The Jesuatti Book of Remedies is a compilation of medical remedies that the friars of the Order of Saint Jerome used to cure the sick and to care for the human body in the 16th Century and earlier. Compiled sometime before 1562 by friar Giovanni Andrea from Brescia, Italy, the book is organized according to the condition for which the remedy was used, whether the remedy was a galenical mixture of herbs, a distillate using the alchemical methods employed by the friars, or a prayer. A few remedies were incantations or amulets to protect against an illness or harm.

    Contact: Brian Rosenbloom,
  • This collection of the large-format bird books published by John Gould (1804-1881) also includes several thousand pieces of pre-publication artwork produced by Gould and his artists. It is part of the Ralph Nicholson Ellis, Jr. natural-history collection in Special Collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

    Contact: Karen Cook,
  • Aerial photographs of Kansas City, taken in 2002 by Alex S. MacLean. The project was sponsored by the Kansas City Design Center. The Luna Insight images are hosted by the University of Kansas.

    Contact: Bob Pisciotta,
  • The University of Kansas Anthropological Research and Cultural Collections curates approximately 2000 cubic feet of artifacts recovered from investigations of 23 Kansas City Hopewell Archaeological sites, which represents the largest holdings of materials from this culture in the United States. The Kansas City Hopewell represents the westernmost regional variant of the Hopewell archaeological complex that dates to the Middle Woodland or Early Ceramic (100 B.C. - 700 A.D.) period.

    Contact: Mary Adair,
  • Historical photographs from the Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas (a subset of the Art and Cultural Heritage Collection). The Kansas Collection is the regional history division of the University of Kansas Libraries. The Photo Collection consists of images documenting the history of Kansas, the region, and the people who have lived here.

    Contact: Sherry Williams,
  • The Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Library, University of Kansas, houses and provides access to an extensive collection of Sanborn maps for 241 Kansas towns and cities covering a period from 1883 through the 1830s. With funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the maps from 1883 – 1922 are now digitally available.

    Contact: Sherry Williams,
  • The Kansas Biological Survey Kansas Wildflowers database includes images of common wildflowers of Kansas. Image descriptions include common and scientific names, as well as information one might expect to find in a field guide.

    Contact: Craig C. Freeman,
  • The Leon K. Hughes Photography Collection is a chronicle of African American family and community life in Wichita, Kansas from the late 1940s through the 1970s. The images provide an “inside” view of African American life rarely seen by the general public. They show family gatherings celebrating marriages, birthdays and graduations and reveal a vibrant community life comprised of a wide array of churches, schools and organizations.

    Contact: Deborah Dandridge,
  • Taking Special Collections outside the Library by Digital Repackaging: Primary Sources from the Spencer Research Library for the Study of Mediterranean Cartography, Navigation, Travel and Trade 1300-1800.

    Contact: Karen Cook,
  • The Pennell Collection consists of more than 30,000 glass plate negatives that represent the life work of Joseph J. Pennell, a successful commercial studio photographer who worked in Junction City, Kansas, from the early 1890s to the early 1920s. It provides a comprehensive view of life in a moderately-sized, Midwestern, army-post town on the Great Plains at the turn of the last century. The University of Kansas acquired the negatives, along with 10 ledgers of business records, in 1950.

    Contact: Sherry Williams,
  • Forrest "Phog" Claire Allen coached basketball at KU from 1919 until his retirement in 1956. This digital collection contains correspondence and other records from his time in the basketball coach's office.   

    Contact: Becky Schulte,
  • The collection includes several photographs, personal and professional letters, and other writings by authors, artists, American presidents, nobility, royalty, and other notable persons from the United States, British Isles, and Continental Europe. The series include United States of America: Presidents and other notable persons; British Isles: Royalty and other notable persons, Continental Europe: Royalty and other notable persons; America, British Isles, and Continental Europe: Authors and artists; and Miscellaneous.

    Contact: Karen Cook,
  • This collection of correspondence offers insight into the lives and artistic endeavors of the Rossetti family, a British family of Italian descent whose members influenced art and literature during the second half of the nineteenth century.  Principal correspondents include painter, poet, and founder of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in art, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882); poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894); and critic and biographer William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919).

    Contact: Elspeth Healey,
  • In 1870, Wyville Thomson, Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh University, persuaded the Royal Society of London to ask the British Government to furnish one of Her Majesty's ships for a prolonged voyage of exploration across the oceans of the globe. On 7 December 1872, the expedition put to sea from Sheerness aboard the corvette H.M.S. Challenger. The Challenger Expedition created over 40 nautical charts that record the course of the expedition. These charts have been scanned.

    Contact: Sarah Goodwin Thiel,
  • Explore the turbulent times of "Bleeding Kansas." Hundreds of personal letters, diaries, photos, and maps bring to life the settling of Kansas during the fierce debate over slavery.

    Contact: Sherry Williams,
  • The University Archives is the repository for the records documenting the history of the University of Kansas. Included are the official papers of the chancellors, records of student and faculty activities, and selected publications and papers of alumni and faculty. This collection contains a selection from their photograph holdings.

    Contact: Becky Schulte,
  • With generous support from KU Alums Scott and Lisa Ritchie, the University Archives has begun a program of digitization of our extensive film and video collections.  Historic moving images have been selected that encompass the wide scope of the collections within the Archives.   Content ranges from sporting events such as footage from the Kansas Relays of 1930, to university celebrations including KU’s centennial in 1966 and Christmas Vespers from the 1960s, and student activities such as KU Marching Band half-time performances during football games.

    Contact: Rebecca Schulte,
  • The University of Kansas Web Archives is a collection of selected University of Kansas websites captured over time beginning in 2013.  Maintained as part of the University Archives, the collection includes sites based on enduring historical and administrative value.

    Contact: Letha Johnson,
  • Onitsha Market Literature consists of stories, plays, advice and moral discourses published primarily in the 1960s by local presses in the lively market town of Onitsha, an important commercial site in the Igbo-speaking region of southeastern Nigeria. In the fresh and vigorous genre of Onitsha Market Literature, the commoner wrote pulp fiction and didactic handbooks for those who perused the bookstalls of Onitsha Market, one of Africa’s largest trading centers.

    Contact: Musa Wakhungu Olaka,
  • World War II: The African American Experience documents the experiences of African American World War II veterans through audio recorded interviews. These oral histories are part of the collecting program established by the Kenneth Spencer Research Library’s Kansas Collection in 1986 to enhance the region’s permanent historical record of the African American experience. The World War II oral history project is sponsored in part by the Sandra Gautt KU Endowment Fund, which Professor Emerita Gautt established to honor her father, Sgt. Thaddeus A. Whayne, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen unit.

    Contact: Deborah Dandridge,


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