Kansas life and culture
The Kansas life and culture collection includes documents and archives that highlight Kansas history, westward expansion, agriculture and rural life.
Topics and scope
The collection includes over 5,000 boxes of archival materials and printed material dating from 1835 to the present. Topics covered in the collection include:
- Beef and wheat production
- Development of K-State
- Settlement of Kansas
- Grassland ecology
- Indigenous nations
- Military history
- Political history
- Ranching and agriculture
- Range management
- Rural sociology and rural geography in the Great Plains
- The Santa Fe Trail
David Dary was a journalist and major western historian. The collection includes his personal papers, which span from 1856 to 2013, and his library of over 4,000 printed titles. The Dary Papers include the most diverse number of research strengths than any other collection in the department. Among the topics represented in the papers are Manhattan history, history of print and broadcast journalism, U.S. history, political science, history of Kansas and the West.
Farmland Industries was the largest agricultural cooperative in North America at the time it sold all of its assets. During its 74-year history Farmland played a significant role in domestic and worldwide agricultural markets and in the lives of its farmer membership. The collection documents the history of Farmland Industries, Inc. from 1928 to 2004. It is our largest collection covering agriculture topics in the department.
Marlin Fitzwater is the only press secretary appointed by two U.S. presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Fitzwater was born in Kansas and graduated from Kansas State University. Most of the materials in the collection were produced and/or collected by Fitzwater during his years in the White House and in the following years as a lecturer and author.