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Home > Researchers' Resources > Genealogy, Kansas Reference & Local History > Kansas Reference & Local History > Local History Collection

Local History Collection

Wichita Public Library's Local History Collection is a repository of the unique source materials that help researchers and the public better understand Wichita's past. Items in the collection are often the only existing copy of such things as letters, photographs, brochures, or business documents. The collection complements other local collections such as those at Wichita State University or the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, but will not duplicate those collections. Common topics of research include house histories and property research, biographical research on prominent Wichita citizens or local families, business and government history, and the history of particular events or incidents. The wide range of research topics possible within the collection and the uniqueness of the materials often require one-on-one assistance with Local History staff. Setting up an appointment or making a phone call before your visit, although not necessary, may make your research easier. You can reach the Local History Librarian by calling (316) 261-8566.

The Local History Collection features several exhibits annually on the lower level of the Central library. Public programs and lectures may be available from department staff and volunteers.

Example materials in Local History:

  • Personal papers, diaries, scrapbooks, local business and club archives

  • City of Wichita records produced in the course of city business

  • Over 10,000 photographs, including Daguerrotypes, tintypes, glass plate negatives, and panoramic views

  • Books and pamphlets by local authors, regional histories, short-run local newspapers such as Negro Star (1920-1953) or Hot Hamburger (1925-1926), city directories and telephone books

  • Original and reproduction maps for Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas, and the region

  • Historical atlases, Sanborn fire insurance maps, county property records

  • Correspondence, original research notes, newspaper clippings and transcriptions, brochures and pamphlets

  • Objects and souvenirs, local hotel registries, framed artwork and portraits, posters, flags, films and videos

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Last update: 12/15/2005
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