University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library

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University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library
Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Contact Information[edit | edit source]



Kenneth Spencer Research Library
University of Kansas
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045

Telephone:[1]  785-864-4334

Hours and closures:  Hours for Kenneth Spencer Research Library (and closures)

Map and public transportation:

  • Directions:  Pedestrians can reach the library by passing through the rotunda of Strong Hall on Jayhawk Boulevard and crossing the terrace which connects Strong Hall with Spencer or by entering the ground floor door of Spencer from the covered parking area off Poplar Lane.[2]
  • Google map:  Kenneth Spencer Research Library
  • Parking:  Visitor Parking
  • Public transportation:  LawrenceTransit bus routes 10, 11, 29, 30, 36, 38, 41, 42, and 43 stop on Jayhawk Blvd near Strong Hall and entrance to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

Internet sites and databases:

  • Kansas Collection photos, material about the Kansas territorial period 1854-1861, the African American experience, Douglas County records, and life in Kansas and on the Great Plains.
  • Special Collections voyages-travels-geography-atlases-maps, Irish collections, Latin America-Portugal-Spain, ancient and medieval manuscripts, history of science, history of literature and the book.
  • Genealogy Resources KSLR Genealogy Pathfinder, and genealogy PowerPoint presentation.
  • Territorial Kansas Online 1854-1861.
  • KU Library Catalog online.
    Logo wcmasthead en.png
    Search by keyword, author, title, journal title, subject, or series title. Also available in WorldCat.

Collection Description[edit | edit source]

The Kansas Collection includes primary source materials that document the history of Kansas and the region. There are manuscripts, photographs, maps, histories, newspapers, periodicals, film and videotapes that document the "Kansas Experience" including pioneers, railroads, and American Indians.[3] It is also a depository for publications of the state of Kansas and for Douglas County records such as marriages 1863-1912.[4] Most of their holdings cover the territorial period 1854-1861.

The Kenneth Spencer Research Library is home to some of the rarest and most precious volumes and materials in the world. The collections here encompass recorded human knowledge ranging from cuneiform tablets written four millennia ago, to the imagined far-future landscapes of science fiction authors being published today.[5]

Special Collections contains a wide range of rare books and manuscripts. Its primary charge is the collection and preservation of original sources for use by students and scholars of the humanities, the history of science, and the history of the book. Special Collections presently holds about 250,000 volumes printed since the mid-fifteenth century and about 500,000 manuscripts dating from Antiquity to the present.[6]

Tip[edit | edit source]

The library is open to everyone who registers and shows photo identification.[2]

Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]

If you cannot visit or find a source at the University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, bounty land, homesteads, ethnic sources, prisons, fed employees.[7]
  • National Archives at Kansas City federal censuses 1790–1930; military service indexes, pension indexes, passenger lists, naturalizations, photos, vital records, land, and Indian records.[8]
  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 2.5 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, censuses, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, and records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[9]
  • American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln NE, AHSGR ancestor lists, cemeteries, homesteads, an AHSGR German hometowns list, passenger lists, obituaries, surname charts, and Russian village files.[10]
  • National Orphan Train Complex, Concordia, museum, history, rider registry, research, and events. 66 v. (20,000 records) of orphan train riders, photos, 9,700 name computer database.[11]

Similar Collections

Neighboring Collections

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kansas Collection in Kenneth Spencer Research Library (accessed 15 February 2016).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Visiting the Library in Kenneth Spencer Research Library (accessed 15 February 2016).
  3. William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 47. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Book 973 J54d.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 9th ed. (Logan, Utah: Everton Pub., 1999), 144. WorldCat 812163213; FHL Book 973 D27e 1999.
  5. Kenneth Spencer Research Library (Home) in Kenneth Spencer Research Library (accessed 15 February 2016).
  6. Special Collections in Kenneth Spencer Research Library (accessed 15 February 2016).
  7. Dollarhide and Bremer, 2.
  8. Dollarhide and Bremer, 67.
  9. Dollarhide and Bremer, 1 and 109.
  10. Research Library in American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (accessed 3 February 2016).
  11. Amanda Wahlmeier, Orphan Train Research Center curator,, 28 September 2012, e-mail to David Dilts,
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Summary of Local Records Locations in Lawrence Public Library (accessed 15 February 2016).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Alice Eichholz, ed., Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 234. Ancestry digital copy ($); WorldCat 55947869; FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  14. Topeka Genealogical Society Library in Topeka Genealogical Society (accessed 4 February 2016).
  15. Dollarhide and Bremer, 47.
  16. Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Shawnee County (accessed 8 February 2016).
  17. KDHE Office of Vital Statistics in Kansas Department of Health and Environment (accessed 4 February 2016).
  18. Midwest Genealogy Center in Mid-Continent Public Library (accessed 7 March 2014).
  19. Dollarhide and Bremer, 47 and 67.
  20. Special Collections in Kansas City Public Library (accessed 7 March 2014).