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Kansas State Capitol

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Following the end of the Civil War, Kansas newspaper editors and publishers sought a way to record the founding of the state and its heroic role in the fight against slavery. A committee of the Kansas Editors' and Publishers' Association met December 13, 1875, and formed the Kansas Historical Society to collect newspapers and manuscripts on the territorial period. One of the things these early newspaper publishers did was to start a tradition of donating copies of all newspapers published in Kansas to the Kansas Historical Society. Publishers became members of the Historical Society by donating issues of their newspapers. For all others, the annual membership fee was $2. Consequently, the Historical Society has one of the most comprehensive collections of state newspapers in the nation.

At first the Historical Society was able to store its small collection in a bookcase on the fourth floor of the south wing of the Kansas Statehouse. In 1879 the state enacted legislation that recognized the Historical Society as "the trustee of the state" for the purpose of maintaining the state's history. Within 10 years, the Historical Society had collected more than 16,000 books and pamphlets and more than 3,700 bound volumes of newspapers and periodicals.

The Kansas Historical Society is the state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history to facilitate government accountability, economic development, and the education of Kansans. This is accomplished by collecting, preserving, and interpreting materials and information pertaining to state government and Kansas history.

To enrich people's lives by connecting them to the past.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Tue9:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr9:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sun1:00 PM5:00 PM
Notes: Closed state holidays.


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