The Special Collections and Archives departments contain material pertaining primarily to Kansas and Pittsburg State University. The departments specialize in printed materials from Southeast Kansas, its culture and inhabitants, and the correspondence, libraries, business files and memorabilia of significant Southeast Kansans. All printed items are listed in the Library catalog. Photographs, correspondence, manuscripts, and other non-print materials are cataloged in the Special Collections Reading room.
The largest of the Special Collections is that of E. Haldeman-Julius, Girard publisher of the Big and Little Blue Books, a "University in Print" that sold for five cents per title. In addition to the publisher's books, newspapers, and magazines, the collection contains the publisher's private library, correspondence and publishing records.
Closely related is the J.A. Wayland Collection, consisting of correspondence, photographs, and publications of the Appeal to Reason, the most widely circulated Socialist newspaper in America. An important component is correspondence relating to the publication of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, commissioned by the Girard, Kansas, propaganda organ.
A third major collection is that of Dr. Eva Jessye, a native of Coffeyville, the choral director of such operas as Four Saints in Three Acts (Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein), and Porgy and Bess (the Gershwins). In addition to her personal correspondence and library, the Eva Jessye Collection includes music, manuscripts, and materials relating to Afro-American history.
In 2008, the AxeDigital Collection came online with digital images from the Gordon Parks Collection, and the Ira Clemens Photograph Album.
Over fifty Collections focus on the work and correspondence of personalities of Kansas (especially Southeast Kansas), Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
A subdivision of Special Collections is the Kansas Collection, a collection of town and county histories, as well as general histories of Kansas.
Items in the Special Collections area cannot be checked out, but may be used with the assistance of the Special Collections staff. The Collection is usually open from 8:00 to 12:00 AM and 1:00 to 5:00 PM weekdays.
Links to related web sites
Pittsburg Area Links:
Pittsburg Morning Sun's "Way Back Yonder" Series, by Randy Roberts
Special Collections / Archives Links:
Last Modified: Jan 20, 2010 - 10:28