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Personal papers of Theodore A. Wilson

Call Number: PP 187


Wilson has taught in the Department of History at the University of Kansas since 1966. This collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, reference materials, and other materials related to Wilson's career and research interests.


  • Creation: 1966-2012 (bulk 1960s-1990s)


Conditions Governing Access

These materials are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Theodore A. Wilson

Theodore Allen Wilson was born September 27, 1940 in Evansville, Indiana. He received all his degrees from Indiana University: BA with honors and distinction in 1962, MA in 1963, and PhD in 1966. His dessertation topic was "Atlantic Meeting: The Roosevelt-Churchill Conference of August 1941."

The same year that he received his doctorate, Wilson joined the faculty of the Department of History at the University of Kansas, reaching full Professor status in 1973. He has held several visiting professorships, including at the University of Denver in Colorado; University College in Dublin, Ireland; the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Leicester University in England; and as a senior research professor at the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C.

From 1973-1975 and from 2007-2008, he served as the director of graduate studies in the History Department at KU, and from 1976-1979 he served as associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. From 1979-1981 he was chair of the History Department (he later served again as acting chair in 2006), and from 1983-1989 he served as director of KU's Hall Center for the Humanities. He has also served as the director for the KU Summer Institute in Britain, in both 1984 and 1997.

Wilson has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (1972-1973), a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Younger Humanist Fellow (1971), and received a Fulbright to spend a year as the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History at University College in Dublin, Ireland, in 1995-1996. Wilson received the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 1997.

Wilson's research interests have focused on United States 20th century political, miltary, and diplomatic history. He has been interested in the intersections between politics, national security policies, and foreign affairs particularly in the middle of the 20th century, and in more recent years his focus as been on military dimensions of World War II. Wilson has taught a wide variety of history courses, particularly focused on WWII, military history, and U.S. diplomacy. He has published numerous books, articles, and essays, and he has edited or co-edited several books, as well as serving as general editor of the University Press of Kansas' Modern War Studies series.


16 Linear Feet (16 boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The personal papers of Theodore Wilson focus broadly on his career, both at the University of Kansas and at other institutions. The collection has been broken down into five series: Research and writing; Correspondence; Teaching and general professional materials; Conferences and talks; and Subject files. Materials related to any given topic or subject may be scattered across all these series, however, so researchers should expect to review the entire collection.

Research and writing is the largest series in the collection and includes materials related to Wilson's research and writing processes. Correspondence is the second largest series and consists almost entirely of professional incoming and some outgoing correspondence.

Materials related to Wilson's teaching are fairly limited and typically are included with materials related to Wilson's annual evaluation or the promotion and tenure process, which is why this series is the broadest. Conferences and talks include presentations Wilson prepared as well as materials related to conferences Wilson attended. Subject files are topical files related to Wilson's various professional interests.

Physical Location

PP 187

Physical Location

Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Guide to the Theodore A. Wilson Collection
Personal papers of Theodore A. Wilson
Finding aid prepared by ad, 2005. Finding aid encoded by ad, 2005. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2019, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Theodore A. Wilson, University Archives, PP 187, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States